Energetic, expeditious and ever-evolving; the southern city of Saigon, or Ho Chi Minh as it’s now called, is the fast-paced frère of capital Hanoi.

Whilst ghosts of the past haunt the old churches, temples and government buildings, new life breathes through the upmarket hotels and designer shopping malls. Saigon blends old and new, as ancient pagodas stand enduring, co-existing with the skyline billboards that promote the capitalist dream.

Renamed by the Communist government in 1975 following the fall of Saigon, Ho Chi Minh takes its name from the late dictator who died in 1969. Despite the name-change, locals still refer to the city as Saigon, largely due to conflicting opinions of their past leader. Saigon’s lively spirit and flair has given it the nickname of ‘the Paris of the east’, and despite the rapid modernisation, many of the city’s French qualities are still clear to see.

Ho Chi Minh

Fast Facts
  • Time Difference GMT +7 approx
  • Currency Vietnamese Dong
  • Flight Time 12 hours 50 minutes from UK
  • Capital Hanoi
  • Best time to go December to April

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