Jim Chevallier's Web Site




Saigon is not a beautiful city. Some of the older buildings left by the French are handsome enough, notably the City Hall and the main post office, and recent development has brought some shiny new office buildings and big hotels:

But if you get beyond the Dong Khoi district, you will find many less fresh looking buildings:

often with sidewalks outside that are buckling, missing pieces, etc. Even in the less attractive areas however you will find surprising examples of what one reporter called "Bauhaus". I can't say if these lean, stylized buildings that look like they are made out of Bakelite are legitimate examples of that school, but certainly many would seem more at home in parts of Germany than in Southeast Asia. I ended up photographing a number of them.

There are also buildings that seem nostalgically European, without quite being something one would actually find in Europe:

I only noticed one fire escape:

The dim shape in front of the ladder is a mesh tube running through metal rings (open on the side facing the ladder).