Suburban Pioneers, Da Nang

Why do people choose to build and live in a raw, undeveloped area like this, remote from the city center and almost completely lacking in amenities and services? Money. That is certainly my first guess. Land costs closer to the center of Da Nang are prohibitively high for many Vietnamese families. An area with lower land costs like this one makes home ownership affordable to people who would be hard-pressed to buy in more developed parts of the city. You can be sure the families that have built the homes pictured here expect their investments to appreciate significantly in the years to come. And this will almost certainly happen as more people move to the area and businesses serving the new residents follow in their wake.

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Buu Dai Son Pagoda, Da Nang

Chùa Bửu Đài Sơn, pictured here, serves as a useful reminder that the swastika is a religious symbol with a long and honorable history. In Buddhism the swastika symbolizes, among other things, the auspicious footprints of the Buddha. It also is an auspicious sign representing good fortune in Hinduism and other Eurasian religions.

The swastika’s modern history is rather less distinguished. It was co-opted by German Nazis in the 1930s and lives on today as an emblem of neo-Nazi vermin in the United States and elsewhere.Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail