What’s On

Take a final look at these Saigon sentinels before they're gone forever

By Quynh Tran   July 9, 2017 | 11:11 am GMT+7

Standing imposingly for hundreds of years old in the city’s downtown area, these trees will have to make way for a bridge that will connect the city's new center.

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For years, these big old trees have stood along Ton Duc Thang Street in Ho Chi Minh City’s District.

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But they will soon disappear when Thu Thiem 2 Bridge starts going up across the Saigon River to connect District 1 with District 2.

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Last week, the city’s legislators decided 143 trees will be axed and 115 will be replanted between August this year and May next year.

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The trees will be used for timber.

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Last year, the city removed 14 trees from Ton Duc Thang Street to build its first metro line.

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For locals, these trees offer shade and a space to earn a living. “They've been here since my grandfather was just a kid. I’ve been fixing motorbikes under their shade for more than 20 years. It’s sad they're going to be cut down,” said Thanh.

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Workers have their lunch under the canopy of the trees.

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Planted by the French colonists, most of the trees are now 25 meters high, running in four lines along the street.

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The city will spend VND7 billion ($308,300) lopping down the trees to build Thu Thiem 2 Bridge, which will span 1,465 meters from District 1 to the Thu Thiem urban area on District 2's Thu Thiem Peninsula, a new financial and commercial hub.