Week 15/52 “Saigon” – Selections

Sorry for the sudden absence to those who follow the blog but I have been away on holiday to Saigon and KL over the past 11 days with three my friend’s . I did not have time to post or edit the images from my trip whilst away so the blog got left behind…

I found Saigon exciting and photographically, a gold mine. It took me about a day or two to get used to the amount of data and information Saigon has compared to Perth. But once I got acclimated, I started to shoot 😀

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Bui Vien

Word of warning about Saigon… There are lots of bikes… and I mean a hell of a lot! They weave in and out of traffic with ease, magically avoiding cars and each other.

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I highly recommend getting on the back of one of the Grab or Uber bikes to get around. It cost less than a dollar to get around the City and it is way fun to do.

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There is an internal rhythm of the City by the way traffic works in Saigon, it is quite a sight to see.

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I could also feel an entrepreneurial spirit from the Vietnamese people. Lots of corner street food stalls, make shift start up joints and people selling small goods on the streets.

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Fruit cart seller on the street

One of the things that really blew my mind was that I found no begger on the street. Everyone sold something or provided a service rather than ask for a handout. I could feel a sense of pride and work ethic embedded in the culture.

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Shoe shiner in Bui Vien

Being born and raised in the Philippines I couldn’t help but compare the two asian cultures. The Philippines doesn’t have the unity or drive to better one self which I have observed from the Vietnamese. The place is full of corruption, syndicates and crime. (although the Duterte seems to have slained most of the drug dealers) It is filthy and chaotic. I do plan to visit sometime in the end of the year to see family. Doubt the place has improved but photographically it is an interesting place to shoot.

Anyways, back to Vietnam. We mostly stayed in Saigon except for a bus trip to the Cu chi Tunnels where we learnt the brutal history of the Vietnam war. The Vietcong were an innovative bunch, brilliant engineers and creative/scary trap makers. Great to see the innovative mindset has been transferred into the creation of new types of Vietnamese food these days 🙂

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An example of the tunnels made by the Vietcong. This one has been modified to suit the “western” body.

If you haven’t visited Saigon, get yourself there! We were able to get return tickets for about $210 aud flying with air asia. Absolutely ridiculous. Already looking forward to doing it again next year but with less partying and more photographing.

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Finally my justification or little blurb about the featured image. I chose the image as felt  it evoked a dark undertone, which I see as a reference to the Vietnam War. Although the City I have visited is now bustling and full of life, historically there has been alot of death, destruction and displacement of the Saigonese when the American’s lost the war. Lots of people from Saigon who supported the allies fleed and ended up in America, Australia and other countries, most not being able to track or see the families they have left behind. Just a sad reminder no one really wins a war.

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