A city that spans ages and cultures
As well as having many utterly modern buildings, Ho Chi Minh has been graced by multi-ethnic influences over the years, which can be seen in striking Chinese and French architecture.
To see them all at once, for the equivalent of around £7, go sky-high at the Saigon Skydeck on top of the Bixteco Financial Tower. The far-reaching views of the sprawling city from here are amazing.
For French colonial architecture, the Dong Khoi area is the place to go. It houses the Saigon Opera House and many grand French hotels flowing down the streets around it, as well as the Central Post Office, which has an opulent arched interior. And the 19th-century Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica, in the appropriately-titled Paris Square, was built by the French with red bricks all the way from Marseille.
Among the beautifully-intricate Cantonese buildings in Ho Chi Minh, Thien Hau Temple is brimming with carvings and lanterns. Situated in Chinatown, and still in use by the local Chinese community, it displays bronze statues of the worshipped deity Thien Hau.
And for a taste of true Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Complex is the final resting place of the Vietminh leader Ho Chi Minh who gave the city his name. The traffic-free botanical gardens contain Ho Chi Minh’s Stilt House and One Pillar Pagoda, the Presidential Palace and a museum where you can learn about the former leader, known affectionately as uncle Ho.