“The heat struck first. An overwhelming warmth and humidity that immediately provoked a sweat that balled down my chest and pulled my shirt to my back. Forehead, neck, back and legs instantly damp as my body panicked to cool down while my nostrils tried to find anything that resembled the air I was used to in the overpowering heavy-scented atmosphere. The smell hit next. Diesel, combustion, sweat, decay, incense, grilling meat, frying garlic, rotten fruit, sweet starch, dried fish. Some familiar, others not. Some pleasant, others repulsive, but as one they opened fire on my senses until the third strike, the noise. A relentless, unforgiving, unstoppable din of boisterous, beeping, tooting, choking, spluttering combustion that filled every spare space in my head. My eyes darted to make sense of these manic surroundings. It was impossible. The whole place moved in fast forward. Mopeds raced and zipped in every direction. Cyclos and bicycles weaved and meandered and bullying buses and impatient taxis blasted their horns in an effort to cut through this unremitting tangle of traffic. In an attempted to cross the street, I was rooted to the pavement, totally overwhelmed.”
Click on the thumbnails below and scroll through the photographs for a visual feast of Saigon.