The Old Saigon – A perfect city for living, isn’t it?

Today, tourism is a normal thing. But more than forty years ago, it sounded strange ear with a boy. Go tell my mother heard, she said: “These days who travel for the wealthy as well unless he tenders. Three of the children have traveled in Danang, but from ten years ago, now where to go and bomb afraid of guns! “. Then she just a plastic bottle with a strap, said packaging vessel carrying drinking water to three worn on the shoulder when I hit the road. My mama told an aunt, a teacher of retirement have gone a few places, but really tour with tour guide, out to Hue, to Hong Kong, Japan Bon and the pride that the whole family. But that was the early 1960s.

Animal traveling from Saigon mostly I just know that. Friends gather in the outing, make recovery before 1975 each house ham hang around in Vung Tau also am going way back. Much into it to Da Lat, Nha Trang is the best place. Saigon during the war, people live more and more difficult, the fight has yet hardly any one dared go.

Perhaps the real tourism in the South before 1975 is still incipient, fledgling whether the organization has the people going away, but really with the program. Read more than half a lifetime damage, early 1960s Mr. Vuong Hong Sen to meet me from Soc Trang to Saigon to visit Angkor and organizers just an acquaintance, car hire, transfers and accommodation and eating a bit excess money from individual contributors. Interspersed with the tour companies take guests hang formation but list very poor destination: domestic tourism organization only to Da Lat and Bao Loc Vung Tau, Nha Trang … Offshore with Angkor, Japan Bon, Hong Kong …
Prior to that a little time, in 1959, with a tour company formed and can be seen as the first company specializing in tourism of Vietnam. Investors are Nguyen Van Liem, the Hoan Kiem studio specializing in Japanese film and also the owner of two popular spot frequented by writers to be consistent La Pagode, commonly known as The Temple bar and restaurant Freedom in downtown Saigon. The company named Saigon Service Center (SSC). At that time the capital of Saigon, after signing the Geneva Agreement was also stable for several years, war has not spread, Nguyen Van Liem visionary, think that the situation will change, Americans and foreigners into South Men eat more to make up the’d taken the lead in providing travel services for foreigners and Vietnam both wealthy.

Shortly after its founding, the board outlined a development plan is quite attractive. First, the company organizing the trip each day walking around the city of Sai Gon – Cho Lon – Gia Dinh, visit the sights, monuments, museums for visitors to Saigon Tourist. Means is fleets ten the white paint mark TRI-Lambretta Italian Lambretta in Saigon by company imports about. This is a two-stroke machine vehicles, tricycles, comfortable fabric that aisle up the middle, open to be able to observe the scene. The shape of this vehicle resembles electric cars to run in the park, but only three wheels. Car side with those words “Sai Gon sight seeing.” Vehicle price per aircraft at that time only about 35000-45000 copper, easy investment because slight capital.

Following transfer service jaunt around town and then, the board of directors further considering the larger plan. First, companies associated with service at the Thanh Da Club Nautique. This type of entertainment underwater club from the French colonial period, regularly organized water skiing, cruises on the river by canoe. The club also has three restaurants serving guests. Company providing access to, go on canoe hire scenic Saigon River, Nha surf out to eat fish, eat fruit to Lai Thieu, see potter …

Due to open up new service dragging buyers, not massively. At that time, the company is thinking of a bolder plan. Adviser in charge of European Affairs Doan Mau fact that he sent a letter in English to Mr. Hugh Hefner, the Playboy magazine dedicated to the famous American men. Letter company Mr. Hefner proposed joint venture project with SSC on building a Sandy club – tourist resort with private beach for foreigners in Tho Chu Island, Southwest Vietnam. Some time later, there was an American named Clinton, representing Mr. Hugh Hefner looking to the Government Office South Vietnam understand investment conditions. Tin ears President Ngo Dinh Diem, who is a Catholic, feudal origin. He furious, demanding imprison anyone dare draft open invitation Playboy publisher travel categories such company. Mr. Kha Thuy Chau recalls Unfortunately the letter only to the company name, no one specific signature, should escape!

Until 1970, though still difficult because of the war, tourism has been recognized as purchasing power has grown gradually. According to Le Thai Khuong in The Tourist, a third engineering college in Vietnam, in 1966 the number of foreigners spending in Vietnam is 29 billion at the time. To 1967 was 47 billion and estimated 1968 was 50 billion.

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