It's no coincidence that green helps us feel relaxed, it has (apparently) more space in the visible spectrum than any other colour apart from blue. Psychologically, green has a calming effect and soothes us. As part of our primeval genetic make-up, where once all shades of green were familiar to us in our everyday lives, we now flock to parks, fill our balconies with green plants and enjoy that refreshing visit to the countryside. Perhaps in some way, the dusty, desolate and colourless districts that span for miles contribute to the hardening of the urban dweller personality and the crystallising of societal development.
Having said all that, what a pleasure it is that urban development in Vietnam will begin to recognise the essential part of our quality of life, green. All new projects have a percentage allocated for 'green space', and I'm not referring to the condos going up in HCMC, more the satellite projects that are coming down the road.
It's easily done, living somewhere foreign for a long time, to have a kind of sensory numbness to your environment. But I never grow tired of seeing tropical trees and plants by the highway, a small clump of banana trees in an urban environment gives me some kind of buzz, palm trees swaying in the wind just tell me to chill out a bit, remember where you are.
For now, Phu My Hung is the shining example of a green area, and one of the main reasons I enjoy living there so much. For an evening stroll around deserted back streets, the residents have created wonderful floral displays, plant exotic trees in their gardens and leave huge shrubs on the pavement outside their houses.
My favourite is the Travellers Palm. It is in many gardens and also planted by the Nguyen Van Linh highway in places. I find it dramatic in its size and shape. Here it is central in this green area outside some PMH apartments.
And here's another, right alongside the main road:
If can have my own little countryside abode with a small swimming pool and a couple of Travellers Palms for shade I'll be happy.
Here are some more green snaps from around Phu My Hung
Houses with tress and shrubs outside
A small park with huge houses backing onto it
New apartments going up with a large green area being prepared in front...
Trees lining a Phu My Hung street
A street with a small oasis of a park running down the central embankment
By the river
More new apartments with fantastic views over the river and the future Phu My Hung golf course, currently marshland!