Back in the 18th century, Saigon was a one kilometre square area inhabited by Chinese-Vietnamese called Saigon Market. After more than 300 years of development, Saigon has become one of Vietnam’s cultural and economic centres. Contemporary, bustling, and welcoming, this city was the home of many expatriate Vietnamese who now are yearning to return for a visit.
Photos by Phat Le (Instagram: @phatlenguyen)
Photo 1: Lush, green Tao Dan Park is around 10 hectares in size, with more than 1,000 trees. It is considered the “green lung” of the city.
Photo 2: The Gothic style Tan Dinh Church has a central front tower and two auxiliary buildings, all painted pink. Tan Dinh Church and Notre Dame Cathedral are two early churches built on a massive scale.
Photo 3: Turtle Lake (Ho Con Rua) is now a street food area with different coffee shops and restaurants. In 1790, it was the Kham Khuyet gate of the Bagua citadel (also known as Turtle Citadel), built by the order of King Gia Long.
Photo 4: Me Linh square is the intersection of six roads. A six-meter high statue of Tran Hung Dao presides in the middle of the square.
Photo 5: Tomb of the Marshal in Ba Chieu is the combined temple and grave of Marshal Le Van Duyet, one of the prominent commanders of Lord Nguyen Anh’s army in the Tay Son War. After the war ended, he served two dynasties, Gia Long and Minh Mạng.
Photo 6: Binh Dong Wharf used to be the second busiest trading place in the old Saigon-Cholon area. This place becomes crowded and bustling every Tet, with all kinds of boats trading flowers. It is also called the Binh Dong Wharf flower market. It is the only floating spring flower market in Saigon.
Photo 8: Le Van Tam Park is highlighted with lush green foliage. Every two years it hosts the city’s book fair, an event loved and hoped for by city residents.
Photo 9: Like a flower blooming in the heart of Ly Thai To intersection, this important city roundabout connects major roads such as Ngo Gia Tu, Le Hong Phong, Ly Thai To, and Dien Bien Phu.
Photo 10: Gia Dinh park, with nearly 700 trees, is a popular place for a flower market every Tet.
Photo 11: The Gothic church of St. Jeanne d’Arc was built on the Chinese cemetery. Construction started in 1922 and it was opened in 1928. After the cemetery was cleared, the church was surrounded by three streets. Nguyen Tri Phuong, Ngo Gia Tu and Nguyen Chi Thanh from above look like a six-petal flower. St. Jeanne d’Arc Church is also known as the “six way intersection church.”
Photo 12: The Eastern Bus Station (Ben Xe Mien Dong) teems with colourful cars. The largest bus station in Saigon, it is a hub where vehicles arrive from and depart to the North, the Central and the Central Highlands.
Photo 13: Thanh Da apartment building, constructed in the 1960s, is one of Saigon’s first apartment buildings and is almost 60 years old.
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