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 164 Đồng Khởi has a sinister past.


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, the city barely extended past the banks of the Saigon River.


Old Pictures of Saigon's Canals

Canals used to serve as the Saigon's main commercial highway, connecting the city to the Saigon river and in turn the web of rivers that traverse Vietnam.


Street Cred: Vo Thi Sau

Life, like the streets and alleys of Saigon, certainly has its fair share of twists and turns. One moment, you’re comfortably cruising down one direction, and suddenly, you encounter a detour. You try your best to navigate down an unknown path, guessing, turning—hoping—to get back on track.


Street Cred: Cách Mạng Tháng 8

Some people find it boring and unimaginative that all the cities in Vietnam share the same street names. Whether it’s an isolated town touching the Chinese border or a tiny strip of road leading to a deserted beach in Phu Quoc, the streets of Vietnamese cities all crisscross with the same names. Can this be attributed to being boring and having a lack of imagination? Hardly.


Fun with Old Maps: Cho Lon (1923)

Cho Lon is one of Saigon’s oldest and most interesting neighborhoods. Spanning much of Districts 5 and 6, this predominantly Chinese area has been an integral part of Saigon’s economy since its establishment in 1778. When Cho Lon was incorporated as a city in 1879, it lay 11km from Saigon.


“Củ Chi Lite” – The Secret Tunnels of Phú Thọ Hòa

Very few foreign tourists ever set foot there and it seems that only those living in the area know of their existence. But the pioneering Phú Thọ Hòa Tunnels in Hồ Chí Minh City’s Tân Phú District played an important role during the First Indochina War and served as the prototype for their

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famous counterpart at Củ Chi.


[Slideshow] 14 Old Pictures of Taxis in Saigon

In Saigon, taxis have long played an important role in getting people where they need to go. They first took the form of rickshaws and then cyclos before giving way to the 4-wheeled motorized variety (though cyclos still serve their original purpose to some extent).


The Story of Saigon's Last Citadel

You’ve probably passed the pair of colonial buildings at intersection of Dien Tien Hoang and Le Duan hundreds of times. What you may not be aware of, however, is that these two buildings are the last physical remnants of Saigon’s royal citadels.


[Video] Saigon Street Scenes (1940-1950)

This is one of the harder old Saigon videos to make sense of since it’s a compilation of clips filmed between 1940 and 1950, starkly different times in the country's history (World War 2 will do that). 


[Slideshow] 14 Images of Saigon in 1895

By 1895, Saigon had been occupied by the French for 36 years. When looking at photos from this period, it’s clear that the French placed great value on urbanizing the sleepy fishing outpost, formerly known as Gia Dinh.


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