Phoenix-shaped cloud appears in Saigon

Cloud gazing isn’t an activity we’d typically associate with a city as busy as Saigon, but last Thursday, Saigonese commuters’ journeys home after a long day of work became exceptionally delightful as a beautiful phoenix-shaped cloud was seen brightening up the city’s evening skies.

And sure enough, shutter-happy citizens wasted no time snapping shots of this memorable event to share online for all to see.

Pictures of the occasion went viral online

Last Thursday, 30th July, Trần Nguyễn Bảo Nhân, a well-known film director living in Saigon, took to his personal Facebook wall to share a couple of stunning shots of Saigon’s evening skies. In his pictures, a cloud shaped like a bird with its wings stretched out to either side was seen gracing the horizon over the city’s skyline.

Image credit: Trần Nguyễn Bảo Nhân

As the cloud is dyed a scarlet hue by the fading sunlight, many people said it embodied a fiery phoenix.

Image credit: Trần Nguyễn Bảo Nhân

Of course, such surreal pictures have prompted questions of whether the cloud had been Photoshopped or not. However, Bảo Nhân even had a video to prove its authenticity.

Bảo Nhân’s video of the phoenix-shaped cloud
Video credit: Trần Nguyễn Bảo Nhân

Many other netizens also commented to share their own photos of the phenomenon, further alleviating viewers’ doubts. Netizen Kim Khoa, for instance, had this stunning shot of the cloud hanging over the Phú Mỹ Hưng Canal.

Image credit: Kim Khoa

Facebook user Bui Quang Tien, on the other hand, took his picture on the street. From his angle, the bird looks as if it’s soaring across the sky.

Image credit: Bui Quang Tien

Netizens say the cloud is a good omen

In Western cultures, the phoenix is seen as the symbol of rebirth and immortality. Meanwhile, in many Asian countries, the Vermillion Bird is also a sacred animal often associated with good omens. As such, the appearance of the bird has got Vietnamese citizens hopeful, especially with the country facing threats from a new wave of COVID-19 infections.

Image credit: Giang Trần

Just as the phoenix bursts into flame at the end of its life cycle only to rise again from the ash in all its glory, people have faith that Vietnam will eventually overcome this ordeal.

Image credit: Bảo Trang

Many also recalled a dragon-shaped cloud that appeared in Hanoi back in early June. The fact that clouds shaped like a dragon and phoenix appeared in the two metropolises on two ends of Vietnam is another coincidence that makes things even more dramatic.

Image credit: Nguyễn Long

Saigonese delighted by phoenix-shaped cloud

Amidst constant concerning reports of hundreds of COVID-19 cases being discovered just within the span of a week, stunning natural phenomena like this phoenix-shaped cloud is a welcome source of positivity to keep us hopeful.

Now, we can’t say whether such incidents really herald good things to come or not, but the one thing we know for sure is that the entirety of Vietnam, from the government to medical workers to the common citizens, is working hard in the fight against COVID-19. With such unity, we’ll surely fend off the disease again and get back the safe, normal life we had enjoyed for the past few months.

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Cover image adapted from Trần Nguyễn Bảo Nhân and Kim Khoa

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