Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, once “The Pearl of the Far East” is the largest city in Vietnam by population. It was known as Prey Nokor prior to annexation by the Vietnamese in the 17th century. The city now comprises 19 districts and 5 suburban districts. District 1, along the Saigon River, where downtown Saigon is located, is the commercial center and contains most of the city’s monuments and landmarks. 8 km away in district 5 resides a big market or Cho Lon where Chinese community lives. With favorable weather the whole year round and the convenient access from other countries by air, by road and by sea, Ho Chi Minh city is a busy and dynamic metropolitan.
Ho Chi Minh City at a glimpse
Morning, visit Saigon’s historic landmarks including the former Presidential Palace once headquarters for the Saigon Government during the “American War”, 1880’s General Post Office and the Notre Dame Cathedral. If time permits, pass by the War Remn ant Museum to get a quick glimpse of what Vietnam did suffer from wars before the independence of today. Ben Thanh Market is saved as the last highlight of the morning as this is where you can get something special to pack home. Recommended Lunch is at Ngon restaurant where you can learn much about Vietnamese food, one of another highlight of Vietnam. Afternoon, visit to the Chinese district of Cholon to enjoy the bustling whole-sale quarter of Saigon. China town has been established in Saigon for over 200 years but remained unchanged with its old temples and houses characterizing the disintegrated Vietnamese- Chinese culture. One hour cyclo is always recommended if the traffic allows.
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