ever changing face of Sai Gon

Published: June 3, 2010
Updated: June 3, 2010

The small hems (alleys) in this city are a never-ending source of fascination. If I get bored with working in my home office the thing to do is head off in some new direction and get lost among the thousands of alleys that criss-cross most residential city blocks.

However, the rapidity with which the hems are changing is quite mind boggling as the older house are being torn down and replaced with larger modern dwellings. Very often, people of poor means in tiny old houses are being bought out by the more affluent because the land is becoming so valuable, especially close to the centre of Sai Gon.

In a way it’s a pity that all the old houses will eventually disappear and an Australian friend of mine, upon seeing the quaint old house below commented, “houses like that should be preserved”. However, that idea is impractical as the population increases and building blocks become scarce.

Apart from that, despite a romantic appearance, most old house would be dismal to occupy, many having no running water or adequate light and ventilation etc.

Old houses like this…

old house

are being demolished every day…


to make way for modern dwellings like this…

new house

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