Hao Si Ward – A Peaceful Corner In The Heart Of Sai Gon

Hao Si Phuong, a solitary corner in the middle of Sai Gon. This is the story about my retrospective journey back to Sai Gon.

Aboard more than 10 years ago. Suddenly in Vu Lan Holiday, I woke up early, look out the window to feel the bustling atmosphere and somehow, want to go back to Sai Gon, especially District 5, where I was born and had lived at in a while. Without any anticipate, there are some spots just popped up in my head naturally, such as Cho Lon, Xom Cai apartment, Vai Soai Kinh Lam market, Nguyen Trai – the street of fashion, An Dong Plaza market area…and the most important part of my childhood – Hao Si Ward.

Hao Si Ward – A peaceful corner in the heart of Sai Gon

Hao Si Ward location

Hao Si Ward is the name of an alley at 206 Tran Hung Dao B Street, District 5. This road is quite crowded with people, but in the middle of the busy life, there are not many people recognize there is still a place of peace, quietly located in the heart of Sai Gon. Hao Si Ward - This 100 years old street is like a quiet oasis separated from the noisy life outside. In the past I had a friend in the first class, who living here with his family, so I had the opportunity to come over, but now if I be asked which one was his house, then the answer would be a moment of silence and a blank memory.

Hao Si Ward - A peaceful corner in the heart of Sai Gon

What is Hao Si Ward’s name meaning?

The name of the alley is quite strange, ‘Hao’ means chivalry, ‘Si’ is in the writer. Because chivalry and literature are the virtues maintained by the Chinese and taught to descendants, they must be "generous" to help others and must have "writers" to build literary lifestyles, culture, real "artist", the word Ward is in the trading market. Through chatting with Ton, a person who has lived here for more than 50 years, this property was formerly owned by uncle Hoa (Hua Bon Hoa), uncle Hoa built this house and leased it from the early 20th century. And the Hao Si Ward name was given by him as well.

Hao Si Ward - A peaceful corner in the heart of Sai Gon

Hao Si Ward’s routine

I’m not approve or deny the statement about ‘the Chinese bring the noise along anywhere they go’ because I have never actually met a Chinese who come from China. But I only know the Vietnamese who leaving here has the origin from China, and this is one of the quietest, most peaceful and nostalgic streets that I ever been in Saigon. Still that lifestyle, there is something a bit messy, something a little fancy, is still the culture of clothes hanging on the corridor, the morning coffee habits, talking together is something identifies the Chinese that I once knew.

Hao Si Ward - A peaceful corner in the heart of Sai Gon

Hao Si Ward’s appearance

At present, some of the houses in this area have been repaired, renovated, have a new look, more modern colors. But there are also many houses retaining the original architecture with dark yellow color, which is represent the Chinese favorite, with wooden doors inside and row of iron doors pulled outside. In the front of the door, there is Tho Dia, Thien Quang altar together with five sheets of Ngu Phuc Lam sticking in front of the door. In front of these images I could not help feeling touched because I used to live in a house like that. Things like coming back in the tears in my eyes, the days of childhood suddenly resurrected more vividly than ever.

Hao Si Ward - A peaceful corner in the heart of Sai Gon

Hao Si Ward’s lifestyle

The lifestyle of Hao Si Ward is a chain of the peaceful days, whatsoever how the life outside the Ward has changed. Born and raised in the metropolis, I was so accustomed to the dizzying changes that take place daily, the whirl of money chasing, the rush of waiting for ain’t nobody of time. But anytime I went back to Hao Si Ward after a long, long day, after I exhausted by the shuffling of life, I still find the calm here. After a long day busy with life outside, come back here, find a peaceful home, have a place to nourish the soul is what is unbeaten.

Hao Si Ward - A peaceful corner in the heart of Sai Gon

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