Telephone code : (84.8)
Area : 2,090 km2
Population : 4,989,600
Under the French, Ho Chi Minh City was called the "Pearl of the
Orient". Ho Chi Minh City is the biggest city in Vietnam with hundreds
of rivers and canals. With 300 years of foundation and development, Ho
Chi Minh City has witnessed the construction of numerous ancient
buildings. In the general view, one of the cultural characteristics of
300 years of historic Saigon - Gia Dinh is the combination of the 3
cultural sources: Vietnamese, Chinese and European, which have made
its urban structural architecture.
VINH NGHIEM PAGODA
It was constructed between 1964 and 1971 following the design of
architect Nguyen Ba Lang. This classic style seven storey tower with
strong Japanese influences was built with the assistance of the
Japan-Vietnam Friendship Association. The kwan-Yin tower is located on
the left of the pagoda. This structure is the biggest of the Vietnam
THIEN HAU PAGODA
The Pagoda is dedicated to Thien Hau - The Sea Goddess who protects
fisher folk, sailors, merchants and anyone else who travels by sea. It
said that Thien Hau can travel over the oceans on a mat and ride the
clouds to wherever she pleases. Her mobility allows her to save people
in trouble on the high seas.
It contains countless artifacts, photographs and pictures documenting
American war crimes. Such documents illustrate the killing of
civilians, spreading of chemicals, torturing of prisoners and the
effects of the war on the north. Planes, tanks, bombs and helicopters
are also on display.
The building was formerly the palace of the Cochin-china Governor, and
then the office of the Imperial Delegate the King's special envoy.
Numerous pictures and exhibits related to the struggle against French
colonialism and the American aggressors to liberate and to protect the
City, Particularly, there are images relates to the General Uprising
in the Mau Than Spring (1968) and the historical Ho Chi Minh campaign
(1975) to liberate the Country.
The house was inaugurated on January 1st 1929 and previously called
Blanchard de la brosse. The museum are exhibited antique articles such
as Ngo Quyen's stakes the Nam Han, stone steles, Buddha statues and
other ancient ceramic articles, ivories, bronze drums, gongs...
Particularly there is a special hall to exhibit the Oc Eo civilization
(about the 5th Century) from the South.
REUNIFICATION PALACE (Hoi Truong Thong Nhat)
It was completed in 1966; the present Hoi Truong Thong Nhat was the
former Independence Palace. It was designed by Western-trained
Vietnamese architect Ngo Viet Thu.
NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL
Was built between October 1877 and April 1880. With the approval of
the Vatican the cathedral was named Notre Dame during ceremonies held
on December 7-8, 1959. Its Neo-Romanesque architecture with two - 40m
square bell towers crown the Paris Commune Square where it is located.
CHO LON MARKET
It is really a typical Chinatown in Vietnam with its market still full
of from forestry to artisan's products. Cho Lon has become an
attractive scene for visitors to study the daily life of the City
CU CHI TUNNELS
Cu Chi is an "Underground village" with its labyrinth totaling more
than 200 km. The main tunnel is 60 - 70cm wide and 80 - 90cm high. The
structure has either a delta shaped or vaulted ceiling, above the
tunnel is a layer of earth about 3 - 4m thick, enough to sustain the
weight of 50-tonne yanks or heavy artillery as well as the destruction
of bombs up to 100kg. Although it is an underground communication
network, the tunnel is enlarged here and there in to rooms large
enough to hold large meetings, a medical station or art performances.
That are the reasons why Cu Chi Tunnel became legendary during the
1960s for its role in facilitating Viet Cong control of a large rural
area only 30 to 40km from Saigon.
Visit the Mekong Delta to understand
why it's called the rice stock of Vietnam, why a sampan tied to a
coconut tree can evoke nostalgy. There you will find the simplest
people, who would not care much about the luxury life of the city.
Just walk idly in My Tho or Vinh Long or Can Tho and discover daily
life of the Vietnamese on the river and arroyos, taste the sweet and
fresh coconut juice and smell the particular fragrance of the rice
paddies. Further down to Soc Trang, the mysterious Khmer culture is
hidden behind the gate of Hinayana temples. The Mekong River with its
intertwined branches will lead you from one surprise to another. The
hospitality of the people is the most impressing. They welcome you
like relatives coming home. Mekong delta is not also the biggest fruit
gardens of Vietnam. Food here tastes different from other places.
Beside the common food the local dishes also comprise of snakes,
tortoises, bats, eels...