HCMC Dining Guide

Thursday, August 4, 2011

See you in September, Saigon

The second picture I took in Vietnam.
Tomorrow night I leave for a month-long visit to the U.S., first to Pittsburgh, and then to New Orleans. This will be the longest period of time that I've been outside of the city I now call home since arriving here on September 12 of last year. Saigon has changed a lot in that relatively short time period, as any regular reader of this blog should be able to tell. Stores and restaurants have come and gone; the traffic has gotten noticeably worse; and, on a personal note, good friends have also come and gone.

However, the most dramatic changes have been wrought on Saigon's skyline. To illustrate, below are some pictures taken from my first couple of months here, compared to pictures taken within the past few weeks.

The red arrows indicate the sites where two skyscrapers were just getting going. The Bitexco Financial Tower, in the middle, was two days away from opening.
October 29, 2010
One quick note: this was taken after I figured out how to take night shots on my camera, hence the far better quality. Notice how much taller the building are now. The one on the left is the M&C Tower, on the right is the Saigon Times Square.
July 22, 2011
Now, two different shots taken from the 23rd-floor bar at the Sheraton Hotel. Again, the first picture was before I got to know my camera, but you get the picture.
October 25, 2010
Times Square building in the left foreground, M&C in the left background. The sleek BFT, the second-tallest building in Vietnam, stands in the middle.
August 2, 2011
There are numerous other locations around the city where empty lots, or low-slung buildings, have been transformed into the skeletons of tall buildings during my stay, but these two are the most prominent. I'm sure Saigon will have changed plenty just in the month that I will be away.

This will be my last post from Vietnam for a while but fear not, loyal readers (all three of you), for your intrepid blogger will continue to post from the U.S. I've had some ideas kicking around my head that I haven't taken the time to put to paper (By paper I mean Microsoft Word.), and I'll surely have some interesting America vs. Vietnam comparisons to discuss at some point. That is, assuming the F.A.A. doesn't collapse thanks to the incompetence of Congress, leaving me stranded at Tokyo's airport. Take care.

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