Around Saigon

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Guest Book

2008 Trip

Journal of our trip July - August 2008

Friends old and New

China Beach Danang

Fishing in Danang

Hoi An

Mui Ne

Mekong Delta

The Alley

Around Saigon

Park, Water Puppets, Circle Sportif

Ben Thanh Market at Night

Cholon Market

Ana Mandara - Dalat

Church of Saint Marie - Dalat

Crazy House - Dalat

Around the University - Dalat

Around Dalat


Around Saigon
In Saigon alone there is so much to see and experience. I have here many photos of people and places around Saigon. This is my fourth trip since 2001 and I have yet to see the Fish Market. This is a large market that does all itís business between 11:00PM and early morning. It is where the hotels and large restaurants get their seafood. There are other things to find like charities who run schools and orphanages. And many people in business. Museums and art and the people. Take every opportunity to say hello you will meet wonderful people. People who you will talk to for a moment and life long friends. Everything is here and waiting to be explored.

Under Construction. I will be adding to this as I get organized and go through all my photos.

This little girl is at the An Linh Free School where Chau and Tran are now studying and living.

This is the way breakdowns are handled in Vietnam. You get out and fix it then back to work.

Two engineers doing some survey work on Dong Khoi Street.

This building was the opium processing factory in the days of the French. Now it is an upscale restaurant. unfortunately it was closed when I arrived so I can not tell you how good it is.

The opium processing factory above is in a courtyard. You enter from the street through the arch above. It is a beautiful little area.

Hoa, whose name is really Ut Nho, which means little sister, and I went to the zoo one day. Here she is feeding an Elephant. How many zoos do you know where you can get this close to the animals?

This mast and the small building that is the base of it is all that is left of the Saigon Yacht Club. Started by the French it survived while the Americans were there. I am not sure what will replace it but the mast remains.
The concert
I mentioned, in my Journal, that Hoa took me to a concert. It was very interesting. Some of the acts had performed in the USA and in Europe and had recorded. There was a woman who sang traditional music, Hoa likes traditional music. There was also a man who was a well known songwriter. On stage, at this moment, are two comedians. The two little girls were paying some attention to the performance but more attention to one another.

I went down to Khanh Hoi to see the area where I stayed when I was there in 1969, after I left the army. On Hoang Dieu Street is what used to be the Saigon Port Building. It had been a hotel and, except for the cockroaches, it was a nice building. If you read the story ďI never even knew her nameĒ it is here that it happened, or didnít happen depending on how you look at it. The front of the building was now a deli, of sorts. This young lady was there and when I got the camera out her smile increased so I took her picture.

This temple is a few doors down the street from Miss Dung's house. When we stopped there it was filled with bags of rice and other things. I thought it was being used as a warehouse but Miss Dung told me that tomorrow was Buddha's Birthday and all this would be given out.

This small temple was just down and across the street from Miss Dung. It looked abandoned and like someone wanted to make a house out of it but the alter was still inside.

This lady was looking at some photos I had of her street during the war. It has changed much. Soon her grandchildren were looking as well.

One of the grandchildren of the lady above.
The man holding the ladder is a security at the travel agency. I do not know why they need a security however in Saigon every business has a security officer. The man here does things like change the water bottle when it is low or hold a ladder as he is doing here. There are three free internet consoles here and as a person leaves he straightens out the keyboard and pushes the drawer in. Then he pushes the chair in and makes sure it is straight. I noticed this and when I get up I center the keyboard and mouse and push in my chair and make sure it is straight and centered. The man noticed this and he always has a smile and a hello for me now.
Notice the small stand the man is working on. It is crooked and the ground is uneven. The man is making an addition to the stand. He does not take the stand to where it is level and straighten the stand out. Instead he is building the addition in place and it will also be crooked and uneven.
White Dragon
Near the Cholon Market is this fountain with a White Dragon in it. I had taken a photo of this years ago.

I also liked this building and took a photo. I think I had taken a photo of it years ago.

A lady in the street in Cholon. She was courious about the camera so I showed it to her and as she looked I took the photo.
Drum and Bugle
As I walked through the park I heard a drum and bugle corps so I went to investigate and found this group practicing.
The Temple
I asked my very dear friend Miss Dung (pronounced Yung) to take me to the temple. One morning she came early and we went. This is one of the alters and we stopped at each. She had purchased incense and as we went from alter to say a prayer and leave incense. She said one stick or 3 but not 2.
Another alter in the temple. The colors are all so fresh and bright.
Miss Dung at one of the alters. She told me that she prayed that I would find a good job.
Miss Dung purchased some fake money and papers with prayers on them. Now she lights them and puts them in the Crematorium. There they will burn and the smoke will carry the money and prayers to heaven to the benefit of the ancestors.

This is a beautiful new building that looks much like a villa. A lot of stairs, balconies and patios both enclosed and open.
Catholic Church
This large Church stands across the park from De Tham street.
Alter of church above. The halo is neon. The church is a little dark but very beautiful.
The Church from the rear of the North side. As I walked around the Church there were people in an adjacent building and the singing was so beautiful that came from that building.
Kinh Do
Kinh Do is everywhere. It is the Tasty Cake of Vietnam. There are stands on almost every corner of busy streets. Most are not storefronts but rather a group of these display cases. From 3 to 10 make a Kinh Do stand. As many as there are and as big as some are I am surprised that I never see more than 2 or 3 people there to buy at one time. Maybe I am just there at the wrong time.
This is inside the gates of the monastery behind the temple that I wrote about in my journal. If you see an area that is interesting just go to the gate or door and smile and look in. Someone will either welcome you in or shoo you away. In this case I was invited in and was shown the monastery. A monk poured me tea and we had a nice chat.
A meeting room inside the Monastery.
The alter which we sat next to as we had tea and chatted. Other monks came and went and all smiled and said hello, as well as a lady who had come to worship.
From the Rex
As Miss Dung and I sat on the roof of the Rex having dinner on the Rooftop Garden we looked down to the intersection of Nguyen Hue and Le Loi. We remembered that it was there on a traffic island that we met 7 years ago and we each remembered the words that we spoke then.