Vietnam 100 years ago: Saigon impressions


The climate is excessively hot, and necessitates most special care being taken of one’s health. From the middle of October to the middle of April it is exceedingly rare for a single drop of rain to fall.

Then, again, at other times of the year it will rain continuously, May being as a rule the most rainy month. During my stay in Saigon the thermometer registered 102 degrees Fahrenheit in the shade.

Saigon, the capital, is about 50 miles up the river Dong-Nai from the sea. The river is wide, and navigable at certain states of the tide for vessels up to 8000 tons. It is an absolutely unique town of over 20,000 inhabitants a veritable little Paris !

Some of the public buildings are magnificent. Such buildings as the
Palace of the Governor – General, the Cathedral, the clubs, barracks,
hospitals, Post Office, and various public edifices show how carefully have been safeguarded the interests and the comforte of the various officials by a thoughtful Government.

Not only is the architecture of the exteriors beautiful one might almost say magnificent but no expense has been spared on the internal decoration and comforte.

Walking along the lovely boulevards alive, some of them, not only with vegetation as well as French life one might readily imagine oneself in a good-sized French provincial town. What could be more exquisite than the Zoological Gardens, or the Town’s Gardens.

In the Place de 1’Opera are placed several really Parisian hotels and cafes, where one can sit out of doors and listen to charming music. Almost every evening also there are military or naval bands performing in the public squares.

The finest building in Saigon is, I think, the Opera House, which cost two million francs, and is subsidised by the French Government for six months iu the year. In it one can hear the very best of grand opera.

Text: Gypsy
To Jeih Pun, the land of 3850 islands, and elsewhere
Publication date: 1907
Topics Japan – Description and travel, Philippines, Indochina
Publisher: Aberdeen – Aberdeen Daily Journal
Photo: old photo from internet


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