Ho Chi Minh City, situated in the southern part of Vietnam, is still called Saigon by most of the natives. This modern city used to be considered as the Pearl of the Orient by the French.
The wide Saigon River, which takes a huge turn from the east of Saigon, links the city with the sea. Unlike Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City may lack charm and elegance, but the city with its essential French colonial character has enough to draw your attention. The city's colonial villas, wide avenues and a lively cafe society remind you the days of French dominance.
Over the last 10 years, Ho Chi Minh City has experienced a spectacular change in its cityscape. The once low-rise landscape of the city's central area, District 1, is now marked with shining skyscrapers including high-rise apartments, international hotels and companies. This bustling, vibrant, industrial hub of the nation is the biggest city of Vietnam as well. Saigon is also the cultural center and economic capital of the country.
The city is well connected with rest of the world through air routes and sea and thereby draws huge foreign funds in the fields like oil, gas, agriculture, textiles, and marine products. However tourism contributes a major part of the government's revenue.
The city with its teeming metropolis mingled with the elegance of ancient culture, gives you a microcosmic view of the entire nation.