Old-world charm of Saigon

Architecture from days long gone dot HCMC'S city centre and are in need of preservation.

Pierre Semere & Kieu Giang on July 10,2018 03:13 PM

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From any window or balcony of the heritage building, visitors can admire the beauty of the lotus-shaped Bitexco Financial Tower from different angles.

Pierre Semere is a French photographer and documentary maker who calls Vietnam his second home and has great respect for the country’s landscapes, culture and people. He has recently found interest in discovering and honouring the beauty of HCMC’s heritage buildings, in the hope of helping to raise awareness among local people about the protection and preservation of historical values and showing the city’s unique beauty to the world.

‘As a French photographer who has settled in HCMC for about two years, I naturally have a deep passion for heritage and its preservation,’ he said.

With the help of his wife, the photographer has had the chance to discover historic structures, buildings and other places around the city. ‘There is poetry coming out of these places; they are full of colours, life and uniqueness,’ he said. ‘The unique fusion of Vietnamese and French colonial architecture adds something not found elsewhere in the world and gives the city its identity. I hope the government will preserve it all and I will do my best to promote it through exhibitions and new projects in the future.’

The following photos captured at four buildings on the corners of Dong Khoi, Ly Tu Trong, Nguyen Hue and Ton That Dam in the downtown area have given Pierre special memories from feeling the touch of time and the vibration of the senses of old Saigon and new HCMC mingled together.

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