I am heading out on a six week trip to South East Asia and will be traveling to four different countries. Asia is one of the seven continents of the world and my last one to travel to. My first stop, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Ho Chi Minh City also known by its former name of Saigon is located in southeast Vietnam. It is the most populous city in Vietnam with a population of 8.4 million. At the conclusion of the Vietnam War on 30 April 1975, the city came under the control of the Vietnamese People's Army. This event is commonly called the "fall of Saigon", while the Socialist Republic of Vietnam refers to it as the "Liberation of Saigon". In 1976, the city of Saigon and two suburban districts were combined to create Ho Chi Minh City in honor of the late Communist leader Hồ Chí Minh.
Main Tourist Sites
Major attractions include the Central Post Office, Municipal Theatre, Bến Thành Market, Notre Dame Cathedral, Independence Palace and the War Remnants Museum. I would say the War Museum would be a must see.
According to Transport Department statistics Ho Chi Minh City is home to 7.43 million registered scooters, mopeds & motorbikes. When you add another 1 million or more motorbikes from other localities, which make their way into the city on a regular basis each day, Ho Chi Minh City’s motorbike count goes up to 8.5 million. Thats a lot of bikes for a city of just over 8 million. Not every one behaves on their motorbike as on several occasions I had to jump out of the way when bikers used the sidewalks to beat a light or get around slow traffic.
The Chinese New Year
and the Vietnam Tet Festival were about to take place in early February. Ladies (some of whom were models) could be found throughout the city being photographed in beautiful traditional dresses. These dresses are called Ao Dia, long gowns that have become the symbol of Vietnamese feminine beauty and the pride of the Vietnamese people.
There are several Buddhist Pagodas and Temples in Ho Chi Minh City, well worth exploring.
Heading to South East Asia -
Ho Chi Minh City would be a good starting point. Vibrant, busy, colourful and a very good introduction to all that makes Asian culture so unique and interesting.