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[Photos] On the Move: Saigon's Changing Transportation

Once the domain of bicycles, Saigon's narrow roads have become jam-packed over the last two decades with increasingly modern vehicles. Following a boom of motorbikes in the 1990s – first described to me as “streams of fish” – the city streets are more and more clogged with “whales” – cars, SUVs and tourist vans – everyday. As this evolution of traffic transforms the city's infrastructure, Saigon finds its larger, more modernized modes of transportation traveling alongside the antiquated machines of the past. Brand new Lexus sedans share the road with aging Honda Dreams, rickety cyclos navigate the same roads as massive, top-of-the-line sleeper buses. As new-age technology like Uber and GrabBike replace the traditional taxis and xe ôms of the city, too, the stark difference between transportation, old and new, is apparent on the streets of Saigon.

An elderly man races through rush hour traffic along Ton Duc Thang. Bicycles are one of Saigon's older modes of transport and synonymous with the imagery of Vietnam.

An old-school Volkswagen parked in Binh Thanh District. Of all the vehicles taking over Saigon's roads, most are newer models, though you can occasionally still spot a few classics on the streets.

A cyclo driver enjoys a smoke and catches up on the news of the day just outside District 1's Tao Dan Park. With the quick adaptation of motorbikes, taxis and services like GrabBike and Uber, the services of cyclo drivers are losing out to motorized transportation.

A young boy hitches a ride home from school on the back of his friend's bike.

An elderly man seeks refuge from the blistering morning sun along Ngo Tat To in Binh Thanh District. These pull carts are by no means a speedy way to get around but good exercise nonetheless.

Motorbikes roar along Ton Duc Thang.

A mobile vendor delivers the morning's ingredients to a phở stall in Phu Nhuan.

A pedestrian strolls along Tran Ke Xuong Bridge heading into District 1's Tan Dinh neighborhood.

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