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Ho Chi Minh City
|Ho Chi Minh City, or Saigon as it is still known to many, is Vietnam's largest city with a growing population of around 7 million. This is a city on the go 24 hours a day, where everybody seems to be busy either buying, selling, studying, working or just enjoying themselves.
Despite the fact that modern high-rise buildings have begun to dominate the skyline in recent years there are still many fine examples of French colonial architecture in Ho Chi Minh City such as the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Old Saigon Post Office and the former Hotel de Ville. A stroll down Dong Khoi Street, the Rue Catinat of Graham Greene, The Quiet American, will reveal more colonial classics like the Continental, Grand and Majestic hotels as well as dozens of tempting boutiques and galleries.
Ho Chi Minh City is a real shopper’s paradise with modern shopping centres and trendy boutiques rubbing shoulders with traditional street markets. The city’s best-known market is Ben Thanh Market where you can buy anything from fresh fruit and flowers to the latest imported electronics and cosmetics. One of the most interesting places to visit in Ho Chi Minh City is the former Presidential Palace, now renamed the Reunification Hall. For wining and dining it is hard to beat Ho Chi Minh City.
The city is crammed full of restaurants and bars ranging from simple pavement stalls where you can buy a bowl of noodles for a few cents to sophisticated restaurants serving fine European cuisine at a fraction of the price you would pay in Europe. Ho Chi Minh City's nightlife has become very cosmopolitan in recent years and there are literally hundreds of bars, pubs, nightclubs and discotheques to pick from for a night on the town.