Saigon, the former capital of South Viet-Nam, is famous for its colonial architecture, tree-lined boulevards, and exciting bustling nightlife. A few weeks after April 30, 1975, the end of the VietNam War, her name was changed to Ho Chi Minh city. Her liveliness was replaced in subsequent years by an atmosphere of fear, persecution and oppression. Her business infra-structure and capitalistic framework were destroyed by ideological experiment by the ruling regime. Properties were confiscated and collectivized; intellectuals imprisoned in Labor camps, the bourgeoise class sent to New Economic Zones for hard labor; ethnic Chinese evicted from the country; children of no political association to the communist party were discriminated socially and educationally. Deprived of livelihood and individual liberty, humanity was on the verge of Livelihood and humanity were dead.
Not until 1986, when the government embarked on new economic policy did the city showed sign of life. A visit today to Saigon is in effect a travel 30 years back in time. Thirty years of progress were lost, but there is no doubt Saigon and her beauty still remain. As long as human resiliency exists, Saigon will be a most precious and unique place of beauty and humanity.
Ben Thanh Market
Bach Dang Quay