It’s seems there isn’t any other place that has the cultural diversity as beautiful and unique such as that in Saigon. The city is filled with people coming from different backgrounds, they carry with them individuality in their ways of living, how they eat, wear.
From how Saigonese enjoy their coffee, reading morning paper to their everyday gossip, we can see a city that has the characteristic unlike anywhere else. In all of the diversity, alley culture is amongst the most prominent one.
Saigon doesn’t have the Old Quarter as in Hanoi. But in return it has alley ways keeping tracks of people’s everyday life, all of which creates an unique, strange, busy yet interesting atmosphere.
Hao Si Phuong is the name of the alley which is located at 206 Tran Hung Dao B, District 5, Sai Gon. It’s recognizable by the vivid blue color of the two walls right at the entrance. The name Hao Si Phuong has many meanings relating to Vietnamese words, such as Hao as “chivalrous”, Si as “poet” and Phuong means “community.” These words are important means of expression in Vietnamese culture.
The alley is separated into two different areas, the ground floor rows and houses on the first floor. Houses that blend both modern and traditional architecture along with playful colors are the main character of the alley.
Most of the people here are Chinese Vietnamese, together with their families they created a distinct living atmosphere in Saigon. The alley is like a hundred years old apartment, the houses are decorated with Chinese characters and details.