Intoxicating Contrasts of Ho Chi Minh City
Surprising Saigon. Storied Saigon. Sexy Saigon. Vietnam’s biggest city (officially known as Ho Chi Minh City) has more alliterative epithets than you can shake a stick at. That’s because there are so many sides to this layered city that stretches over 100km, houses over 13 million people, and contains 24 jaw-droppingly different districts. Vietnam is booming, and nowhere is this more obvious than in the country’s biggest city.
The central districts still boast grand colonial mansions, Art Deco department store buildings, and legendary hotels. Chinatown – which is like a city within the city – bustles with life and has enormous market buildings not found anywhere else in the country. The expat enclaves hide hip hangouts and leafy neighborhoods that feel distinctly non-urban. Then there are the rural and suburban districts, each one developing a distinct personality of its own.
Everything exists in Saigon but not in the way you’d expect. Here are just some of the highlights!