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[Photos] The Last Vestiges of Saigon's Natural Landscape in District 2

On the eastern edge of District 2’s An Phu lies one of the last vestiges of Saigon's wilderness, a shrinking area that is slowly being chipped away for new infrastructure projects and dense developments.

Before the arrival of the French, Saigon and its surrounding areas were characterized by vast wetlands and a complex system of creeks and rivers. Over the course of the city’s development, many of these geographic features have disappeared to make way for ports, factories, skyscrapers and residential complexes.

While pockets of these wetlands endure in Thu Thiem, they are quickly disappearing as the peninsula is being redeveloped to become Saigon’s future urban hub, leaving the aforementioned section of An Phu as one of the last remnants of pre-colonial Saigon’s natural heritage.

Recently, we took a boat trip around the area, courtesy of Saigon Boat Company, to capture the pastoral scenes of mangrove palms in between thatched huts and small boats. Fruit trees and birds' nests adorn the area's trees and palm reeds. These scenes are not far off from what one might find in 19th-century French photographs, affording those on the boat the cheapest form of time travel.

Below are images of this area, which may not remain much longer:

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