Ho Chi Minh City

lying in the southeastern region of Vietnam, approximately 1,760 km from the Capital of Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City is the largest economic center and most populous city in Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh City features a tropical climate with high humidity. The average temperature is 28 oC (82 oF), the highest temperature recorded was 40 oC (104 oF) and lowest recorded was 13.8 oC (57 oF). There are two seasons in a year. The rainy season starts from May to November with an average rainfall of about 1,800 millimeters annually and the dry season starts from December to April.

Places of Interest

Independence Palace

The Palace was completed in 1966. Architect Ngo Viet Thu is the building desinger. Initially, on this site there was Norodom Palace used for the French Governor of Indochina. In 1954 Ngo Dinh Diem who then became the President of South Vietnam came to stay here. In 1962 two pilots of Diem’s air force dropped bombs to assassinate their president, which destroyed the left wing of the palace. Diem had the Independence Palace built on this site. The construction took four years to build and reflects the influence of American 1960s architecture.

War Remnants Museum

The museum was established on September 4th, 1975 with the name Exhibition House for US and Puppet Crimes. On July 4th 1995 (one week before U.S. President Bill Clinton announced the formal normalization of diplomatic relations with Vietnam) Vietnam renamed the War Remnants Museum. The indoor (building) contains photos, objects and artifacts reflecting the effects of Agent Orange, other chemicals and the use of bombs. The outside displays remnants of the war such as jets, tanks, and cannons abandoned by the American military.

Notre Dame Cathedral

The Cathedral is the major seat of Catholicism in South Vietnam. The French built it from 1863 to 1880 in a neo-Roman style. The French transported lots of materials from their country such as red bricks, colored glass windows. The Cathedral was consecrated in 1962 in honor of the three hundred anniversary of the Saigon Bishopric. The church holds full services in both Vietnamese and English every Sunday morning.

Saigon Post Office

The French built this Post Office between 1886 and 1891 embracing the neoclassical style. The building is harmonious with its surroundings. This is one of the finest examples of French colonial architecture.

Ben Thanh Market

Ben Thanh is one of the largest and oldest traditional markets in Vietnam. The market was built from 1912 to 1914 and renovated in 1985. Ben Thanh offers a variety of things to shop.

Other highlights of Ho Chi Minh City include The City Hall and Jade Emperor Pagoda (a mixture of Taoism and Buddhism built in 1892).