Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pedals to Porsches: Saigon's transformation

Last time I was in Saigon it was four times more developed than the trip before. That was almost four years ago, so I'm curious how much more steeped in capitalism it is now. I heard it's brimming with millionaires who stick out like sore thumbs in their Porsches and Bentleys, weaving through the throngs of mopeds. Less than 20 years ago bicycles ruled Saigon's streets. Perhaps some of today's well-to-do were yesterday's pedal-powered commuters.

An obvious measure of Saigon's change is the car to moped ratio on the city streets. I'm not talking about the luxury editions from Japan and Europe, just regular automobiles. More and more Saigonese can afford them but the city streets cannot; most were never built to accommodate the volume of traffic they get today.

I can't wait to see how the city has changed since 2006. Will I be devoured by mopeds as always, or will my taxi from the airport have to yield to Maseratis, Mercedes, and Rolls Royces? Can't wait to see.

1 comment:

  1. Cool shot! I remember when we went, what a blast that was. Tell Si's nephew I still remember my scooter ride, it was one of the highlights of the trip! Have fun, send more pics!