Saigon’s Famous Streets and Squares: Me Linh Square

The square known today as Quảng Trường Mê Linh has been home to five different monuments since its inception in the 1860s.

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A Throwback to Saigon's Original Tramway Network

As ever-increasing levels of traffic congestion and air pollution turn many of Ho Chi Minh City’s road junctions into choking bottlenecks, many hopes are pinned on plans to construct a new urban railway network in the southern metropolis. Yet urban railways are hardly a new concept in this city, which was once home to one of Southeast Asia’s largest urban tramway networks.

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Ancient Tombs of Saigon: The Mass Grave Under Dan Chu Roundabout

Saigoneers living in the vicinity of District 10’s Dan Chu Square may be aghast to discover that their homes could be sitting on the city’s largest mass burial site.

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80 Years of Vietnam’s North-South Railway Line

September 2, 2016 is an auspicious day in the history of Vietnam's railways, marking the 80th anniversary of the completion of the “Transindochinois” or North-South railway line.

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The Lost Railway That Once Connected Da Nang and Hoi An

One hundred years ago, visitors to Tourane (Đa Nẵng) could alight from their train right outside the Hàn Market and, after crossing the Hàn River by ferry, take a steam train all the way to Hội An.

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The Saigon-My Tho Line: Indochina’s First Railway

Inaugurated on July 20, 1885, the Saigon–Mỹ Tho line was the first railway line in French Indochina.

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The Changing Faces of Saigon Railway Station, 1885-1983

Travelers arriving by train in Hồ Chí Minh City sometimes express surprise that the main Saigon Railway Station is located in Hòa Hưng, some distance from the central business district. In fact, this is the third railway terminus in a city where each successive station has been built further away from the river.

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The History of Hanoi's Lost Tramway Network

When they first drew up plans for a citywide tramway network in 1894, it seemed as though the Hanoi authorities would follow Saigon’s example by opting for steam traction. Yet, by the time government approval was forthcoming in 1899, advances in technology made it possible to construct the entire system as a state-of-the-art, one-meter gauge electric tramway.

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Icons of Old Saigon: The Belt Canal (Canal de Ceinture)

Commissioned in 1862 to facilitate French gunboat access around north and west Saigon, the Belt Canal was never completely navigable.

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Travel Through Time With Saigon's Street Names

Before 1975, Saigon took its street-naming pretty seriously. The city went through a French phase, of course, during the early 20th century, when most of its roadways were dedicated to European historical events or prominent figures. But after the First Indochina War ended in 1954, Saigon was keen to rename its streets to better reflect local history, scrubbing the remnants of French colonialism from its street signs.

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Icons of Old Saigon: The Pont Tournant (Swing Bridge)

Many people are familiar with Eiffel's Pont des Messageries Maritimes (Cầu Mống), yet few remember its neighbor, the Pont Tournant (Swing Bridge), which was built by Eiffel's successor company Levallois-Perret in 1902-1903 and stood close to the entrance to the Bến Nghé Creek for nearly 60 years.

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