Saigon Dep Lam – No chairs week in Bui Vien Street

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So, the police have been cleaning up Pham Ngu Lao in preparation for Re-unification day on the 30th of April. This means making all the vendors, hawkers, food stalls and street bars either close up or stop using the sidewalk entirely (even the part they are said to “own”). This pretty much takes all the fun out of Bui Vien street, and most of the tourists decided to retire early to their hotels.

But the young Vietnamese community which thrives on this bustling hub of street-side meeting places refused to be so easily deterred. The shops put out newspapers and cardboard the first couple of days, but after a while they even purchased nice rubber mats for people to sit on more comfortably.

Despite this, the air was slightly more sombre than I would have expected for a busy Sunday night last night so I thought I’d inject a little Saigon spirit into the crowd and I dragged my speakers out onto the balcony and blasted just one song to the crowd below – “Sài Gòn Đẹp Lắm” by Wowy and Nha. The response was awesome. Sorry about the shaky video. I was too busy dancing to take good footage !

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