Saigon, Vietnam (Ho Chi Min City)
Saigon, which was renamed Ho Chi Min City after the war is a vibrant city with a fascinating history.
Hotel 127 (127 D Cong Quyen) is a welcoming and inexpensive guesthouse with reasonable prices, a good location, and air conditioned rooms.
The more expensive Rex Hotel has classic rooms in a classic French building that really brings home the contrast between the French Colonial influence in this area and the more recent communist history.
Blue Ginger Restaurant (37 Nam Ky Khoi Ngyia) an atmospheric choice for dinner with delicious upscale Vietnamese food
Encore Angkor 5 D Nguyen Thiep, District 1 is a good place to try Cambodian food if you're not headed to Phnom Penh
Our first stop was the "War Remnants Museum", which used to be called something like the "American War Crimes Museum". While the museum was very one-sided, it was quite an emotional experience for us. We saw several captured American tanks and aircraft, and lots of ordinance (some of it unexploded), including car-sized bombs dropped from B-52s. The museum was packed with photos and testimony from civilians as well as articles from foreign newspapers showing the impact of the "American War" on people and the environment. Believe it or not, there are still areas in Vietnam where no vegetation will grow due to the chemical agents the U.S. dropped on it -- this after almost 30 years! Because we visited soon after September 11th, this was a very emotional experience for us.
Saigon is the place to do your gift shopping before heading home. While Hanoi focuses more on traditional items, Saigon has become a shopping Mecca for Japanese tourists looking for a bargain close to home. Shops feature modern Asian inspired house wares, clothing and more at reasonable prices.
Off the Beaten Path
Binh Quoi Tourist Village along the Saigon River in Ho Chi Minh City is worth a trip. Despite it's name, it's visited more by Vietnamese than foreigners and for a single 70,000 dong ticket you get unlimited access to food from all over Vietnam.
Questions and Answers
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