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A Date With the Wrecking Ball: The Catinat Building

According to a recent article in Dân Trí newspaper, the Catinat building at the corner of Đồng Khởi and Lý Tự Trọng Streets sits on a so-called “gold land” block which has been earmarked for rede...

in Saigon

Street Cred: Hai Ba Trung

When tyrants take your husband away and execute him for protesting high taxes, you tend to take stuff like that personally. That’s how Trung Trac took it when the Chinese killed her husband almost two...

in Saigon

Old Saigon Building of the Week: Former Institution Tabert (1890)

With its prime location in one of Hồ Chí Minh City’s numerous “đất vàng” (gold land) areas, many wonder how long the former Institution Tabert, now the Trần Đại Nghĩa Specialist High School at 53 Nguy...

in Saigon

Old Saigon Building of the Week: Former Nestlé Headquarters

The Swiss company Nestlé, founded in 1905 following the merger of Farine Lactée Henri Nestlé (1866) and the Anglo-Swiss Milk Company (1866), established its first trading office in Saigon in 1912.

in Saigon

Street Cred: Ham Nghi

“Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.” This quote from Shakespeare’s Henry IV basically sums up the political climate of Vietnam in 1883. In that year alone, four different men played the part of ...

in Saigon

[Photos] Saigon Past and Present

Saigon is a city in constant flux. One minute a crumbling old building is there and the next week it’s a parking lot. Fortunately, there are a few buildings, such as the Saigon Post Office, the Opera ...

in Saigon

[Photos] Changes Over Time: Saigon's Canals (2002 - 2014) Part II

Due to the popularity of our previous piece which illustrated the physical changes along Saigon’s canals, we’ve managed to cobble together a new set of photos.

in Saigon

Bót Catinat: Saigon's "Gold Land"

Located on a prime site in one of Hồ Chí Minh City’s numerous “đất vàng” (gold land) areas and already earmarked for redevelopment, the headquarters of the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism at...

in Saigon

Street Cred: Yersin

If you’ve been following this column, then you’ve probably noticed the pattern of folks getting famous for taking a stance and sticking up for Vietnam. By now, you should know that Vietnamese people a...

in Saigon

Fun With Old Maps: Saigon (1895)

While not the oldest map of Saigon we’ve come across, this 1895 map, “Plan des environs de Saïgon” shows not only downtown, but the surrounding countryside. Even after 36 years of French occupation, t...

in Saigon

Old Saigon Building of the Week: The Vietnam Railways Building

The iconic Bến Thành Market is not the only Saigon landmark currently celebrating its 100th birthday – this week we take a look at the history of the Vietnam Railways building at 138 Hàm Nghi, which a...

in Saigon

Street Cred: Phan Xích Long

Like a page straight out of Bizzaro World, fast food franchises have a heightened social status here in Vietnam.

in Saigon

Old Saigon Building of the Week: Maison du Combattant

The project to create a Maison du Combattant (War Veterans Centre) was launched in 1929 by the Amicale Cochinchinoise des Anciens Combattants de la Grande Guerre (Cochinchina Friendly Association of G...

in Saigon

The Lost History of Germans in Saigon

Though it was a French colony, companies from all over Europe were engaged in trade and production in Indochina, especially in Saigon. Germans in particular played a major role in the city’s turn-of-t...

in Saigon

The Incredible History of Saigon’s Racetracks

Although it closed 3 years ago, for the city’s older citizens, District 11’s Phu Tho Horse Racing Ground represents a bygone era of racing and gambling in Saigon. While an important but fading cultura...

in Saigon

Street Cred: Lý Thường Kiệt

Over mountains and rivers of the South, reigns the Emperor of the South. This fate is written in the Book of Heaven. How dare those barbarians invade our land? Your armies, without pity, will be annih...

in Saigon

[Photos] Women's Fashion in 1960s and 70s Saigon

Before 1975, fashion in Vietnam differed greatly between North (which preferred traditional styles) and South (which put a spin on customary dress and adopted Western attire).

in Saigon

Jean-Baptiste Louis-Pierre: The Father of Saigon's Green Spaces

As traffic congestion and air pollution intensifies, Hồ Chí Minh City’s urban greenbelt has assumed increased significance as the “green lung” which helps to disperse pollutants, check the flow of dus...

in Saigon

Gangsters of Saigon: Dai Cathay - Part 2

In the 1960s, the height of existentialism and hippy ideals in Saigon, many of the city’s wealthy hung out at restaurants, discotheques and drug dens in Districts 1 and 3. Dai became a familiar face i...

in Saigon

Gangsters of Saigon: Dai Cathay - Part 1

"First Dai, second Ty, third Cai, fourth The" was a saying about the 4 'kings' of Saigon's gangs before 1975. This implies that the most badass of the group was Dai, also known as Dai Cathay, who...