Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) + The South

Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) + The South Travel Guide

Tropical Ho Chi Minh City (still called Saigon by most residents) is arguably Asia’s most dynamic boomtown—the epitome of the Wild, Wild East. Vietnam’s largest city (population 8 million) is also the engine of its economy and in every respect the brasher younger sibling to the buttoned-down capital, Hanoi. Still, the gracious cityscape that the French once knew—traditional Chinese shop houses, Art Deco cafés—endures. But as incomes rise, a new generation is making its mark; high-end boutiques and exclusive candlelit boîtes now cater to status-hungry Vietnamese as well as tourists and expats. Increasingly cosmopolitan, the city’s burgeoning fashion-and-design, dining, and nightlife scenes await those who can keep up with the Saigonese.

DON'T MISS

  • The soaring skyline views from the open-air, ninth-floor Saigon, Saigon bar at the Caravelle Hotel.

  • A ride on one of Saigon’s beloved cyclos, or bicycle rickshaws, followed by a soothing massage at Glow Spa or the Park Hyatt. (Depending on the state of your cyclo, your back and joints may need it.)

  • A drive—or is that a time warp?—out to the flashy new suburb of Phu My Hung, a.k.a. Saigon South, for a glimpse of Vietnam’s future, or if you prefer, a round of golf.

RECOMMENDED LINKS

  • For more >restaurants in Ho Chi Minh, visit NileGuide

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