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[Photos] Hiding From the Heat at Cong Hoa Swimming Pool in 1965

Saigon’s most famous swimming pool is perhaps that of the Cercle Sportif Saigonnais, a huge sporting facility on Nguyen Thi Minh Khai that was built in the 1900s for the city’s rich to frolic every weekend. For residents living in Tan Binh District, northwards of the Cercle Sportif, the Cong Hoa Swimming Pool was the real icon of their childhood memories.

Established in the early 1960s, Cong Hoa was a special services swimming pool built for American servicemen, but it was also open for locals hoping to escape the summer heat. The building was your standard pool, shallow on one side for younger guests and novice swimmers and deeper on the other. The pool also featured a four-story diving platform, which was dismantled in recent decades. Cong Hoa, along with Yet Kieu and Lao Dong, forms an important part of old Saigon’s piscine culture.

The photos in this collection were taken by American soldier Tom Robinson in 1965 during his tour in Vietnam. The pool is now part of the Cach Mang Thang 8 Cultural and Sport Club and is open to swimmers of all walks of life.

[Photos via Flicker user manhhai]


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