Siagon   Leave a comment

The city of Siagon conjured up images of exotic mystery. Does it live up to the hype? We arrived in Siagon at 05.00 after a seven hour over night train trip, in which Kerry attempted to sleep and failed. I edited photos. For a major city the streets were surprisingly empty. Immediately it struck me, even in the early hours, the city was for more affluent than Hanoi. The streets looked cleaner, there were more skyscrapers, more shopping malls and the residents were better dressed. Our hotel was smack bang in the centre, in district one. The street we were located on had shops of every possible variety. Barbers, hair salons, art shops, clothes, every conceivable resturants, books, stationary, gifts and electronics. It reminded me of a UK high Street 25 years ago, before out of town shopping centres took all the trade. The street sellers in this city shuffle and mubble around trying to sell fake lonely planets and cigars/cigarettes. Scooters were again in abundance…..everywhere. The French influence is evident is some of the older architecture. It was a welcome surprise to see a classy colonial style residence amongst the standard Vietnamese concrete construction. We stumbled across a very British feeling church while trying to find a coffee shop complete with neon halo. From the outside shot you can just see one of the huge shopping malls in the distance. Did Siagon live up to the hype? Yes and no. It was an interesting fusion of France and Asia with some American influences thrown in for good measure.  However more and more I see cities around the world becoming standardized, even westernised with familar global tech, food and hotel brands all available. I’ve seen this even in my short 20 years of travelling the world. What a difference our parents and grandparents must have seen in thier lifetimes of travelling! It was a welcome break to get out of the town to visit the Chi chi tunnels. It is only when we travelled out into the sticks did we see the real countries.  Not many photos on this post due to heavy rain again and when you’ve seen one mall you’ve seen them all.  I did get a stunning shot of the sunset as we flew over Vietnam en route to Malaysia though.

 

Stefan Palmer

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Posted 19/11/2011 by Stefan Palmer in Vietnam

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