Ho Chi Minh (Saigon)
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Commonly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is a city in southern Vietnam famous for the pivotal role it played in the Vietnam War. It’s also known for its French colonial architecture, including Notre-Dame Basilica, made entirely of materials imported from France, and the neoclassical Saigon Central Post Office.
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Vietnam Cookery Center is located on Dong Khoi in central Ho Chi Minh City, a 12-minute walk from the riverfront. Classes happen every day, twice a day. The price for a morning class with the market visit is $39 per person. For morning classes without the market visit, or afternoon classes, the cost is $34 per person.
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Notre-Dame Cathedral of Saigon, officially the Immaculate Conception Cathedral Basilica, the church is the largest and most unusual in Ho Chi Minh City, with two bell towers 60 m high, located in the city center (No. 1 of the Cong Xa Paris street, District 1). This is one of the unique religious architecture attracts many visitors in Ho Chi Minh city.
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Reunification Palace situated in the heart of District 1, a short walk from Ben Thanh market – follow Le Loi away from the market circle and turn left onto Nam Ky Khoi Nghia. Don’t miss the maze of basement rooms, where informative movies are screened continuously.
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Quan Am pagoda is very popular among both Vietnamese and Chinese Buddhists. Most of the inscriptions are in Chinese characters, but some labels have been added in Vietnamese. The Pagoda is located on Lao Tu Street in Cho Lon in District 5 of Ho Chi Minh City.
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Formerly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is a sophisticated city of more than seven million people, making it the largest city in Vietnam. It is also a city of contrasts, with modern skyscrapers dotting the horizon and colonial-style buildings lining many of the streets.
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The Cu Chi Wildlife Rescue Station rescues animals that are confiscated from the illegal animal trade in Ho Chi Minh City or other surrounded provinces. This is the fist multi-species rescue station in the South of Vietnam that can takes of many endangered wild species.
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The Saigon Central Post Office was designed by Gustave Eiffel – the renowned engineer who also designed the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower – and features arched windows and wooden shutters, just as it would have in its heyday in the late 19th Century.
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The tallest building of Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), Bitexco Financial Tower is also known as the Lotus building, for its design inspired by the Lotus Flower, which is a symbol for Vietnam. Stationed at Nguyen Hue, it’s easily accessible via the Saigon Bridge, Thu Thiem Tunnel and a short drive from Tan Son Nhat International Airport.
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The War Remnants Museum’s roots date back to 1975, when it was called the Exhibition House for U.S. and Puppet Crimes. The name was shortened to Exhibition House for Crimes of War and Aggression in 1990, then changed again to War Remnants Museum in 1995, amid improving relations with the U.S. and increasing numbers of American visitors.
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Giac Lam Pagoda is located on Lac Long Quan street, to the north of District 5, (not in Cholon area). May be combined with a visit to Cholon but a cyclo or taxi trip would be necessary to reach it. Usual temple rules apply – respectful clothing, no hats, no smoking – but here shoes are permitted.
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Saigon River, also called Song Sai Gon in Vietnamese, that rises near Phum Daung, southeastern Cambodia, and flows south and south-southeast for about 140 miles (225 km). Saigon River is critically important to the residents of Ho Chi Minh City as a main water supply.
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Ben Thanh Market is easy to find in the heart of District 1 where Le Loi, Tran Hung Dao and Le Lai converge at the central roundabout. Often crowded and bustling but makes for a great atmosphere. Be prepared to haggle hard for what you want – it’s part of the experience.
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Can Gio Mangrove Forest stretches from the ocean to the edge of Ho Chi Minh City, covering some forty thousand hectares of diverse habitats including mangroves, palm-fringed islands, steamy jungle, wetlands, and salt marsh. The region boasts astonishing biodiversity and supports one of the most important ecosystems in Vietnam.
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The Saigon Opera House was originally built to entertain Saigon burgeoning middle class in French Colonial times. A number of French Architects were involved with the creation of the original building that was completed in 1897. Felix Olivier, Ernest Guichard and Eugene Ferret are all mentioned at various stages of design and construction.