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TRAVEL VIETNAM » SOUTHERN» HCM CITY (Saigon)
 
 
HCM CITY (Saigon) Overview
 

A livelier and more modern metropolis than Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh is Vietnam’s largest city and commercial centre. Ho Chi Mihn City (HCMC) lies 50 kilometres inland from the South China Sea, on the floodplains of the Mekong River Delta. Although the northern city of Hanoi is Vietnam’s political capital, Ho Chi Minh City is the cultural and commercial capital.


Sights are mostly limited to a number of pagodas and the Historical Museum, while fascinating day excursions can be made to Ch Chi, a vast network of underground tunnels constructed by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War, and to Tay Ning, famous for its fabulously designed cathedral of the Cao Dai faith.


The city retains a pleasing Southeast Asian-French flavour from its colonial days, most apparent in its broad streets, some of its architecture and its many banquette vendors. New high-rise hotels and apartment buildings are now rising above both these features and the utilitarian block architecture of the Soviet era, and the irrepressible entrepreneurial spirit of this bustling city promising to re-establish it as one of the region’s leading centres.


Immediately south of Ho Chi Minh City is the Mekong delta, vast flatlands criss-crossed by the Mekong’s nine branches and a maze of canals. Riverine towns, villages, floating markets and paddy fields all offer views of traditional lifestyles in a setting of exceptional geographical interest.


Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) lies 50km inland from the South China Sea, on the floodplains of the Mekong River Delta. Although the northern city of Hanoi is Vietnam’s political capital, Ho Chi Minh City is the cultu7ral and commercial capital. The city retains a pleasing Southeast Asian-French flavour from its colonial days, most apparent in its broad streets, some of its architecture and its many baguette vendors. New high-rise hotels and apartment buildings are now rising above both these features and the utilitarian block architecture of the Soviet era, and the irrepressible entrepreneurial spirit of this bustling city promising to re-establish it as one of the region’s leading centres.