HCMC Dining Guide

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Hood

I've had a couple requests for pictures of the neighborhood around my apartment building. All of the pictures I've posted since moving have been from the 24th floor or the roof, so here are some ground-level shots.
the highway along the canal featured in previously posted pics

that's my complex in the background

These were taken during the hottest part of the day so things were pretty quiet. Normally there are more vendors, etc. around.




  1. You've moved into the apartment block that was my nightmare. I pray you haven't got the same landlord. Be aware that, when you move out, you will need to have the landlord present to supervise. Otherwise, the security guards will not let you leave. This is an apartment rule, not a landlord one.
    One good side of living there - travel up Cao Dat until you get to the t-intersection. On the left is the best chicken rice I've ever had. Much of the food along that street is very good.

    1. You're kidding! I don't think we have the same landlord as ours is a very sedate middle-aged man, but I'll keep that in mind. Noted on the chicken rice - I've been dying for a good plate of that. I agree that there is some pretty good food here.

  2. Nope, different landlord, but still ... ;-)

  3. Is your family, friends and loved one doing OK with the recent hurrican Isaac went through New Orleans area?

    Thanks for showing us the surrounding ground areas of your complex. As I was looking at the photos, I was shock at all the electrical wires that just hang in mid-air. Is that safe to be walking underneath all those wires?

    Also, what I find interesting is the three high-rise buildings locate right next to these small old looking houses. Are the locals live and have their business right in their houses? What a different between the haves and have-nots in VN. Do these little houses even have electricity, I wonder?

    Does you landlord own all three buildings? Do you pay rent in Dông or U.S dollar?

    It is definitely an eye-opener for me to see the contract in the lifestyles. Thanks again for posting these photos.

    1. Yep, everyone I know in New Orleans is fine, thankfully.

      Wild-looking electrical wires are standard here, some streets are much worse than this. As the city has expanded the power company hasn't kept up with keeping cables orderly, and they are only just now getting around to it. It is perfectly safe to walk under them. Just Google 'Saigon electrical wires' to see more dramatic examples.

      Contrasts like this are also normal here, and indeed in almost any developing country. Locals do live in those houses, and some of the businesses double as houses. And they most definitely have electricity, pretty much everyone in Saigon does. Those houses may look simple from the outside but people here put a lot of money into interiors- you'd be surprised how many families have big-screen TVs and other luxury amenities. Even more striking examples of haves vs. have-nots can be found in other parts of the city. Seeing a Rolls-Royce drive past a beggar with no legs isn't out of the ordinary.

      Landlords only own individual apartments in the buildings, while the complex as a whole is managed by a company. I've always paid rent in USD, as foreign exchange bureaus use better exchange rates than landlords.