A vibrant city with lots to offer and an impressively modern feel...
Also known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City was really great! There's the colonial, Asian and soviet style architecture, lots of culture and history, a young and vibrant feeling, cool museums and landmarks and lots of places to eat, shop, take some coffee or just watch the world go by.
We had a good walk around when we got there and saw the Backpacker's area, some local parks, Independence Palace, The Notre Dame Basilica, the Opera house, Ben Than Market (there's good souvenir shopping at this Market but avoid An Dong Market, we didn't really see its benefits) and other interesting sites along the way and we think a similar sort of walk is a good first approach. We had a good drink with cool views in one of the skybars (Level 23) and near there is a busy square with lots of people, things going on and other amenities around. We also recommend the War Remnants Museum, but prepare for some harrowing images.
We stayed at Elegant Inn which was in a good location to all the sites (District 1/Backpackers area), and we thought it was perfectly acceptable, with helpful and friendly staff. Apart from a good walk around from your base in or near the Backpacker's area and other things you want to see, we recommend hanging out a bit in the backpackers area, stopping at some cafes and restaurants around town and generally enjoying a great city break. We'd suggest maybe 2 or 3 nights to see it all as we only did one night and thought we could have done a bit longer.
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HCM City or Saigon photos: Click on the arrows to scroll, or on the image for a larger version (in a pop-up)
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