Ho Chi Minh ( SGN )
City Guide, Ho Chi Minh
Ho chi minh still known as Saigon to its seven million or so inhabitants is Vietnam's centre of commerce and the country's biggest city by far, though not its administrative capital – an honour that rests with Hanoi. Fuelled by the sweeping economic changes wrought by doi moi in 1986, this effervescent city, perched on the west bank of the Saigon River, is in the throes of a program of re-invention shaking it to its French-built foundations. Years of rubbing shoulders with the consumer-oriented.
Although the name Saigon was changed officially, among locals it is used as the name for the central region in the city. There are numerous rivers and canals surrounding the city. The largest one of them is called Saigon as well. The harbor of the city, built in 1862, has been of vital importance to the city since.
Everything remained as it was when North Vietnam took over the South in 1975. It is as if the only thing changed about this five-story building dating back to the 60s was its name, to “Reunification Palace.” The tanks displayed in front of the entrance are there, as though, to commemorate the moment when tanks crashed into the gates, taking over the palace.
Vietnam History Museum, located at the intersection of Le Duan and Nguyen Binh Khiem Streets, is a must-see. The remains from antiquity are most interesting in the museum, among all items displayed.
Ho-Chi-Minh Museum keeps the memory of Vietnam’s founder alive. The life story of Minh, who gave the city its name and is seen as the father of the country, is told in this museum.
Culture and entertainment
Notre Dame Cathedral on Han Thuyen Street was built by French Catholics. Thien Hau is a pagoda –a Hindu Buddhist temple- on Nguyen Trai Street. 23rd day of every March, a festival is organized in the temple area. Quan Am and Phung Son Tu are other pagodas to see.
Xin Chao is a legendary performance, which holds a special place in the history and culture of Vietnam. This special show staged by more than 50 people, can be seen in the Pham Ngu Lao region. While dining at restaurants located on Nguyen Van Huong Streets, you should see the Water Puppet Show considered to be the traditional art of Vietnam. On Saturday afternoons, this show is presented as a part of the service in restaurants by the river.
Food and Drink
Vietnam is very famous for its traditional cuisine. And when mentioning Vietnam, it is regret if you miss street food – the very typical feature in Vietnam’s cuisine culture. The street food in Vietnam is considered as some of the best in the world. The options are endless and the dishes are timeless. Even simply simplest fruit dish or baguette has a twist in this country. And, of course, being the center of Vietnam’s economic and cultural activity, Ho chi Minh city (Saigon) is the best city in the country for you to try street food.
Late night chicken and rice stalls pop up, some cooking made to order. Also at night, try the drier squid. It is not nearly as pungent as it might seem. It is, in fact, the perfect accompaniment to a cool bottle of Tiger Beer.
Ho Chi Minh City is a really fun place to shop. In this hustle and bustle commercial center of Vietnam, tourists can find a wealth of interesting items for purchase such as clothing, gems and jeweler, foods and drinks to arts and crafts.
Also, embroidery, vases, rosewood boxes, wood-block prints, oil or water color paintings, ceramic and crafts are ubiquitous in souvenir shops along the city center. This article will point out some of the most typical items among things you can buy in Ho Chi Minh city.
Ho Chi Minh City Map