Saigoneer

Street Cred: Path of Poets

If Saigon was a battlefront and its street signs served as territorial markers, then it’s clear that the revolutionaries and martyrs have won. Everywhere you look, the names of fallen heroes lead the way, guiding you through the combat zone known as Saigon Traffic.

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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 the Emperor of Vietnam—none to critical acclaim. 

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When the Japanese Occupied Vietnam: Part 2

Read When the Japanese Occupied Vietnam – Part I here.

Japanese occupation breathed new life into a Vietnamese independence movement that had seen little success after the failed Yen Bai Mutiny (1930) and Xo Viet Nghe Tinh Uprising (1931) which were swiftly and brutally put down by the French.

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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 are a fiercely proud bunch and they’re not predispositioned to back down from a fight.

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Dung Ha: Vietnam’s Lesbian Mob Boss

Among the infamous women of Vietnam’s criminal underworld, Dung Ha was one of the most notorious. Though her reign was short, it was characterized by wealth, power and love affairs that still draw curiosity to this day.

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Street Cred: Phan Xích Long

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

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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-the-twentieth-century economic growth. But as World War I engulfed the Continent, changing geopolitics spread to Saigon and the city’s German population was deported, almost overnight.

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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 annihilated.

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[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).

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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 dust and reduce noise levels. What better time to pay tribute to Jean-Baptiste Louis-Pierre, the Frenchman who was responsible not only for the city’s famous Botanical and Zoological Gardens, but also for many of its parks and tree-lined boulevards. 

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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 in these establishments where he befriended engineers, doctors and artists such as Dzach Buu, Dzi Buu and Hoang Sayonara who later became Dai’s mentor for business strategy.

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