Ho Chi Minh City – VietnamTake an exhilarating trip to Vietnam’s largest city as it hurls into the future at breakneck speed. Better known by its former name Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City has charged into the 21st century and it sheds its post war history. The superbly technologically advanced city is a hive of commerce and culture that rivals Bangkok and Singapore for a breathlessly incredible Asian experience. Skyscrapers packed with fine restaurants and glitzy hotels adorn the modern skyline, and the streets bustle with the working masses. Take a tour on a speedy moped and join the thousands of locals hurtling through the streets on a buzzing whirlwind adventure over the gigantic Saigon River. For history enthusiasts, there are a number of magnificent Museums that reveal the unfortunate horror of the recent Vietnam War, the best of which are the War Remnants Museum and the History Museum. There are also beautiful French buildings which hark back to Vietnam’s colonial past, such as the beautiful Notre Dame Cathedral and the grand Hotel de Ville.
Where is it?Ho Chi Minh City sits in the very south of Vietnam, and was the capital of South Vietnam before its unification with the North of Vietnam. Vietnam itself shares borders with Thailand, China and Laos in South East Asia.
What is it?The City, formerly known as Saigon and still referred to as such by its inhabitants, was heavily involved in the Vietnam War, after which it was renamed by the unified Communist Republic of Vietnam. It is now a modern, bustling and prosperous metropolis.
Best time to visit?The best time to visit is during the dry season, which runs from December and lasts until April. Visiting at this time avoids the hot, humid wet season, although Ho Chi Minh has a much more settled climate than the often stormy central and north of Vietnam.
Must See?The stunning Jade Emperor Pagoda is one of the finest religious structures the city has to offer. The splendid red temple is adorned with statues of phantasmal divinities and ancient generals, while the roof is crowned with exquisite dragons and elaborate tile works.
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