Alright, I’m back with the rest of my on-going adventure in Saigon. If you haven’t read the previous post, it might make a bit more sense if you check it out Living in Saigon #1 before you pick up here. I’m not going type out the whole intro thing here again – that was a one-time thing! But yeah, Saigon is an interesting place! I think you should have got that idea if you saw the previous post. Back in the first part, I covered a few interesting landmarks, and some other almost-touristy sights that I still feel were definitely worth photographing. I also love shooting the streets here, and I included a few of that type of shot back there too. I don’t really have a plan on what I want to share here – it’s not like I’m following a theme or a flow here – but I’ll try to give you the best possible overall view of Saigon as I can. My future self has probably taken better shots of the city by now, but until he updates this post, stick with these for now!
Alright, so once you’ve checked out the previous post, and you’re back with me here, let’s have a look at the rest of my best work on the streets (and other parts) of Saigon:
I think this photograph depicts my biggest trouble with the entire country…the language. English is hardly spoken in Vietnam…and Vietnamese is probably the hardest language to learn, in the world. I’ve been here a long time now, and my vocabulary consists of probably 10 words…and even those are not understood by locals when I speak, due to my bad pronunciation. Ah well…anyway, yeah, I like this shot
One of the little stalls in the night market area in District 1…a touristy place, with vendors seriously trying to rip off every foreigner they lay eyes on…my camera wasn’t helping. The color of this shop really made the shot, I think
On the more dingy side of the city, the backpacker area…this little alley is home to quite a few little pubs haunted by the cheap tourist or expats. They’re not bad at all though…and cheap. Just keep your hands on your stuff, and avoid the guys selling weed (unless you want it ?!)
Maybe this is the most famous landmark in the city…Ho Chi Minh City Hall – beautifully lit up at night, and looks pretty even by day. Built in 1908…yes, by the French. They probably got the bricks from France for this too. Beautiful building
Remember the church? This is just in front of it, a very popular sidewalk area where people come to hang out and drink coffee/snack. I’m not quite sure what’s so popular about it, but especially on weekends, the entire sidewalk is packed. And yes, this is the sidewalk. There’s hardly any room to walk. Large, crowded…great atmosphere
This isn’t my best shot, but you need to know how crazy this place can be. Motorbikes whizzing past you on the sidewalk while you’re attempting to peacefully walk along…that’s normal. There’s no relief when you finally cross one of these traffic-light-less streets and get on to the sidewalk…the danger is pretty much the same. As I said before…who says sidewalks are for pedestrians? Not here
Like I hinted at above, crossing the street can be quite a challenge here. These two ladies took it quite easy, and yeah, it was a pretty empty road at the time. But I’ve learned to always be careful around here…and look both ways, twice, before I cross…you never quite know when something’s gonna appear out of nowhere and run you over
You see these everywhere in the city. Little cafes on the street…very French again. They’re super cheap, and really good…some places are especially good. And local service is wonderful…best in probably all countries I’ve been to. I guess I should add here that Vietnamese people are some of the most friendly, and foreigner friendly, people I’ve met…so it’s not really surprising that the service in any restaurant or cafe is superb
Another feature of the city…many parks. They’re not huge. In fact, most of them are rather small. But they’re there…and they’re good for the city…polluted as it is…and it’s great for the people. Many people come out to these little parks to hang out, again mostly on weekends (it gets pretty crowded on Sundays) – and yeah…they’re good places to sit down and watch the world go by – and also a great place to grab some candid people shots
Ah, the view from my apartment. Truly breathtaking. I’ve taken countless photos of this view, and they all look pretty good, but after a while, they all start blend together and look the same. So I decided to go with something different: a black n white film shot of the view…taken on my Canon P rangefinder, on my No. 1 black and white film, Fuji Neopan Acros 100. Pretty city, isn’t it?
Alright, that’s it from the Saigon series. Again, to avoid losing your interest with an overload of images, I kept it to these…nine…ten…however many pictures found here. This part has more of the street life of Saigon that I love capturing so much – along with a couple more building pictures – and some other stuff!
Maybe you’re starting to get a feel of the place by now. Surely you are? That’s about as good as I can do, I’m afraid! Unless future me has some much better work that he hasn’t shared yet! Anyway, leave a comment if you have any – any thoughts or questions – and if you’re visiting Vietnam, do contact me if you have anything to ask about the place before getting here
From a photography point of view, if you’re going to be shooting here, prepare for the streets and the architecture. Outside of Saigon, the beautiful landscapes are something you’d want to shoot too, but in the city (for me) it’s all about the streets, and to some extent the buildings. Any sort of camera with a mid-to-standard focal length lens will be fine for most of the street work, while a wide-angle would be nice for the buildings. A good compact camera works too!
Alright, that’s all I have for you here. I hope you had fun viewing it. I certainly enjoyed shooting every single one of these. In fact, I vividly remember the moment I snapped pretty much every single one of these shots. Leave a comment, as I said before, for anything you have related to this post – and I’m out! I’ll leave you with something I did a while back, when I was really bored…and I knew I had to do it some time, living with a view like this…anyway, have a look…enjoy! Until next time
Time Lapse – Sundown in Saigon
Until next time
Technorati Tags: photography, saigon, vietnam, ho-chi-minh-city, street-photography, architecture, black-and-white
By Heshan Jayakody
All content in this post is my own. Some of these images, plus others, are available for sale on my 500px store