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Guide to Saigon Now

Andrea Fazzari The future of Saigon, Vietnam

Photo: Andrea Fazzari

In less than a decade, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, has transformed itself into Asia’s most dynamic boomtown—the epitome of the Wild, Wild East. But in its mad dash to the future, will the city still called Saigon make room for its past?

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Inspired by: The New Look of Saigon, Vietnam — by Peter Jon Lindberg, Published Aug. 2008

Hotels (3)

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    Majestic Hotel Saigon

    In a prime setting where Dong Khoi Street meets the Saigon River, this 1925 French colonial landmark, like its sister “heritage hotels,” the Contin

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    Park Hyatt Saigon

    With an enviable location on Lam Son, Saigon’s central square, this gleaming upscale hotel with colonial accents delivers splendidly assured servic

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    Caravelle Hotel

    Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2009, this slightly corporate feeling but exceedingly comfortable hotel on Lam Son Square is the runner-up to t

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Restaurants (9)

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    Bon Bo Xu

    A spin-off of the trendy Xu restaurant down the block, this upmarket fast-food joint specializes in bun bo Hue, the spicy noodle soup customarily f

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    Xu Restaurant

    Run by Bien Nguyen, a 30-year-old Australian Viet Kieu, this high-priced upstart is both a see-and-be-seen nightspot (serving well-made cocktails a

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    Temple Club

    In Vietnam, restaurants with incandescent lighting generally serve dull food, while fluorescent-lit joints with toilet-paper dispensers for napkins

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    Quan 94

    This rough-and-tumble joint with metal tables and plastic chairs serves the very best crab in town. Order cha gio cua (crab spring rolls), mien xao

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    Cantina Central

    This cool Mexican bar-restaurant—owned by several members of the design collective from Gaya, just up the block—has quickly become an expat favorit

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    Café Terrace

    A veritable fantasia of white leather and Lucite copped from Philippe Starck, this all-day café serves good lattes and smoothies with a lounge-y so

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    Quan An Ngon

    A Ho Chi Minh City institution, Quan An Ngon employs ex-street vendors, who prepare a selection of traditional, regional fare. Among the most popul

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    Luong Son (a.k.a. Bo Tung Xeo)

    At this open-air barbecue-and-beer garden, patrons grill strips of tangy marinated beef—bo tung xeo—on tabletop braziers and share pitchers of foam

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    Pho 24

    Pho, Vietnam’s national dish—a rich beef consommé spiked with clove, star anise, and ginger and laced with noodles and fresh basil and cilantro—get

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Activities (1)

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    Sri Thendayutthapani Temple

    The temple is topped by a colorful gopuram bedecked with Hindu gods and goddesses.

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Similar Trips (2)

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  • Vietnam With Kids

    Vietnam, Can Tho, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Cat Ba Island

    The cities are splendid with pagodas, water-puppet shows, and exotic candy shops. The countryside is just right for biking. And the economy is on fast-forward. Welcome to the next great family dest

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  • A Tour of Today's Asia

    Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Langkawi

    Asia is to the 21st century what Europe was to the previous three, and its influence touches every aspect of life in the West—culturally, politically, demographically, not least economically. Asian

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