Saigoneer

Saigon’s Tour de l’Inspection - Part 1

An essential feature of life in early colonial Saigon, the Tour de l'Inspection was not so much a sunset promenade as an event designed to showcase wealth and power.

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[Video] 1993 Saigon From The Back Of A Honda Cub

Mark Bowyer, who runs the great travel blog, Rusty Compass, has been living and traveling in Vietnam for over 2 decades. Early into his Saigon tenure, he hopped on the back of a Honda Cub with a video camera and captured the sounds and sights of the city.

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12 Old Photos Of Saigon Street Vendors

No matter if you’re a local or a foreigner, one image from Saigon will always stay with you - street vendors - an integral weave in the city’s urban fabric, both culturally and economically.

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Lệ Hải: Saigon’s Gangster Queen

Before 1975, Saigon’s underground was controlled by gangs and mob bosses. Yet all those criminal minds were vulnerable to the intoxicating smile of one woman, Lệ Hải, whose name fittingly translates to “ocean of tears.”

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17 Photos Of Royal Life During The Nguyễn Dynasty

It’s been more than two centuries since Gia Long unified Vietnam and became the first emperor of the Nguyễn Dynasty. Lasting 143 years, Vietnam’s last dynasty ended in 1945 when Bảo Đại abdicated the throne.

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The Story Of Saigon’s Soap Millionaire

80 years ago, if you asked a Saigon resident to name a soap brand, you would get only one response - Cô Ba. The brand’s popularity extended throughout Indochina and its success made its owner, Trương Văn Bền (1883 – 1956), one of the wealthiest men in Saigon.

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Saint-Saëns In Saigon

One of the great figures of western classical music, French composer, conductor, organist and pianist Camille Saint-Saëns is remembered for a range of works, including The Carnival of the Animals, Danse Macabre, Symphony No 3 (The Organ Symphony) and the opera Samson et Dalila. But few people know that he was also one of the earliest “celebrities” to visit colonial Saigon.

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Street Cred: Nguyen Van Linh

Driving around Saigon, it’s easy to lose sight of the city as it appeared 25 years ago. So many buildings have been leveled into dust and in their place, stand shiny new high-rises shimmering of glass, steel, and in some cases, massive LED displays. Whole neighborhoods have been demolished to pave way for new roads, while swathes of farmland have been redeveloped into new residential districts.

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[Photos] Old Time Saigon Street Eats

Part of what makes up Saigon’s special and gritty character is the amount of activity on its streets and sidewalks which are full of vendors who sell everything from soup to fruit. Not only are these sold on the street, but also consumed there. Eating on the street has long been a part of the city’s DNA as we can see though this set of old photos. 

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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 millennia ago.

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[Photos] Old School Vietnamese Education

An elephant in Biology class? Now that would have made me actually pay attention in school. Apparently Vietnamese education used to be a lot more hands-on back in the day compared to our current world of stale standardized testing. Take a glimpse back to the past to see how our forefathers straight-aced it.

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BUDX HCMC