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Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh was originally named Saigon (Sài Gòn in Vietnamese). It is the largest city in Vietnam, and also one of the five municipalities directly under the Central Government. The city is named as such in honor of Ho Chi Minh, founder of the nation, Chairman of the Communist Party of Vietnam and President of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Among all the cities in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh attracts the largest number of tourists. You may unexpectedly find a French-style building here, and a cup of full-flavored Vietnamese coffee there. Antiquity and coastal scenery blend together, producing an enchanting beauty, and rendering this the 'Paris of the Orient', as classical and romantic as European cities.

Mekong River

Mekong River is Southeast Asia's largest river, with a total length of 4180 km. Originating on the northeastern slope of the Danggula Mountains of China, it flows from north to south through Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, and finally into the sea via nine river mouths to the east of the city of Ho Chi Minh, which is why this part of the river is also called the Nine Dragon River. As the mother river of Vietnam, the Mekong River is full of bright colors on both banks, such as green seedlings in rice fields, yellow corn cobs hung outside in yards, and orchards of all kinds of colors. Visitors are told that the local people lead a slow-paced but vibrant life in this area of intersecting rivers.

Address: Mekong River, My Tho (Self-service Cruise Office).

The Central Post Office

The Central Post Office in Ho Chi Minh was built in the late 19th century, designed by French architects. On both sides of the spacious hall are business counters. In the middle are in turn an annular bench, a souvenir counter and a long desk from outside to inside. You can either take pictures or swiftly write postcards in the hall. It is relatively more inconvenient to mail a postcard in the Central Post Office.

Address: 2 C00ng x00 Paris, B65n Nghé, Qu67n 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

The Red Church

Notre Dame Church in Ho Chi Minh is also called the Red Church, due to the red bricks used for construction. It is the most famous landmark of the city. Built in 1883, the church now serves as a monument to the French colonial period. The church building is well-proportioned and stately in design, with the spires of two 40-meter-high bell towers pointing into the sky. The church is modeled on the design of the bell tower of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. The red bricks, whose color has not faded at all as yet, were all shipped from France. This Catholic church is still in use today. On Sundays and religious holidays, the church is always crowded with large numbers of worshipers.

Address:Located at the northwestern end of Dong Khoi St.

Saigon Tax Trade Center

Built in 1880, this is an established department store in Ho Chi Minh. It mainly sold upmarket commodities imported from France and Britain during the French reign. At that time, only people from the higher levels of society could afford them. It was not until 1975 that this department store became popular with the general public. It is now a department store with historical significance. In addition, the coffee bar on the top floor offers a good view of the streets, and is thus frequented the most by foreign visitors.

Address:135 Nguyen Hue, phường Bến Nghé, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.

Pham Ngu Lao

This street is lined with hostels, restaurants, travel agencies, cafes and discount stores. The street is very busy, especially at night. Visitors enjoy having a drink of coffee or beer while sitting by the roadside. Once in Ho Chi Minh, make sure you go to Pham Ngu Lao to experience the local customs.

Address: Phạm Ngũ Lão, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam.

You will have a chance to taste food with three different flavors while sightseeing in Ho Chi Minh. Most restaurants in Saigon district serve traditional ethnic delicacies and European and Asian-style meals. Authentic Chinese cuisine can be found in Cho Lon. Some counties in the suburbs are renowned for game food. Local fresh fruit specialties of the south of Ho Chi Minh are produced throughout the year. There is fruit particular to each season. You will arrive at some famous orchards after traveling 20 km by car from Ho Chi Minh. Coconut shell ice cream is a delicacy that is repeatedly praised. It is also inexpensive.

Vietnamese Rice Vermicelli

Vietnamese rice vermicelli is famous as a dish for the common people in Vietnam. Rice vermicelli with beef can be eaten with either cooked or uncooked beef. Uncooked beef has the appearance of mince, and appears half-cooked after being put into and stirred in hot soup. It tastes delicious. It can be consumed at breakfast, lunch or supper. A bowl of Vietnamese rice vermicelli costs about 12,000 Vietnamese dong, equivalent to less than 4 Chinese yuan.

Recommended restaurant:Pho 2000

Address: 1-3 D Phan Chu Trinh, Hồ Chí Minh.

Vietnamese-Style Crab

Vietnamese cooks take the crab apart and cook it with a kind of local chilli sauce with strong flavor, without spoiling the original flavor of the crab. The seasoning is made by stirring pepper, braised ginger, bay leaves and lemon juice together.

Recommended restaurant:May Restaurant

Address:3/5 Hoang Sa, Ward Dakao, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Vietnamese-Style Spring Rolls

The wrapper is an extremely thin sheet made of dried rice vermicelli with a filling of vegetables, chicken, shelled shrimp, agaric, bean vermicelli, basil and coriander. The rolling method is similar to that of Chinese spring rolls. The spring roll is served with a dip of Vietnamese-style sweet chili sauce and a little lemon juice. A spring roll is priced at about 2000 Vietnamese dong.

Train

Ho Chi Minh Railway Station (Ga Saigon) is located in Nguyen Thong Street in the third district, one kilometer away from the urban district. The address of the ticket office is 275 Pham Ngu Lao Street in the first district. Payment can only be made in Vietnamese dong. To buy a berth ticket you need a reservation.

Bus

In Ho Chi Minh, there are several bus routes, which charge 3000 Vietnamese dong for a single journey. The stops for each bus route may be unintelligible to foreigners, so make sure it is bound for the destination you want.

Taxi

Most of the taxis in Ho Chi Minh are well-regulated, without detouring or overcharging. The starting fee is 12,000 Vietnamese dong. If three or four people carpool, taking a taxi may be preferable to renting a bike due to the lower prices and convenience. Don't take a taxi waiting by the roadside in the vicinity of Pham Ngu Lao Street, as most of the taxi drivers there refuse to run the meter. There are no uniform regulations regarding the rates.

CurrencyVietnamese dong (VND)

Power consumption: 220 V/50 Hz

Telephone area code+084

Climate

Ho Chi Minh has a tropical monsoon climate, with rainy and dry seasons.The period from May to October is the rainy season when the southwest monsoon prevails; the period from November to April is the dry season when the northeast monsoon arrives. The North has four distinct seasons, with the coldest month in January, and the minimum temperature as low as 10℃. The South is hot throughout the year, with the hottest month in April and the maximum temperature as high as 34℃. There is no typhoon all year round, and an average annual rainfall of about 2000 mm.

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