Saigoneer

Old Saigon Picture of the Day: Rue Kitchener (Nguyen Thai Hoc Street)

When Saigon was still a sleepy French backwater, the city's streets were full of 1 and 2 story colonial buildings, lined with lush, green tress.

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This is What Saigon Looked Like in 1881

When this picture was drawn in 1881 by a ship captain known as Favre, the French were 22 years into their occupation of Saigon. In this short time, the city took on a decidedly colonial feel both in terms of architecture and infrastructure. While not a map, per se, there are plenty of interesting details of Saigon's past.

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10 Old Pictures of Advertisements in Saigon

Before 1975, large advertisements were commonplace in Saigon. But after the American War and the fall of capitalism in the South, ads were considered a vestige of the old order and were heavily regulated.

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Fun with Old Saigon Maps (1790)

Even before the French formally occupied Saigon in 1859, they were active players in Vietnamese politics as early as the 17th century. Their influence can be seen in this 1790 map in the form of the massive citadel commissioned by Nguyen Anh.

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Colorful Old Map of Saigon

Though we can't pinpoint the exact date for this map, we're sure it's from before 1954. This was the year when the French ceded control of Saigon and south Vietnam in accordance with the Geneva Accords. When Diem's government took office, they switched out the French names for Vietnamese ones.

Whatever its date, it's a pretty sweet map.

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Video: Saigon in 1945

1945 was a tumultuous year for Vietnam. After the Japanese were defeated by the Allies in 1945, Ho Chi Minh declared Vietnamese independence from France, unaware that Allied leaders had agreed at the Potsdam Conference to divide the the former French colony at the 17th parallel. Under the agreement, the British occupied the south and the Chinese nationalists the north until French colonial authority could be reestablished.

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Old Saigon Picture of the Day: Before Bridges and Tunnels

Think it's inconvenient having a car in present-day Saigon?

As many of the French living in Saigon during the first half of the last century were fairly well off, they often brought with them the comforts of their home country.

But sometimes, their beloved imports didn't exactly match the realities of their new environment.

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Old Saigon Picture of the Day: Cho Lon Streetcars

From Cho Lon to Ben Thanh Market, streetcars were once a common sight on Saigon's main thoroughfares.

While their tracks have long disappeared, their memory lives on in old photographs like the one above.

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Chợ Bà Chiểu - Past & Present

Chợ Bà Chiểu, located on Bach Dang St., has been the central market for Binh Thanh District since 1942.

While it's been upgraded and expanded numerous times, most recently in 1987, you can still feel the history when walking through the market.

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How Vietnam Got its Name

Le Minh Khai, a researcher of SE Asian history, found that there was a lot of misinformation on the interwebs relating to the origin of Vietnam’s name, especially in English sources. Khai jumped into a plethora of historical documents to set the record straight.

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12 Color Pictures of Saigon from Before WWII

With each passing day, Saigon's future becomes a bit more clear, and its past a bit more distant.

But fear not, for we've assembled a slideshow of colorized images from Saigon's colonial past.

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BUDX HCMC