September 5, 2009

Saigon 01
In July I went to Vietnam for two days. Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) was till pretty much what I remembered from 2004 when my wife and I spend our honeymoon there. It’s a beautiful city, small compared to some other Asian metropolis but still the most vibrant place in Vietnam.
Saigon 06The city is dominated by the Saigon River and the old architecture which is a mix of French colonial building, Art Deko, and of course the concrete of the sixties and the seventies. The people still seem to be stuck between modernity and tradition which might have to do with the fact that many farmers come into town every day to sell their crop on the street. This is why amongst all the modern cars, scooters and smart dressed people you still see a lot of the traditional cone hats which are so typical for Vietnam.
Saigon 03 The architecture and the people are wht give Saigon its uniqueness and special flair. The downtown are is not that big so it makes sense just to walk around and let the impressions sink in. The way will take you along the central squares, the war museum (lots of nasty American weapons displayed), parks, French villas, hotels with big names, all in an atmosphere that makes you feel like being in another era.

For the photographer Saigon is heaven since the (friendly) people and the historical backdrop make it easy to find what you are looking for. It’s hard to escape the stereotype but who cares…

All images were taken with a Leica M6 on Kodak BW400CN film.
Saigon 04


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