Photography by Dennis Phan





Cinema  發達之人 <百萬千金> 甄珍 主演




The next stop after Nha Trang was Saigon, former capital city of South Vietnamese Government

during the war. The ship docked at Phu My Port approximately one and a half hours drive from

Saigon depending on traffic.


Our first stop was my wife neighborhood in 5th district at the intersection of Nguyen Tri Phuong

and Dong Khanh, now known as Tran Hung Dao B. Nguyen Tri Phuong street in front of her  unit is now an overhead freeway bridge. It took us a while to make sure we were at the right place. The building itself doesn't change a lot. We still recognized it and found our way to her unit. Due to the expansion of the street, the sidewalk is now a lot narrower. We walked around the immediate neighborhood which used to be a popular night market known as La Kai Street Foods. It was my wife favorite place for her snacks after dinner. We didn't know if the night street food market is still there since we didn't stay overnight in Saigon. Hao Hue theater is still there but is now serving a different purpose.


After visiting my wife neighborhood, we went to Hoa Binh Market not too far away to see my house currently occupied by my relatives. When I stood in front of the house, I was still not so sure if this was it. The ground floor is now rented to a nail salon. If I didn't see the street number and my relative there, I wouldn't dare to come in 'cause I thought it was somebody else house! My relatives rebuilt the house to make it taller to conform with surrounding neighbors. The house is taller but it lacks natural sun light the way it used to enjoy. I walked from the ground floor to the top with mix feeling. The house I lived for 3 years from 1971 to 1974 suddenly looked so strange to me. The site is the same but the house is very different. I tried to picture a young teenage boy in that house back in the 70's but had a hard time seeing it. My relatives walked me around the neighborhood to buy durian and to try street food. The neighborhood looks so crowded now with lots of vendors on the streets making it not accessible by cars. Only motorcycles can go through. It was not that way in the 70's! I really miss my spacious and relatively quiet neighborhood back then.


I had lunch appointment with my old Khai Minh (KM) classmates in Saigon. We spent over two hours in the restaurant reviewing our pasts. Hieu, one classmate I haven't seen for 43 years but thanks to face book connection, we still recognized each other when we met. Hieu found our class information

from Khai Minh website and requested Hang Quoc Trung, the web master, to connect us. I thank Mr. Hang a lot for that favor. It was a long 43 years but our friendship stays the same. We had lots to catch up in those long years! Due to miscommunication, we missed one other KM classmate from Australia who was also in Vietnam but was not in Saigon on that day. I also chatted with other friends on the phone and still had a good time with them. Friendship are wine are two of many things that get better with age!


A stop at Saigon was mainly a memory seeking trip. We did it and we got back to the cruise ship

on time ending our Vietnam visit. We were heading to Cambodia for our next port.






Dennis Phan   潘家墉

Khai Minh, UCLA and Investools Alumni

Los Angeles, 25 May 2019






















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