Ho Chi Minh City or Saigon, situated in the southern part of Vietnam, is still called Saigon by most of the locals. This modern city used to be considered as the "Pearl of the Orient" by the French.
The wide Saigon River, which takes a huge turn from the east of Saigon, links the city with the sea. Unlike Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, Saigon - Ho Chi Minh City may lack charm and elegance, but the city, with its essential French colonial character, has enough to draw your attention.
The city's colonial villas, wide avenues and a lively cafe society remind you of the days of French dominance. Over the last 10 years, Saigon - Ho Chi Minh City has experienced a spectacular change in it's cityscape. The once low rise landscape of the city's central area, District 1, is now marked with shining skyscrapers including high - rise apartments, international hotels and office buildings. The bustling, vibrant industrial hub of the nation is also Vietnam's biggest city.
Saigon is also the cultural centre and economic capital of the country. The city is well connected with the rest of the world through air routes and sea, and thereby draws huge foreign funds in the fields of oil and gas, agriculture, textiles, and marine products.
However tourism contributes a major part of the Government's revenue and visitors will also find intriguing attractions like the Ben Tanh Market, sandy beaches and mouth watering food stalls. Saigon has a tropical climate, specifically a tropical wet and dry climate, with an average humidity of 75%. The year is divided into two distinct seasons.
The rainy season, with an average rainfull of about 1,800 millimitres, usually begins in May and ends in late November. The dry season lasts from December to April.
The average temperatures sometimes reach 39 degrees celcius, around noon in late April, while the lowest may fall to 16 degrees celcius in the early mornings of late December. Saigon - Ho Chi Minh is a city worth exploring ...