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Saigon noir : Booming, bustling Ho Chi Minh City takes on a more nuanced mystique by night.

Saigon noir

Vietnam's biggest city, a sweltering metropolis of 9.3 million people, is quixotic. Early in the 20th century Saigon was the jewel of French Indochina, at other points a battlefield in the war for independence and the Vietnam War. It reinvented itself as Ho Chi Minh City following defeat to Ho Chi Minh's forces in the American War, as it is known locally. Now it is the country's financial capital and one of the fastest growing local economies in Asia. Traffic is chaotic, with more motorbikes (9 million) than any metropolis on earth, and it is a loud, assertive place located on the Mekong Delta, with a plethora of waterways.

At night it takes on a different personality, and it becomes easier to take in the city's layers of architecture, its eateries and cafes, its districts and nightlife, to meet and talk to the city's residents.

Wandering the alleys and avenues, at times it still feels a little French, at times very Southeast Asian, at times another global metropolis, at times its own unique entity as the commercial hub of Vietnam - a sprawling urban amoeba that takes a few days to acclimatise to, then pulls you in again for future visits.

Ho Chi Minh statue in front of t...
The Nguyen Hue Music Fountain.
The business district from acros...
Restaurants come alive at night,...
Restaurants come alive at night.
Night traffic can be a sea of ve...
Two ends of the HCMC Opera House.
Two ends of the HCMC Opera House.
All of the motorbike drivers nee...
Two dogs recover from their oper...
A luggage seller.
One of the city’s many bánh mì s...
Huyen Si Church, one of the city...
A security guard at dusk.
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Ezra Kyrill Erker 0 Posts

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