HCMC Dining Guide

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Saigon in Bloom

On Tuesday I parked in District 1 and wandered through the 23/9 park flower market before making may way to the Ham Nghi Flower Street. The flower street is normally held on Nguyen Hue, but since that thoroughfare is currently a massive construction site the tradition has been moved a few blocks over. This is the most beautiful time of year in Saigon: the skies are clear, the temperatures aren't too hot (yet), and the city is awash in the colors of Tet flowers and ornamental trees. I don't quite understand the significance of the various flowers and plants, but nearly every house has at least two pots of mai flowers placed out front. Some families go all-out and buy trees worth hundreds of thousands of US dollars. Say what you will about Tet being diluted by modern technology and culture, but the tradition of floral decorations is alive and well.

The flower market was bustling with activity, as foreigners ogled and snapped pictures while sellers looked out for potential customers and trucks and motorbikes delivered yet more flowers.

The below picture caught my eye as a good example of how the traditional and the modern mix in Saigon.

Ben Thanh Market is all dolled up for the arrival of the Year of the Goat.
The Flower Street was similar to past years, but with goats thrown in. As usual the beautiful display featured a wide range of visitors, from expats and tourists to families and teenagers taking endless selfies.
Flower Street entrance

model metro train
I'll end this post with a picture I simply got a kick out of.


  1. Do you what percentage of saigonese have left town? Are the street deserted? And are there any businesses that are open?

    1. I have no idea what the percentage is, but I would guess a solid majority have left. The streets are quiet but far from deserted, and most businesses are closed but there are still some restaurants and stores open. It's not a ghost town.