Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) is a vibrant metropolis brimming with cultural ruminants from multiple eras.
Vietnam’s largest and most developed city, Ho Chi Minh’s skyline and streets seamlessly transition from ancient pagodas and French colonial structures to modern skyscrapers. Lively markets selling everything from traditional silk garments to modern electronics and even spare helicopter parts are comfortably nestled beside high-rise buildings and apartment blocks.
The centrally located French colonial area, called District 1, is the most heavily visited section of the city. The Reunification Palace (also known as the Independence Palace) housed the President of South Vietnam before the fall of Saigon and the close of the Vietnam War in 1975. The original colonial French structure that occupied the grounds was destroyed when a pair of South Vietnamese pilots rebelled and bombed the building in an attempt to kill the incredibly unpopular President Ngo Dinh Diem in 1962. Diem ordered the current structure rebuilt in the style of the 1960s, but never lived to see its competition. He was executed by his own troops less than a year later. The tank that crashed through the gates and ended the Vietnam War can still be seen on the grounds.
Next door to the Reunification Palace rises the stunning Notre Dame Cathedral. Completed in 1883, the neo-roman church named for the Virgin Mary has some excellent stained glass windows that somehow managed to survive the Vietnam War.
The Saigon Central Post Office was constructed with materials imported from France in the late 19th century while Vietnam was still part of French Indochina. The building was designed by Gustave Eiffel, who designed the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and its vaulted ceilings, beautiful tile floor, and gorgeous edifice make it one of the most striking structures in the city.
Ho Chi Minh City’s best sightseeing weather is between December and April. The area’s temperature steadily increases between May and November, but frequent showers in the mornings and evenings help cool the atmosphere considerably.
Ho Chi Minh City is located in Southern Vietnam. Guests on our luxury tours of Vietnam typically reach the destination by flight from the city of Dalat to the north. Upon arrival, our guests navigate the city in private, chauffeured vehicle.
There’s something for everyone in Ho Chi Minh City. The beautiful colonial structures, world class accommodations, 5 star restaurants, and thrilling markets barely scratch the surface of the secrets the city holds for travelers to discover.
Appropriate Attire :
Ho Chi Minh City is a vibrant, modern city, and western-style clothing choices are typically fine to sightsee in, but if you’re planning to visit any of the Buddhist or Taoist temples that remain, it’s best to dress conservatively in keeping with traditions of modesty.