When we went last night to see what’s happening in Saigon during Christmas, we saw utter and complete chaos at least from my viewpoint.
We could hardly cross the street because the motorbikes were muffler to muffler. Motorbikes came from everywhere spilling into the sidewalks more as they tried to veer away from the traffic along Dong Khoi and Pasteur Streets.
The Notre Dame Cathedral was bathe in light which just attracted locals and tourists to have their photo taken. Most locals brought their bikes, parked in front of the Cathedral and just hung out. Crowds convened in front of Vincom as well — that it was almost like a bazaar. The cotton candy man was present and some vendor was selling rice delicacies:
There were 2 kinds of traffic as we made our way down to the river along Dong Khoi St. Vehicular traffic which you can easily avoid by just deciding to walk — and it was actually nice viewing the decors from shop to shop on foot. The second type of traffic is photo-0p traffic. People just had to stop walking until a group of people finishes their shot in front of a store, a tree, and whatever symbol or decor that signifies the holiday season. It was actually becoming funny as we went along. Saw someone had her photo taken with a shop window behind her complete with twinkling Christmas lights with the sign: SPA, PROMO, SALON. It was hilarious. I tell you. Anything with twinkling lights attract photo opportunities!
If you decide to check out what’s happening during Christmas day in Saigon, just be extra careful. My husband was accused of stealing some local woman’s mobile phone while we were in Vincom Center. Upon seeing that my husband was with a family, the woman suddenly backed off and said sorry. Tsk tsk. What was that all about?
We also saw the above scene in front of the Notre Dame Cathedral. It was some kind of religious ceremony with the photo of the the Divine Mercy (left portion of the photo) propped up. I’m familiar with the Divine Mercy but I’m not familiar with the prayer going on.
Eden Mall shrouded in black netting, as it is being prepared to be torn down, was some reminder that amidst the festivities, the world doesn’t stop turning. I hope something good will eventually stand where Eden Mall used to be.
So today is Christmas Eve and I bet the excitement in District 1 heightens to a fevered pitch tonight. Last night was a bit overwhelming, yes, but I still love the fact to be amidst the Christmas rush which I have been missing out in Manila.