HO CHI MINH CITY
Let yourself be drawn into the bustle of the former Saigon
The very name of Saigon, as it was known until 1975, is enough to bring back the colonial past of this forward-looking cosmopolitan city.
Ho Chi Minh City is one of the most dynamic cities of the Far East has the wind in its sails. In recent years, the ultramodern skyscrapers on the banks of the Saigon River devoted to 5-star hotels, offices, and luxury apartments, always seem to want to climb higher into the sky. The price per square metre even exceeds that of Ginza, one of Tokyo's most famous neighbourhoods. But the chic new boutiques and trendy bars have not erased the elegance of the colonial architecture and the romantic charm of this unique city, which people still continue to call by its former name, “Saigon”.
Among the hordes of scooters and mopeds, the last pedicabs are trying to make their way at any cost. The old colonial city can still be discovered in the district of Cholon-the Chinatown of Ho Chi Minh City, to the west of District 1- or meandering between the Municipal Theatre, a replica of the Petit Palais in Paris, whose flamboyant style was inspired by the Opera Garnier, and the Central Post Office, with its metal frame designed by Gustave Eiffel, the French engineer behind the famous Eiffel Tower.
Its tumultuous history, also marked by the French, Americans and Soviets, has forged the character of this euphoric and inventive city, which is more than ever looking to the future. Without ignoring its legacy, as the many paradoxes between ancient culture and fashion updates give Ho Chi Minh City its special charm.
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