The images of Saigon girls in Ao Dai on a bicycle or sitting behind a motorbike on the street have been an icon of the city's culture & beauty. Those images partly reflect the simple beauty in the lifestyle and personality of the Saigon people. Let's explore Saigon in this article.
I - Overview of Saigonese
Ho Chi Minh city, also known as Saigon, is one of the largest cultural - economic - political centers in Vietnam. This 300-year-old city is full of both modern and ancient beauty. Once, it was considered as the "Pearl of the Far East '' with lots of tourist attractions, scenic spots, historical relics, etc. Through a long history of development, Saigon has accumulated a unique beauty from the harmonious interference between many cultures such as Khmer, Vietnamese, and Chinese.
Saigon in 20th century - Source: Mat Biec
Most of the people in Ho Chi Minh city today are immigrants, mostly from the 17th century and a part of the Chinese to reclaim and establish hamlets. There also existed a part of the Khmer ethnic people left after the Angkor Empire declined. Although coming from many different backgrounds, Ho Chi Minh city people have lived in harmony together.
The peaceful coexistence and exchanges of cultures have created a colorful Saigon with many significant characters such as a high sense of community, simplicity, and openness. Thanks to the diversity in languages, beliefs, cuisine and costumes, you can always discover a "new thing" hidden inside this city.
II - How about Saigonese’s characters, lifestyle & habits?
1 - Character
Open-mindedness and friendliness are the most typical characteristics of people here. No matter what color you are, or what belief and religion you follow, the local people always welcome and respect you without hesitation. It is not difficult to make friends with Saigonese. If you are lucky enough, you can meet a "free local tour guide" as well. Early exposure to Western culture partly helps people to have an open view of new things in society which creates a dynamic, enthusiastic, friendly, and sincere image of Saigon people in the eyes of tourists.
People are so "Fairplay". To experience this one, travelers need time to contact and make friends with the locals. Their enthusiasm in treating friends can be seen clearly when you use the accommodation and breakfast service at homestays or hostels.
2 - Saigonese lifestyle
A vibrant city built from energetic people who are always "work hard" and "play hard".
They are not afraid of difficulty and willing to face the external changes of life. That is the reason why Saigon has gradually become one of the major economic centers of Vietnam.
Source: Hung Tran
As mentioned above, the Saigonese usually work hard and play hard. They enjoy every moment in life. Nightlife in Saigon, therefore, has a lot to see. The night vibrancy comes from the crowded streets, the long flow of young Saigonese walking in the night market, the food strollers, the sounds of cups & glasses clashing to each other, the laughter of people & tourists… making up a "never sleep" city.
There are some activities that you can enjoy with the locals such as exploring Nguyen Hue walking street, Hanh Thong Tay night market, Bui Vien street...
3 - Habits of Saigonese
Drinking coffee in the morning habit of the locals has gradually become a culture. Coffee shops at every corner of the city are crowded with customers from early in the morning, which makes it seem like the breakfast of people here is coffee. Sipping a cup of iced coffee with condensed milk and chatting with friends or colleagues before a hard-working day is the way of enjoying life.
It might be a big mistake if we talk about the Saigonese habit without mentioning the "drinking" culture. They aren’t fussy about the location, drinks or dishes but like to have a space to gather and chat.
Cold fresh beers accompanied by some sour & spicy dishes on a small table, with some friends sitting on small plastic chairs from late afternoon to midnight are one of the most typical images presenting about Saigon's culture & lifestyle.
III - Impressive pictures of the Saigonese
Some impressive images of the local people here:
- Along the small streets, at the hidden corners near the famous attractions, you can capture a plenty of street food stalls and food strolleys selling tons of local dishes. This is one of the most typical images about Saigon's culture & Saigonese.
- Drinking after a working day:
Gathering with friends over a cool beer:
Beer streets, beer clubs, bars & pubs… are always full of guests visiting every night. Enjoying life & having fun together like Saigon people do might make international tourists surprised & impressed.
- Busy traffic: No matter if it's early morning or late at night, you can feel the hustle and bustle of the city. That is also the rhythm of life of the people of Saigon, creating the feeling of a city that never sleeps.
Saigon is a beautiful city, and the Saigonese are so friendly & hospitable that makes this city one of the best places to experience in Vietnam.