February 2024
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Deja Vu: Vietnam Part 12 (Saigon Central City)

We continue with Part 12 of the 16 part series Deja Vu: Vietnam. The series of videos is made using Google Earth to focus in on various parts of Saigon and surrounding areas of Vietnam. Then overlaid with video footage filmed in 2007 with ‘fade backs’ of videos and photos going back to various time points in prior years. Some all the way back to 1882 Saigon.

Now in Part 12 we’ll continue our visit around the central city area of Saigon visiting the other end of Tu Do Street, Saigon Basilica, Post Office, U. S. Embassy, Zoo and Presidential Palace. Then with each of the following parts of the series we’ll be travelling around the central city area of Saigon and Cholon. Then travel to areas outside of Saigon and back to Tan Son Nhut Airport for departure from Vietnam.

Each of us lived in Saigon at different times during the years from the mid-1950’s to 1975. Because of the span of time we lived in Saigon, different parts of the series will mean more to each of us … but, they will all trigger memories and experiences of your time in Saigon.

Enjoy …

A Born To Wander Production

Did you ever visit the Zoo?

I remember a bunch of us would sometimes go there in the afternoons and hang out.

What do you remember about the Zoo?

Do you remember the Post Office and the Pho and food stands in front of it? Did you eat at them? What was your favorite food from them?

Did you ever wonder how many cars smashed into the back or sides of the Basilica? I don’t ever recall seeing such and accident. But, cars, trucks, cyclos and other vehicles always seemed to be speeding around the Basilica … so I’ve always wonder did any of them smash into it …

Did you ever attend Mass at the Basilica? Or, view the inside of it? I never did, but now I wish I had as I’ve been told it is beautiful inside. In fact, I’ve never even seen pictures of the inside of it.

Do you remember the old Palace? Were you there when it was bombed? Which did you like best … the old Palace or the new Palace? Personally, I always thought the old Palace looked like a Palace … the new one just looks like a government building … to me anyway … lol

Interesting the old Palace was originally named after the King of Cambodia, isn’t it? Also, the compound where American Community School was located was named after the King of Cambodia. There is some interesting history about this, which I’ll write about in a future article for the Blog.

How many U. S. Embassy buildings do you remember? During my time in Saigon there were two … the Embassy building that was destroyed after 1975 had not been built while I lived in Saigon, so I never saw it … except in news clips. What do you recall most about the U. S. Embassy from your days in Saigon?

What other memories do you have of Tu Do Street?

As always, you are welcome to leave your comments below.


If you missed the previous parts of the series, you can view them here:

Deja Vu: Vietnam series Archives

2 comments to Deja Vu: Vietnam Part 12 (Saigon Central City)

  • Ken

    Ya know, Bob, sometimes I think that I’m the only one that gets on this site almost daily to check and see what or who is new. Anyway, just wanted to say I am thoroughly enjoying these trips down memory lane. Not being a Catholic or a person involved much with religion, I never entered the cathedral, but drove by it often on my hot little two-speed green Puch moped.
    I was at home, I think, when the palace was bombed and I agree with you, the old building was much nicer. I am one of those old farts who believe that not everything needs to be new and modern. I like dark wood, leather, low lighting….hate glass, steel, and while walls. Matter of taste, I know, but there it is.
    I do hope you plan on putting all of the segments on a CD and letting us buy them. To sit and watch and listen to all segments will be a thrill. Think about it.
    3 more weeks in Frankfurt and then I head home and I’m ready. Be good and take care. Ken

  • Admin

    Hi Ken … Yes, I know what you mean about site visits and ‘participation’ … 🙂

    It does seem to get lonely here sometimes … lol … but, the interesting thing is that, according to the site stat logs, anywhere from 60 to 80 Saigon Kids visit the site daily … they read, they surf around and they enjoy the Blog … but, only a few participate and contribute to our little ‘virtual community’ …

    Having said the above, it does not really surprise me though … as I have so many web sites that I’ve lost count of exactly how many … lol … but, it seems to be the same on all of the Blog sites … manyyyyyyyy visit and enjoy reading and looking … but only a few contribute and participate …

    Perhaps this will change over time as more and more Saigon Kids discover that we all really DO still have a lot in common besides our days in Saigon as kids … we all still have a lot of common interests … sitting here as Admin of the site, I see a lot that otheres don’t … and it ceases to amaze me how many different people in our group are into things in their lives (today) that other members of the group are into also … common interests … 🙂

    If more folks would contribute Posts and Comments … sharing what is going on in their lives … I think they would find that a lot of us are into some really neat and interesting things … and a lot of us have many common interests … that would really be fun to share and enjoy with each other …

    Time will tell what our little ‘virtual community’ Blog develops into … but, one thing is certain … it will develop into whatever we Saigon Kids “make it” … just like our little community in Saigon so many years ago (that gives us all these memories) became what we “made it” … so shall this Blog become the community that we “make it” … 🙂

    While doing research about Saigon I’m finding it kinda sad to discover how much of the old French Colonial Vietnam has been destroyed … some on purpose, some by war, and some just to make way for modernization, etc. … I suppose it is like Mimi said to me once “rarely do memory and reality meet” … 🙂

    Thanks for your continued support, participation and contribution to the Blog, Ken … much appreciated! 🙂


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