Ho Chi Minh City, formerly called Saigon, is the most populous, modern and lively city in Vietnam. Truly the economic heart of the country, it undoubtedly attracts entrepreneurs of all kinds and each year, new skyscrapers spring up on the skyline.
It is above all a city characterized by the various occupations of the colonial era and many buildings in the city centre are reminiscent of a French presence. Modern office skyscrapers, amidst Oriental style pagodas and food stalls along the street, create a dynamic urban area in very special sense. It is not oddly tidy like in Singapore, nor is urban slumps omnipresent like in India.
Because of its strategic position close to the Delta and at the meeting point between Cambodia and Laos, it has always been a very commercial city, nicknamed “Vietnam’s shopping centre”. You will be able to find anything, and often cheaper than anywhere else. Ho Chi Minh is also characterized by its particularly varied cuisine. Among the Southern specialties, there are mince pork and black mushroom ravioli; curried beef rice vermicelli (bun bo curry) and nuoc mam. Finally, if you like dancing, Ho Chi Minh’s nightlife, and its wide selection of bars and restaurants will most certainly appeal to you.
The best time to go : From October to mid-May, it’s not rainy season and not so hot.