Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Home Hue Demilitarised Zone HoiAn
Buildings Tet Ben Thanh Market

Fast Facts about HCMC

  • Population: 5.5 million registered, + 2.5 million others
  • Industrial and commercial capital
  • Average HCMC income is 3 times average Vietam income

Above are the floating restaurants along the banks of the Saigon River.

The photograph on the left was taken just outside Lotteria on Le Loi. The bamboo child seat was fixed with a couple of straps, so it could wobble a bit, but not fall off. There was nothing to restrain the child. This was not a one-off though, during my stay I saw quite a number of these. This was one of the more robust.

Traffic in HCMC is both different and interesting compared to that in the UK. There are very few pedestrian crossings, or traffic lights, or rules. It is easy to spot the "new" tourists as they hesitate at the kerb. If you are new or afraid then cross with others. Or cross at the side of a pole carrier. Whatever you do do not make sudden movements. Just cross at a steady pace and the traffic will go round you, except cars, buses and trucks. It is best not to cross when these are approaching - there aren't many of them though.

There is so much to see in this city, and it changes every time I return. But you must go to Ben Thanh Market, and try a rickshaw ride. For the rest it is up to you. I find it is best just walking around, that way you find the most amazing things. And when you get tired just take a taxi back to your hotel. If you are worried about the language problem carry a few cards from your hotel and give one to the taxi driver.

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