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[Photos] An Empty District 1 Waits for Its Crowds to Return

Have you ever wondered what District 1 might look like after the apocalypse?

Amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and national social distancing campaign, certain areas of Saigon are completely unrecognizable. While more suburban areas remain relatively lively, central District 1 has turned into a ghost town at times.

With essentially no tourists visiting and countless people working from home, once-bustling streets like Dong Khoi, Le Duan and Pasteur look like everyone fled in haste, leaving hardly a motorbike behind.

For those who draw energy from Saigon's frenetic pace, such scenes may be disheartening. How much longer will this reality go on? When will Turtle Lake, the Central Post Office, the Opera House and Nguyen Hue look like themselves again?

When will students pour onto Nguyen Binh Khiem again? Photo by Michael Tatarski.

When will families flock to the zoo to enjoy the shade and gaze at animals again? Photo by Michael Tatarski.

When will Le Duan pulse with commuters again? Photo by Michael Tatarski.

When will tourists jostle for pictures of the cathedral again? Photo by Michael Tatarski.

When will the religious be able to pray in larger groups than one again? Photo by Alberto Prieto.

When will crowds of shoppers bring Dong Khoi to a near-standstill again? Photo by Michael Tatarski.

When will the areas around Ben Thanh Market and the New World Hotel bustle again? Photos by Michael Tatarski.

When will the setting sun illuminate congested rush-hour streets again? Photo by Alberto Prieto.

When will the Opera House open its doors again? Photos by Alberto Prieto.

When will thousands of people enjoy the open air on Nguyen Hue again? Photo by Alberto Prieto.

When will Ly Tu Trong and Pasteur come back to life? Photos by Alberto Prieto.

When will Saigon's masses return to Hai Ba Trung again? Photo by Alberto Prieto.

When will the Vincom Center's disgorged crowds swarm Ly Tu Trong again? Photo by Alberto Prieto.

When will walkers, joggers and martial arts masters visit Tao Dan Park again? Photo by Alberto Prieto.

When will Nguyen Thi Minh Khai be a never-ending river of vehicles again? Photo by Alberto Prieto.

When will buses clog Dien Bien Phu again? Photo by Alberto Prieto.

When will Nam Ky Khoi Nghia serve as the gateway to the city for visitors again? Photo by Alberto Prieto.

When will Instagram influencers stampede to the 'pink church' again? Photo by Alberto Prieto.

When will more than a solitary motorbike driver take in the sunset from the Dien Bien Phu bridge connecting District 1 and Binh Thanh again? Photo by Alberto Prieto.

When will vendors on Nguyen Hue serve customers again? Photo by Maxwell Gutteridge.

When will evening crowds turn Nguyen Hue into Saigon's liveliest promenade again? Photo by Maxwell Gutteridge.

We don't know the answer to any of these questions, but we can't wait to see everyone again. Cố lên, Vietnam.