Ho Chi Minh Overview
What To See And Do
Cu Chi Tunnels
Mekong Delta
Saigon by Cyclo
Saigon Opera House
Saigon Markets
Cao Dai Cathedral
 
Related Destinations
Bangkok
Kuala Lampur
Singapore
Hong Kong
What began as a small fishing village formerly known as Prey Nokor is now Vietnam's largest city populated by an estimated 9 million individuals.  Although Ho Chi Minh City has gone by several different names, it is still commonly called Saigon by locals and tourists alike.  Located in the southeastern region of the country, the metropolis sets the cultural and economic pace for Vietnam.
Ho Chi Minh's center is garlanded with wide elegant boulevards and notable French colonial buildings.  Ho Chi Minh Square is a historic area bordered by City Hall, originally a French hotel constructed between 1902 and 1908.  It remains a fantastic ornate example of refined colonial architecture.  Another magnificent structure built at the turn of the 20th century is Ho Chi Minh Municipal Theater, designed as a classical opera house to entertain French colonists.
The Central Post Office is an outstanding neoclassical edifice designed and constructed by the famous French architect Gustave Eiffel (Eiffel Tower, Paris).  Across the street from this still-working post office, sits Notre Dame Cathedral, designed in neo-Romanesque style in the late 1800's with actual bricks from Marseilles and stained-glass windows from Chartres (France).
Situated on the west bank of the Saigon River, a short cab ride from the city center, visitors will discover the ancient quarter of Cholon, home to an energetic Chinatown and many fine temples.  Stroll through Ben Thanh Market and browse hundreds of stalls selling handicrafts, textiles, souvenirs and jewelry as well as local cuisine.  In the midst of all the hustle and bustle, travelers can find refuge in one of the many colorful, serene sanctuaries in the area.  Quan Am Pagoda is a 19th century Chinese style Buddhist shrine dedicated to the Goddess of Mercy and Compassion where incense hangs from the ceiling and perfumes the air.
Ho Chi Minh is an exhilarating sensory explosion with much to see and do.  Consider combining your visit with other historical cities in Vietnam such as Hanoi.  Customize your trip to Saigon with other exciting nearby destinations such as Cambodia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand.