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Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide


Overview

In Ho Chi Minh City, everywhere it simmers with hectic activity. The city center is still informally called Saigon which was already a busy commercial center many centuries ago. The economical capital of the country, Ho Chi Minh City is second the most important city in Vietnam after the capital Hanoi. The term "city" is not quite accurate. With an area of approximately 2,030 sq km, it is rather a Province that extends from the South China Sea to the Cambodian Border. The orientation in the town centre is not simple. Ho Chi Minh City is divided in 17 city districts and 5 country districts. To explore the city a Cyclo ride is outstanding. The drivers often prove themselves as an excellent tourist guide. Unfortunately this mode of transportation in Ho Chi Minh City is slowly becoming extinct and is to be foreseen, that in few years Cyclo drivers will completely disappear from the cityscape.

Stroll in the temples, have lunch at the market, do your shopping and enjoy the unique atmosphere, very lively and colorful. You will certainly enjoy the city because of its unique atmosphere and its dynamics. Everywhere, vendors roaming the streets, monuments of great architectural diversity, an unbridled movement mixing motorcycles, scooters, bicycles, buses, cars, but two wheels keep the advantage. You will see the red light when a hundred scooters and motorcycles waiting to go... The Zoo and Botanical Garden are among the places where it is somewhat calmer.

The architecture of the city is representative of the colonial era and Chinese influence.

To the east of the city is the Chinese district, Cholon (the former Saigon).  It is the "commercial" pole of the city, and "Cholon" stands for "big market". This is a neighborhood that is worth exploring (walking, cycling, cyclo riding), including its market, Binh Tay Market, its shops, temples, and its bus station if you prefer to travel by bus.

The Notre Dame Cathedral was built between 1877 and Built in 1883. You'll find a church in the center of the Government district at the end of the Duong Dong Khoi. Before the church stands a statue of the Virgin Mary.

The Remnant War Museum (The Museum of War Crimes (Vietnamese, Bao Tang Chung Tich Chien Tranh)) should in any case be on your visit list. It is clear how incredible cruelty is unleashed, if a modern war machine erupts. A visit to this museum also will help you learn about the American war crimes during the Vietnam War.

The beautiful buildings of the main post office lies next to the Cathedral of Notre Dame, red brick, just like Notre Dame de Paris.

The Reunification Palace (Vietnamese, Dinh Nhat Thông): The history of this building is hectic and that is why it is terribly interesting to visit. In 1868 it served as Governor General of Cochin. When the French left the country, it housed Ngo Dinh Diem, president of the Saigon regime. In 1963 the building was rebuilt and renamed as the Palace of Independence... On 30 April 1975, tanks of the Liberation Army seized the Palace of Independence, leading end to the regime in Saigon. After liberation, it became the seat of the Administrative Committee Unit of the city... The same year, in these places took place the Consultative Conference on the reunification of the country. This is the event that the Palace owes its current name. The architecture, harmonious and spacious, is typical of the 1960s. You can visit the meeting rooms, offices, private apartments, dining rooms, entertainment lounges, and that feel like everybody just up and left one day, they did, and a tour is almost eerie really.

In southern Vietnam, the climate is favorable during the dry season from November to April. During the monsoon from May to October, the days are warm and torrential downpours.

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