“Saigon River has the Thu Thiem ferry, Bach Dang wharf with the merchant boats busy transporting goods, it is a difficult image to fade in the memories of Saigon people.”

Saigon River played an integral role in the development of Gia Dinh village (A.K.A Saigon) since the 17th century. In the past, before the development of the road and traffic system, people from the South of Vietnam traveled to Gia Dinh by boat via the Saigon River for business or leisure purposes. They sailed along Can Gio beach to Nha Be River, and then took a right turn into the Saigon River to reach Gia Dinh.

In the 18th century, the Saigon River became well-known among those in the region since Gia Dinh became a popular trading port, where ships from China, Malaysia, the Netherlands, and Portugal stopped to load on Vietnamese agriculture goods and silks.

And when the French colonists built a port by the Saigon River to make it an essential stop in the trading routes between Europe and what was then “Cochinchina”, the riverbanks became engaged and the city soon began to flourish. This is when Saigon became known as “the pearl of the far East”.

With #SaigonSensation to find old Saigon moments from photos along the banks of the Saigon River over the years.