March 2024
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Deja Vu: Vietnam Part 7 (Saigon Central City)

We continue with Part 7 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 7 we’ll continue our visit around the central city area of Saigon visiting Saigon river front and Ben Nghe stream (1920’s) gateway to Cho Lon, My Canh Floating Restaurant, June 28, 1965 My Canh bombing, Saigon’s Club Nautique (old French Yatch Club), Susan’s house (lost lovers reunited), pre-war U.S. Embassy, March 30, 1965 car bombing at old U.S. Embassy. 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

What are your memories of the My Canh Floating Restaurant?

Do you remember eating there, and how if you did you were guaranteed at trip to the Clinic the next day?

What are your memories of the French Yatch Club back in the 1950’s (and before) ?

Does anyone have any old pictures of the French Yatch Club in it’s hay-day, before it was allowed to deteriorate?

What are your memories of ‘lost loves’ left behind when you departed Vietnam?  Were you able to reunite with them in later years?

What are your memories of the old U.S. Embassy?  Did your parents work there?

As always please feel free to leave your Comments below and share the memories and experiences this area of Saigon brings back to you … about your time in Saigon.

Stay tuned for Part 8 in a few days … to visit more of the Saigon central city area, Ben Thanh Market, Le Loi Plaza and other interesting places in Saigon  🙂


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

Deja Vu: Vietnam series Archives

6 comments to Deja Vu: Vietnam Part 7 (Saigon Central City)

  • frank stoddard

    Whenever the subject comes up about the “Floating Restaurant”, I totally think of Delia and Christy (and wine). I think Ken mentioned that our stay was a short time in Vietnam, but so many great memories! ….and you know the girls were so darn good looking…and…oh!….and so very smart also!
    What was the district called just south of the floating restaurant, across that bridge!… Where the ships would pull in….that you may find an American teenager hanging out…away from their parents. There was one great French Restaurant there…the Guillaume Tell.

  • Admin

    Frank … Khanh Hoi district is across the bridge in the Cho Lon area … lol

    Frank … I think the docks across the bridge you are referring to, are the Saigon Offices of Messageries Maritimes. More commonly known as “MM docks” and “MM Building”. MM was evicted from the building in late 1964, to after the war, when it was converted into the Ho Chi Minh museum.

    I have several pictures and some history about MM and the docks, which I’ll be showing on the Blog as time goes on … 🙂

    But, I’m sure you’ll remember that immediately over the bridge on the right side of the street there were 20 or so bars, almost side by side, and us guys would get as many guys together as we could … go across the bridge … park our motorcycles at the bridge … then walk to the far end of ‘bar row’ … lol … then the ‘game’ was to drink a Ba Muoi Ba in each bar … and, whoever made it back to the bridge … or, usuallyyyyy … who ever made it the closest to the bridge was the winner of the game … lol … I remember one night we played this game, and the German Ambassadors son (I think it was him, but I’m not certain … I was in a bit of a fog myself … lol ) … got back to the bridge, got on his Harley, fired it up … then went to make a U-turn to head back over the bridge to Saigon side … BUT … he mis-directed himself and went down the steps (on the side of the bridge) leading down to the river … and, stopped just short of the water … lol … fortunately he was not injured … but, it was fun fun fun getting his Harley out of the mud and back up the steps … lol … It was also, difficult explaining to my parents how if I had gone to a party (as I told them I was doing — and which I did do, before the ‘over the bridge party’ …) why was I covered in MUD … lol … when I got home. As I recall I told them something to the effect of … one of the guys went off the road on his motorcycle and into the mud, so a bunch of us helped get it out for him … (honest, but just left out some of the ‘detail’ ….lol ) … this also explained why I was soooooo late getting home that night … lol As my grandfather used to say, “God, protects drunks and babies” … lol

    Yes, Frank, I’d agree … Saigon was filled with girls with “brains and beauty” .. 🙂

    Yes, it is awesome, how most of us only spent a very short time of our life in Saigon… YET, sooooooo many memories that have stayed with us for sooooooo veryyyyyyy longggggggg … very awesome! 🙂


  • Ken Berger

    Thanks – this brings back many memories. After graduation in 1964, I worked for the embassy as a clerk. I was allowed to stay with my mother when my brothers were evacuated in February 1965. I worked around the corner in the Embassy Annex, less than a block away from the Embassy. I was in the annex when the embassy was bombed. In addition to the Vietnamese casualties, there were two US casualties – a civilian employee and a Navy seaman. Two Vietnamese police, who were guarding the embassy along with the bombers, were also killed. Apparently, the very short fuse on the bomb did not allow the bombers sufficient time to get away. The bomb blew out most of the embassy windows and did some damage to the annex because the bombers parked the car along the side of the embassy closest to the annex. Not much was left of the car (its rear axel and engine were about the only identifiable pieces that remained.) The embassy was repaired and the windows replaced with glass like bricks to make it safer. A larger exclusion zone was established to prevent future terrorist acts. I returned to the states to start college in June of 1965.

  • Admin

    Ken great comments. Thanks for sharing 🙂


  • Tom Abreu

    We ate at the “floating restaurant” a lot more than at Cheap Charlies. I have a few pictures of my parents and me taken by their photographer. My favorite is them toasting their 8th anniversary.
    My Dad used to take me to the “Bird Watchers Club”
    and drink a few Bommy Ba’s with his Air Force buddies. We lived at 17 Pham-Dang-Hung St for a little over 20 months between stays at the Majestic Hotel. There was a school across the street and we lived next door the French Family the Peugeot’s. Our rent was VN$ 10,000 a month.
    I know this because my parents never threw anything away from our time there. I still have the red Sealtest can that I used to make a pencil holder for them Christmas of ’61. I don’t remember what my dad did there but was in the Air Force and went to work in a PAN AM jump suit… We had a driver that took a bunch of us to school named “Quee”. I remember that I liked a blond girl who rode with us named “Ginny”. The guy that used to bring our drinking water was killed shortly after we left trying to blow up an C-124 at Tan Son Nhut. My last memories of Saigon were watching the “fireworks” at night from the balcony of the Majestic across the river which I later found out were the tracers from gun fights
    and the look of relief from my parents when that white PAN AM 707 pulled up to take us back home.

  • Admin

    Tom … Great comments. Thanks for posting and sharing with all of us.


    PS: Please ‘Register’ on the Blog. You’ll be able to use more features and functions then. Go to the Menu over there on the right —> under LOGIN, click on “Register” link. Fill in the info requested to register. Also, you might want to register on the Photo Gallery too. Then you can post some of those old Saigon pictures you have in the Photo Gallery. I’m sure everyone would love to see them.

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