Saturday, January 31, 2009

Friday, January 30, 2009

Tết as seen on Nguyễn Huệ st

Each year Nguyễn Huệ st is traditionally set up with flowers, scenes from rural Vietnam and the animal from the Vietnamese zodiac for that year. This year they included a pond with a single pole bridge, which had many people (myself included) waiting to see if any urban kids would lose there balance and fall in. My patience wore thin after 5 minutes so did not see if anyone failed the bridge test

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Monday, January 26, 2009

Year of the Water Buffalo

In the Vietnamese zodiac it is the Year of the Water Buffalo

Year of the Ox

In the Chinese zodiac it is the Year of the Ox

Year of the Cow?

In the metal art world it could be Year of the Cow

Happy New Year

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Fake Ochna integerrima

The part about Tết I relly like is the attempt to have the yellow flowers, Ochna integerrima, bloom on the stroke of lunar New Year. This tree, and most you find in HCMC, are actually fake flowers tied on to dead sticks with wire.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

1892 map of Saigon

On the opposite wall to yesterdays post is a map of Saigon in 1892, which highlights the two current day districts 1 (original Saigon - at middle right, next to the river) and 5 (originally called Cholon and home to many Chinese - at bottom left). If this map were updated to present day it would be completely covered by roads and show roughly a quarter of HCMC's size.

Friday, January 16, 2009

1936 map of southern Vietnam and Cambodia

This map is painted on the wall inside the General Post Office. A reminder of the French empire of the time

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Inside the General Post Office

With its grand colonial history (Gustav Eiffel was the architect) the General Post Office is among the most visited tourist sites in HCMC. The main hall is quite spectacular and flooded with natural light. The post office is also famous for one of its employees, Dương Văn Ngộ, who has spent the last 60 years helping locals and foreigners alike. You can check out the history of the post office and Ngộ's story here

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Lan Hạ bay, Cát Bà island #13

This is the last photo in the Cát Bà island series. I actually took these photos last May and have been waiting to post them while I have been out of the country on holiday - apologies to those who thought I was taking them daily! To all those who have been commenting sorry that I have not had a chance to reply to most of your questions. If you ever get the chance, head over to Cát Bà island and check it out. In my opinion the island, and Lan Hạ bay in particular, is much better than their overhyped cousin Hạ Long bay
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