Pictures of Saigon

I’ve posted some pictures of our stay in Saigon on my Picasa website for your viewing pleasure.

Sigh. I know I should have worked harder to post pictures faster. As it was, I had to refer back to my posting that contained our Vietnamese itinerary to remind myself what we were scheduled to see in Saigon. Here is the relevant section:

Pick up by your guide after breakfast for a tour of this dynamic, bustling city with its historic landmarks. Wander along the former French Colonial streets and stop for photos at the Notre Dame Cathedral and the 1880’s General Post Office, then visit the Former Presidential Palace and followed by a quick drive to the War Remnant Museum to have a feel of Vietnamese history and people. End the day at Saigon’s ‘twin city’, the Chinese district of Cholon, to enjoy the bustling wholesale quarter of Ho Chi Minh City, Thien Hau temple built by Cantonese Buddhists at the end of 18th century.”

So what did we actually see? The church in the pictures might be Notre Dame cathedral but I’m not sure. I remember stopping in the General Post Office and thinking they had done something clever with it, but can’t remember what. There are several photos of the Former Presidential Palace, but I can’t recall what it is called now. There are also a number of pictures of the War Remnant Museum. It used to be called something like the “Museum of American Atrocities” or something like that (I can not remember too clearly) but that name tended to put off the tourists, so the name was changed. I can not remember visiting Cholon at all, but I am delighted that the itinerary may have  put a name to the Buddhist temple that I took several photos of, but then again, I can’t be sure. Sigh.

You have to love a city that erects a statue to Tran Nguyen Han, whom our guide told us introduced carrier pigeons to Vietnam. That would explain the statue of Tran Nguyen Han releasing a pigeon while galloping on his horse, but somehow that does not seem to be a sufficient reason to erect the statue in the first place. I did a Google search and learned from Wikipedia that Tran Nguyen Han was a general under Le Loi, the man who drove the Chinese out of Vietnam in 1427. Now erecting a statue of a general on a horse has occurred to others, but this does not explain the pigeon. If someone knows or can find the full story, I would appreciate it if you posted a comment.

One of the last photos illustrates what I was trying to describe in my “Personal Vehicles” post. Can you imagine carrying three German shepherds on the back of a motorbike? And it looks like there might be room for one more!



1 Comment

  1. Kris said,

    December 10, 2008 at 9:02 pm

    Not Notre Dame–St. Joseph’s Cathedral. The Post Office building is an architectural relic from the 19th c., lots of brick, steel and glass as only the French put it together. The former presidential palace is now “Independence Palace” or “Freedom Palace”–more a public park than a residence. We saw a lot of heavy traffic and walked quite a bit–maybe you were focused on staying alive rather than on the sites? The old, sleepy Saigon was prettier and less noisy and polluted; traffic is now a terrible phenomenon, although we didn’t see any crashes. We ate some wonderful meals, tho, and I especially enjoyed a shop selling old posters. Wartime propaganda was quite effective; too bad the posters were so expensive. I don’t think you should be apologetic, Tim; there are times when a photo doesn’t capture an experience, and maybe Saigon was one of them. I’ll never see shrimp again without thinking of Vietnam…

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