Thursday, April 23, 2009

Rubies in the Dust

There are quite a few hidden little areas around the usually humming and swarming District One, if you know where to look. Just behind the Saigon Bus Station wedged behind the thoroughfares of Pham Ngu Lao and Ham Nghi Streets, is a group of tree-lined roads that seem a mile out of the busy city centre. Look around Le Cong Kieu, better known as “antique street”, Pho Duc Chinh and Le Thi Hong Gam where there are a number of little street-side cafés, vendors and other bric-a-brac shops to explore. There’s also the stained, dirty yellow façade of the Ho Chi Minh Fine Arts Museum, which has fallen into some disrepair of late, beckoning a quick perusal and nothing more. Rather head into the courtyard to the Blue Space Contemporary Arts Gallery for a much more impressive example of Vietnamese art. For some more original and highly sought-after art, head to Mantra where the artists' stylish creations range from rare-gemmed jewellery to good-karma inducing yoga mats and leather laptop bags. Stroll down “antique street” and bargain with the shop owners over trinkets or treasures and then stuff yourself at the massive 500-seat Din Ky buffet restaurant.


"Antique" coins from "antique street"

Lost music: Old instruments for sale

Street-side shoes 'n helmets

not all that glitters is gold...

Security guards playing some kickball in fron of the HCMC Fine Arts Musuem

PS: I'm on holiday for the week in Hoi An, Nha Trang and Mui Ne, so I'm not sure any more posts will be forthcoming this week, but look forward to some photos and stories next week, including the awesome Vietnamese cooking course we had today.

8 comments:

A Girl in Asia said...

Sounds like a great pocket of D1 - will have to check it out!

layered said...

Great photos -- very difficult to do in those dark shop interiors!

sarah said...

your photos are rather good! what camera do you use? have a good holiday! think of us slogging away :p lekker baai

henno said...

Yeah, it`s also under a large tree canopy so most of the area is really shady.

Layered: Tell me about it, I`m a shaker and I don`t have a tripod so I`ve gotta try extra hard for those low-light shots not to come out all blurry.

Sarah: It`s just a ``mik en druk`` - nothing special :)

Slyde said...

those are some great photos!

henno said...

Cheers Slyde :) BTW - that post about the conversation with your mother was outrageous. I still think about it and chuckle.

Miss T said...

okay so did you do a photography course or what?

henno said...

Haha, no not really but thanks :)