Saigon has a lot of crossroads, so many intersections can’t be counted. Each intersection in Saigon also has its own history and contributes to the soul of this most frivolous and bustling city in Vietnam. Today, I will share to you about a famous intersection from the past until now: “The International Crossroads”.
This intersection is the intersection of 4 roads. This is including Bao Ho Thoai street (now Bui Vien street); Dixmude street (now De Tham street); Galliéni street (now Tran Hung Dao street); Do Quang Dau behind Nguyen Van Hao theater, near the building of the Ivory Tower (Tour d’Ivoire).
We don’t know exactly why Saigon residents call this the International Crossroads.
Why did it become a well-know destination?
At that time, this area had the Nguyen Van Hao cinema. Actresses and actors of Cairojess (traditional music in the south of Vietnam) at this theater. They often come here for coffee before rehearsal, after their performances, and drinks. People who love “Cairojess” (Cai Luong) come here to see the real face of actors without spending money in another way. The business world, running from side to side. Coming here to sit and spread the word of the artists and journalists. Many restaurants serve the middle class as well as working people with all kinds of cakes. For instance: Banh Cuon; Banh Xeo; Sticky Rice; Sticky Rice Wine; Corn Sticky Rice; Black Bean Sticky Rice; Tapioca; Sweet Potato, Meat bread; Nam Vang noodle; My Tho noodle; Pho; Broken Rice, Soy Milk; Tofu; and Banh Khuc… also take advantage of coming here to benefit from the source of honorable guests.
At that time, Pham Ngu Lao Street (formerly Colonel Grimauld) had a section between De Tham and Do Quang Dau. Just only a few hundred meters long, but there were several printing houses. Thus, another street block, opposite Thai Binh market is the printing and publishing area of some newspapers and magazines. The magazines Van, Tuoi Ngoc, Screen, Drama and daily newspapers, weekly newspapers, magazines… mostly live on the money of the printing house. This area has the first music tea house in Saigon named Anh Vu. Therefore, the nearby Pham Ngu Lao and Bui Vien, and De Tham areas are full of journalists wearing four-pocket shirts. At that time, it was common to meet at Vinh Toan coffee shop, the theater journalists, the people who hunted and shot news about the theater, were always on duty there. Soon it became the center of news, from local to international…
International Crossroads were well-know with foreigners
There are no real international people but real Vietnamese people in Saigon. There are so many actors of Cairojess, domestic journalists, and visitors, gather to sit on “coffee-talk” international stories. ). So this intersection is always given a very fancy name by Saigon people: “International Crossroads.”
This area has been known to international backpackers for a long time. Hence, it is always present in any catalog, or world travel handbook when talking about Saigon… Therefore, today the spirit of “international” has still existed here. Tourists from heaven and earth to Saigon all drifted here. The people who played in the time zone of Vietnamese origin also gathered with the Western backpackers to make a fuss 24 hours a day in a corner of Saigon.
One night, let’s leave peace in your heart, come here leisurely. Then, sit down on a deck chair with a glass of beer, and open your heart to your eyes and ears to receive the colors at this international crossroads. After that, we will see the endless richness of our motherland and realize. That both cute and amazing people seem to have gone too far to the other side of peace…
Author: Tue Lang
+ Cairojess (traditional music in the south of Vietnam)
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