The Streets of Saigon

I am back home now, but have much more of my trip to Vietnam to share – that trip will probably be the topic of several posts to come. In case you might wonder, the “we” used in my posts is not the royal “we”, but referring to Gep, Kat and myself.

Although the official name of the city is now Ho Chi Minh City, we learned while we were there that the residents of Vietnam still refer to it as Saigon, which is a much less cumbersome name and so is what I shall use from now on. In my generation, Vietnam still conjures up thoughts of the conflict that took place there from sometime in the 1950s into the mid 1970s – the name change of Saigon to Ho Chi Minh City makes me question what was accomplished during that conflict. Were all those lives lost, all the grief suffered by the people of the country and our returning soldiers – grief that carried on for many for the rest of their lives – in vain? P1030290
There appears to be quite a lot of poverty and we suspect the hygiene is not always the very best based on the amount of trash on the streets and the innards of some of the businesses, but the people survive and earn their livings as best they can.

The motor scooter appears to be the most prevalent method of transportation
and we learned that if you wish to cross a street, you must take advantage of whatever gap you can find and go, go as if you own the world. They will swerve to avoid you. We did not find street crossings with signals of any kind.
In the streets, vendors pop up in unusual places, with many kinds of offerings. For instance, dinner?

The day after I arrived, while we waited for Gep to fly in, Kat and I wandered the streets. There is much contrast from one area to another, from very “lower” or “middle” class neighborhoods
where we came upon this group of people and asked if we could take their picture
and they asked Kat to join them
to the more affluent areas.

There is more to show about the streets of Saigon, but I think it’s time to take a break. This is “enough” for now, don’t you think?

About Carol

I'm me - nothing unusual, just me. Widowed, 2 grown children who are my best friends, 1 dog, retired, loving being retired. I am woman, I am strong.
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11 Responses to The Streets of Saigon

  1. Robin says:

    When I think of Vietnam, I think of the conflict, too. The streets look very colorful and very active. Looking forward to exploring some more with you. 🙂


  2. Motorbikes seem to be the preferred mode of transport in all of Southeast Asia, Carol, including here in Nanning, China. I guess they’re economical and the weather is such that it’s not often cold enough to prohibit their use. You do have to be bold and cross streets in the midst of the chaos. I’ve heard of some people getting hit, but most of the time you’re right: the bikers do a good job of avoiding pedestrians. I only made it to Hanoi but not to Ho Chi Minh City, so it’s fun to see it through your eyes. 🙂


  3. Angelia Sims says:

    How wonderful to see the other side of the world in our photos. It looks fascinating! I did not realize the name of the city changed. I guess I never put it together. WOW. I’m excited to see more. 🙂


  4. orples says:

    Fifty years ago, the wars raged in Vietnam, and now look. The smiles on the people’s faces gives me hope that one day maybe the whole world might be able to live in peace.


  5. Karma says:

    Welcome home Carol. I’ve been enjoying experiencing a very different culture through your eyes and camera.


  6. Oh my gosh — what vivid, color-filled photographs. Thank you so much for the virtual tour – I love it!


  7. Lisa says:

    Just finished catching up on your trip photos. What an amazing experience! I look forward to seeing more of the country in future posts. So happy you are home safe and sound. 🙂


  8. Heather says:

    Love your travels! Wondering how communication went. Does Kat or Gep speak Vietnamese? Also, there’s a wonderful episode of the BBC show Top Gear where the guys venture to Vietnam. You might enjoy it 🙂


    • Carol says:

      No, Heather, none of us spoke Vietnamese, but many of them spoke at least some English. Otherwise, it was like charades, and it worked.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Heather says:

        This gives me hope! Some day I’d like to make it to the East. A few big places here, and Iceland, beckon first though. I don’t come from a family of travelers, so I am often interested in the how-to details.


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