Tourist Information & Attractions
Saigon is the economic center of Vietnam. Until the reunification of North and South Vietnam in 1975, the city' name was Saigon. The Communist Government of Hanoi renamed it in honour of Ho Ch Minh, the leader of the Communist forces during the Vietnam War, who successfully lead the nation against both the French and the Americans. Saigon is more modern than other Vietnamese cities. The streets are jam packed with scooters and mopeds, which often are carrying entire families.
1. Historical Museum
The Historical Museum was built in 1928 in pagoda style. Exhibited are findings from prehistoric times, art objects from different Vietnamese dynasties and kingdoms, as well as memorabilia of the Communist Party and from the struggle for independence.
2. Presidential Palace (Hall of Reunification)
The former Presidential Palace is now called Hall of Reunification. Originally stood the Palace of the French Governor of Cochin China, built in 1868. In 1962 the building was bombed in an attempt to assassinate Diem.
The Hall of Reunification then replaced the original building. Inside the building everything was left the way it was found in 1975, when Northern Vietnamese took forces on Saigon.
3. Hau Pagoda
This is the most important pagoda in Saigon, and serves prayers to the Buddha as well as to the Chinese deity Thein Hau Thanh Mau, the goddess of sea and the patron of the sailors. The pagoda is richly ornamented.
4. Cathedral Notre Dame
The Catholic Cathedral of Notre Dame was built between 1877 and 1880, allegedly on the site of an old Pagoda. Mass is held here several times every day of the year.
5. Municipal Theatre
The Municipal Theatre of Saigon is another example of well-preserved French colonial architecture in Vietnam. The Municipal Theatre is still, or again, very much in use as it is the venue for a large number of cultural presentations.
6. City Hall
Few French colonial buildings in Saigon are as well preserved as the City Hall.
Cholon is Saigon's Chinatown. Though tens of thousands of Chinese citizens have fled the country before and after the Communist Victory of 1975, Cholon still is the most densely populated part of the city.