everyone in Vietnam still knows and calls this city "Saigon".
It was the capital of South Vietnam until reunification of the
north and south in 1975, when it was renamed Ho Chi Minh City
(HCMC). It's the largest city in the country, with perhaps seven
million people and growing fast. You'll see it in the traffic,
the crowded streets, the changes. It's the most westernized city
in Vietnam, but it hasn't changed nearly as much as other Asian
cities. There are still no skyscrapers, and few grand hotels.
Business is still done on the sidewalk, as are many meals.
The legacy of French colonialism, American interference, and
a short, subsidized autonomy leaves many political and military
sights in HCMC. Half of the sights here seem to deal with the
war in some respect. To the Vietnamese people, it's history,
but they realize that the tourists want to see it. Spend time
talking with the people; many know English, and will want to
meet you. Venture outside the main district and see what life
is like here.
Photo: Spiral incense at
By Plane: Take a city bus ##28
to Bin Thanh bus station.
By Train: Phan Ngu Lao area is 2km away to SE. Either you walk
or take a taxi
By Bus: From all bus station, you can come to the center by a
city bus. Take one to "Bin Thanh" See bus station section
for more details.
By Tourist Bus: Including from Phnom Penh, all tourist buses
arrive to Phan Ngu Lao area. Very convenient.