Ho Chi Minh City (commonly known as Saigon) is the largest city in Vietnam and is located near the Mekong River delta. The city center is situated on the banks of the Saigon River, 60 km from the South China Sea.
Most places of interest are located in the central District 1. A walk along the riverfront is an ideal way to enjoy the constant activity on the Saigon River, as small and large boats ply to and from the opposite bank. The rooftop bar of the Majestic Hotel gives the best bird’s eye view of the river. The main shopping street in the city is Dong Khoi Street, which is full of gift shops, tailors, jewellers and restaurants. At one end of this street are Notre Dame Cathedral and the huge central Post Office, with its enormous portrait of the former President, Ho Chi Minh. Just off this busy shopping area on Dong Du is the Saigon Central Mosque. A cyclo ride through the busy streets to the Botanical Gardens is worth it, as is a trip to the small pagodas in Cholon.
Things to see and do
* Reunification Palace
* War Remnants Museum
* Cholon (Chinatown)
* Dam Sen Water Park in District 11 and Saigon Water Park
* Ben Thanh Market and Night market
Cruise Season – Jan - Dec
Currency – US Dollars (US$) and Vietnamese Dong (VND)
Language – Vietmanese
Land Area – 2,095 km²
Population – 6,500,000
Electricity – 2 pin round pins European style
Time – GMT plus seven hours
International Country Telephone Code – + 84
Port Location – The port of Phu My (pronounced Foo Me) is the gateway to Ho Chi Minh City and is located 75km's from the city centre.
Transport Links - Tan Son Nhat Airport is located around 7km (4 miles) northwest of the city center. Twenty-two airlines serve 18 cities in Asia and Europe. There are several bus stations around the city that each serve different destinations. The Vietnamese railway company, Duong Sat Vietnam operates one major route in Vietnam from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi with minor routes linking Hanoi with northern towns.
Walking (or riding around in a cyclo) is the best way to take in the sights and sounds of Ho Chi Minh City. Public transport within the city is very undeveloped, however you can hire a taxi, car, bicycle or motorbike.
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