- Hide menu
Beneath the people it’s the architecture that characterizes a city. Europe is covered with fascinating old cities. Industrial revolution has brought wealth. Now growth has come to its limits and been replaced by short-term ups and downs, crisis and moderate development interchanging every decade. It’s totally different from what we see in aspiring asian societies. Here the long-term gradient of economical development shows definitely up. I have been curious about the speed of change in Saigon and its effect on life of people. We know from chinese cities that these have exploding numbers of inhabitant and so is their growth. While not having traveled to Vietnam only for this reason, I was nonetheless curious about the contrast of old and new. In Germany it takes 20 years to plan and construct a bigger new urban quarter which then is supposed to be homogeneous in itself. In China it seems to happen within 2 weeks. Pictures taken in Chinese metropolises for example by Bialobrzeski show a fragmented space with old and new buildings. So how about Saigon which is the most vibrant city of Vietnam, being also a society with growing economical impact? Well during my travels through the countryside I gathered the opinion that apart from a few people, who live from collecting garbage, people live quite good even though they may not have much money. But they have their house, enough to eat, their scooter, it seems they’re having a good life and much less pressure to migration.
The result is that Saigon is a developing city and yes there is a lot of construction. The picture below shows a street scene of classic houses in the center of Saigon. This is what many of us are searching for when we travel to foreign countries: It is a sign of how people originally used to manage their live for and find a place and an outcome in their society. These quarters may have grown over decades.
Many streets in Saigon look like the above image. Saigon had already grown in the last century. It continues growing. Older and new building mix in the silhouettes.
Saigon still has retained it’s charm. Having its own harmony. People enjoy their city. Night life is pulsing in the older quarters.
In some quarters classic houses of residentials give way to skyscrapers which are part of a bigger economical plan which is in concordance with economical principles. Still the plan has not taken over the individual lifestyles. Maybe, that’s what we call authentically.
Modern buildings grow into the older quarters. Western lifestyle shows up in Chill sky bar. Down in the streets there is authentic vietnamese life. In Saigon you can choose between both lifestyles, or have a mix of it. Like is the architecture. The panorama shows traditional houses as well as skyscrapers. There is a balance.
Have party and enjoy the unbelievable view.
Strolling through the city reading the the streets and people’s faces is huge fun in Saigon. Eat delicious food and the excellent Saigon beer makes it even better.
Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City, how it is called today, is really worth a travel. From Germany you can have a direct flight from Frankfurt. If your lucky you find a ticket for under 700.- €. Be aware to book a direct flight. Flight times are not the total travel times which may sum up to more than one day. Clean rooms with air condition may be found from 12 $ on. I found the nice family driven Long Hostel in the backpacker district using Hostelworld. The hotel owners will give you directions, how to come by Taxi from the airport to the hostel. They also phoned with my Taxidriver and expected me at a suitable place.