Ho Chi Minh City was our first stop in Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh City (commonly known as Saigon) is a city in southern Vietnam famous for the pivotal role it played in the Vietnam War. It’s also known for its French colonial landmarks, including Notre-Dame Cathedral, made entirely of materials imported from France, and the 19th-century Central Post Office. Food stalls line the city’s streets, especially around bustling Bến Thành Market.
Entirely built by 100% French imported materials, Notre Dame Cathedral is one of Saigon most popular attractions and still remains in regular use by local worshippers. Compared to its namesake in Paris, don’t expect anything as ornate, though this building has a certain charm to it. There is a small garden out the front which seems to be where all the pigeons in Saigon regularly gather around the statue of Mary (who caused traffic chaos in 2005 as she reportedly shed a tear down her cheek). Built in 1880, it’s long overdue for some maintenance and major renovations are earmarked for the future. Unfortunately, this might mean the thousands of newlyweds that come here for photos may need to find another beautifully golden-bricked and historic building as a backdrop.
Central Post Office
Completed in 1891, the Central Post Office is a grand example of gothic and renaissance influenced architecture. Recently renovated, it bears a lovely new paint job in the original bright yellow hue. Once you move inside, the decorations are just as ornate as the facade and a huge arched roof curve down towards two large hand painted maps showing old Saigon city and the former south-eastern area of Indochina. These were original decorations. For all intents and purposes, it’s still a fully functioning post office with helpful English speaking staff, a range of quirky and reasonably priced souvenirs as well as a half a dozen international phone boxes.
The Independence Palace
The Independence Palace also known as Reunification Palace, is a landmark in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. It was the home and workplace of the President of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. It was the site of the end of the Vietnam War during the Fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975, when a North Vietnamese Army tank crashed through its gates.
Streets of HCMC
Bến Thành Market
Bến Thành Market is a large marketplace in central Hồ Chí Minh City, Vietnam in District 1. The market is one of the earliest surviving structures in Saigon and an important symbol of Hồ Chí Minh City, popular with tourists seeking local handicrafts, textiles, áo dài and souvenirs, as well as local cuisine.
large storm approaching
Bitexco Financial Tower – sky deck
Roof-top pool on a neighbour skyscraper
Typical Asian construction….narrow and tall
Very cool building/food court
Familiar sight in Asia – electrical wiring at its best