The "good life" has returned to the civilians of Saigon, capital of the war-torn Republic of South Vietnam.
The "good life" has returned to the civilians of Saigon, capital of the war-torn Republic of South Vietnam. But with it has come the ever-present spectre of inflation. The South Vietnamese have never has so much money. But the economists say the way in which they're spending it is not likely to leave a very durable economy when the annual 350 million U.S. dollars spent is Saigon's pleasure spots disappears with the withdrawing United States troops and the annual 750 million dollars of United States aid is cut back correspondingly.
But, nevertheless the pursuit of pleasure amongst Saigon's civilians continues in the midst of war. The Vietnamese with their talent for adaptability are bent on enjoying the spree whilst it lasts.
This special report on the increasing pursuit of leisure in Saigon was filmed by a crew from the national Broadcasting Company (N.B.C.) of America.
SYNOPSIS: The streets of Saigon, once described as the Paris of Asia, but more recently badly hit by the effects of war, have returned to the "good life".
Never before have so many Vietnamese had so much money. There are now fewer American soldiers in the city's nightclubs ....their place has been taken the Vietnamese themselves.
Even the streets outside reflect the new mood since the curfew was extended until one a.m.
In other countries it may be known as the sport of kings, but in Saigon a poor civilian can quickly turn a bet of a few piasters into several thousands. The ancestry of the horses is uncertain and the Vietnamese make on secret of the fact that it is reputed to be the most dishonest horse race in the world. Everyone accepts the fact that the horses are often drugged, jockeys bribed and the starter paid enough to ensure victory for the right horse.
But the Saigon rich now tend to focus their attention on the sport of waterski-ing behind powerful and expensive boats on the Saigon river.
The "Cirque Sport if" was once the preserve of rich Chinese merchants and wealthy French planters Now wealthy Vietnamese can be found exploring the delights of this resort on almost any day. This new zeal for pleasure has its critics who claim it's hardly appropriate for a nation at war. But many Vietnamese realise the boom is not permanent and that behind the facade remains a still fragile economy in a highly vulnerable nation.