Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 119
  1. #1
    Thailand Expat
    katie23's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    PI
    Posts
    4,079

    Saigon, Vietnam nine years after (2005 & 2014)

    I went to Saigon in Dec 2005 for two weeks, during the Christmas (school) holidays. During that trip, I went with my mother. It was my first time abroad. My mother is Vietnamese, and she took me there to see my roots. We weren't able to travel earlier in life due to finances (or lack of it). It was only in 2005 that I was able to see my relatives from her side.

    My mom's family is from the south, so they're not commies. We stayed at my aunt's place in Saigon, near Dien Bien Phu street/avenue.

    This was Dien Bien Phu in 2005.


    Take note of the tree in the middle of the street. It serves as a rotunda/ roundabout.

    This second pic is further up the street. In the first pic, the direction of the vehicles (and the woman pushing the cart) is towards the city center or the 1st quarter.



    I think in the second pic, these motorbikes are still going in the direction of the city center, but this portion of the street is after the rotunda.

    After the 2005 trip, I printed out the pictures, made an album and put captions on them. Good thing I did, since I've forgotten most of the details about the places! I scanned the pics recently, after the trip this year.

    Btw, please take note that my mom wasn't a ho during the Vietnam war. Both my parents graduated from uni (through hard work and scholarships), and they made sure that their kids did too.

  2. #2
    I am in Jail

    Join Date
    May 2014
    Last Online
    03-06-2018 @ 06:26 AM
    Posts
    1,190
    Very interesting, looking forward to seeing the changes if any. Where was your dad from Katie and where did you grow up?

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat
    katie23's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    PI
    Posts
    4,079
    In June of this year, I visited Saigon again. This time, I went with my elder sister and youngest niece. We also stayed at my aunt's place. It was the first time for my sister to see Vietnam as an adult, since when my parents left Vietnam, she was still a baby. I wasn't born yet at the time.

    So anyway, here's Dien Bien Phu street in June 2014.






    This cream/off-white building is still there. It was there too in 2005 (see the first pic).

    Btw, these pics are from my sister's camera. She forgot to change the "year" settings, so all the June pics from this year have a "2005" timestamp. (face-palm moment!) We only saw the wrong timestamp when she downloaded the pics after the trip.

    In the rotunda, they now have a large clock, not just a tree.
    Last edited by katie23; 23-12-2014 at 06:23 AM.

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat
    katie23's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    PI
    Posts
    4,079
    @Fozzy: My dad is Filipino, my mom is Viet, so I'm half-half. Because of my mixed parentage, I look "generic Asian". I grew up in the Philippines.

  5. #5
    Thailand Expat
    katie23's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    PI
    Posts
    4,079
    More pics of the street.



    I don't remember having seen that large Dunkin Donuts billboard 9 years ago.

    This large monstrosity wasn't there either.


    We went inside that McD's and my sis bought a coffee. I asked the staff how long it's been up. During that time it was still new - only a few months. It's only the 2nd McDonald's in HCM. The first one was established in the city center, about 1 or 1.5 years ago.

    Nine years ago, there was already a KFC (and two Jollibee's!), but McDonald's wasn't there yet. Now there's McDonald's and Starbucks. Globalization at its best.

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Last Online
    @
    Posts
    18,030
    Thanks, Katie....
    Hope to see more.

    Being a visitor to Saigon a few times in the last decade or two, I might see a different romantic side of the 60's and 70's city.

    Not the same Saigon that I knew from 1960 or even 1975. Still a vibrant place, yet I might prefer the slighted Graham Greene version.

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat
    katie23's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    PI
    Posts
    4,079
    Years before, there were some small houses in the area where the McD stands now. I remember that my mom brought me there for a walk because she visited some people that she knew. It was the low-cost housing type - not quite shanties but the people had humble homes. I don't know where those people are now, as I forgot to ask my aunt and/or cousin.

    More pics to follow later...

  8. #8
    Thailand Expat
    beerlaodrinker's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Last Online
    Today @ 10:54 AM
    Location
    vientiane
    Posts
    6,521
    Hi Katie
    Nice post and good to see you back, saigons a great city, can you speak any Vietnamese? Looking forward to more, cheers

  9. #9
    Part time poster
    slimboyfat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Last Online
    20-08-2019 @ 04:19 PM
    Location
    Singapore / Kanchanaburi
    Posts
    9,371
    Interesting thread and nice pics.

    I was there in 1996 and it was mostly bicycles instead of motorbikes. Sadly I didn't take any pictures.....

  10. #10
    Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Last Online
    07-01-2017 @ 09:16 AM
    Posts
    318
    Hello Katie. Last time I was there not many autos around.

  11. #11
    Thailand Expat

    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Last Online
    07-08-2019 @ 11:41 AM
    Posts
    36,439
    When I was there I waded through an ocean of motorcycles...Just keep walking forward, don't break stride, and everyone "flows."...

    Never seen so many bikes...

    Fond memories, katie...

  12. #12
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Philippines
    Posts
    17,873
    Hi Kate and Happy Holidays, neighbor! Dave

  13. #13
    Thailand Expat
    pseudolus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Last Online
    18-08-2019 @ 10:50 PM
    Location
    On the range
    Posts
    17,608
    Nice pics Katie. Just out of interest, your latter pictures also have 2005 on them date stamped which is weird as the pictures show cars not around then

  14. #14
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Philippines
    Posts
    17,873
    ^See post #3 above. All will be revealed......

  15. #15
    Thailand Expat
    pseudolus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Last Online
    18-08-2019 @ 10:50 PM
    Location
    On the range
    Posts
    17,608
    Ahhh. I thought it was a camera ghost.

    Anyway Love these types of threads, then and now sort of thing.

  16. #16
    Thailand Expat
    katie23's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    PI
    Posts
    4,079
    Cheers, all!

    A visit to Vietnam wouldn't be complete without pho. This was at a small place/kiosk near my aunt's house. I think pho that time was 20,000 VND. That time, 1 USD ~ 15,000 VND. Mom and I exchanged 100 USD at a money changer. She placed the money in my hand and said, "Now you're a millionaire!". Anyway, here's the pho.



    This year, I brought sis & niece to the same area where I remembered the pho. No more pho, but instead, there's Bun Bo Hue, which is also very good!



    In June, 1 USD ~ 20,000 VND, so 1 bowl of bun bo hue costs a bit over a dollar.





    That's the coffee that sis bought at McD.



    The chairs were low, just ~1 foot (30 cm) above the ground, the table less than a meter above ground. I remember thinking that they're more suited to kindergarteners, and not adults. Definitely not suited for "large mammals" like BLD.
    Last edited by katie23; 23-12-2014 at 08:04 PM.

  17. #17
    Thailand Expat
    katie23's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    PI
    Posts
    4,079
    @BLD: thanks for the greet. I was very busy the past few months and wasn't on TD much. I've read about your visual problems. I hope your eye is healing well? Are you back in Laos or still in BKK? As to language, I speak very little Vietnamese - few words & phrases. Mom didn't have time to teach us the language as she was too busy working when we were kids. So we (the kids) spoke English with her (and learned it in school too) and spoke Tagalog with dad. Btw, dad worked too, but money was tight then.

    @Yemen & slimboyfat: From my parents' pics (late 60s to early 70s), there were lots of bicycles and few motorbikes. In 2005 there were a lot of motorbikes already. This year there are more cars, but still a lot of motorbikes.

    @Davis: Happy holidays too! Good thing our area wasn't hit by the storm too much.

    @pseudolus: Timestamp is wrong on the 2014 pics. I hope all was revealed.

    @BaitongBoy: yeah, it's crazy to cross the streets with all those motorbikes! I didn't dare cross the streets alone!

  18. #18
    Thailand Expat
    katie23's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    PI
    Posts
    4,079
    Then...

    My mom buying oranges


    Now


  19. #19
    Thailand Expat
    katie23's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    PI
    Posts
    4,079
    Then... the Central Post Office



    Now



    Uncle Ho remains the same



    Souvenir shop inside the P.O.


  20. #20
    Thailand Expat terry57's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 02:46 PM
    Posts
    26,069
    I was first there in 96 as well, done quite a few trips back since then.

    The last was 8 months ago. Great spot I reckon.

    Enjoy your trip.

  21. #21
    Thailand Expat
    katie23's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    PI
    Posts
    4,079
    Notre Dame Cathedral remains the same



    The cathedral now



    But then, there weren't these couples having their photoshoots.





    A friend said that wedding couples nowadays usually have 2 sets of clothes: 1 for the wedding (traditional dress) and 1 for the reception (Western dress). Or is it the other way around? I forgot... Anyway, this friend met us for one day (he's Viet but he studied for some years in the Phils, he's now based in another city 2-3 hours away) and he took us around for the day. It was nice to reconnect and it was good to have some local knowledge.

  22. #22
    Thailand Expat
    Scottish Gary's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Last Online
    28-05-2019 @ 08:43 PM
    Location
    Pattaya
    Posts
    1,323
    I visited Vietnam for the first time in March this year. I visited Saigon, Hanoi and Halong Bay. I enjoyed the war sites and Halong was very impressive bit if truth be told I wont be rushing back. I felt like I was being ripped off all the time. Short changed, over charged that sort of thing. I don't mind poor people making themselves a few extra bucks but some times I just felt like I was getting shafted. I became like a paranoid backpacker suspicious of everyone and thats not how I like to feel

  23. #23
    Thailand Expat terry57's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 02:46 PM
    Posts
    26,069
    ^

    Unfortunately it can be like this for the Newbie.

    Took me a few trips to short circuit the scammers.

  24. #24
    Thailand Expat
    katie23's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    PI
    Posts
    4,079
    @Terry57: I've seen some of your travel threads, and they were great! But it seems like nobody is posting pics anymore? I did the trip last June, so yes, I enjoyed it. I might go again next year (time and $-permitting). My aunt is old, and I want to visit her again before... during the past 9 years, two aunts and uncles-in-law passed away, as did my father. It's good I was able to see those two aunts before they passed. Such is life...

    @ScottishGary: I didn't feel ripped off, but then I didn't go to many places during my visits. In 2005, it was mainly to see family, while this year, it was a very short trip (3 days). Also, I look local, so I don't get the farang prices for tourists. But yeah, from what I've read (blogs, etc) Viet people like to overcharge.

  25. #25
    Thailand Expat terry57's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 02:46 PM
    Posts
    26,069
    ^

    Shame about the picture threads death.

    Best part of this forum gone.

    Building threads are holding the fort though.

Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •