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 Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh destination - Ben thanh market Notre Dame Church in Sai gon Ho Chi Minh - post office Cu chi tunnels

Ho Chi Minh Overview:
Ho Chi Minh City formerly named Saigon is a largest City in Viet Nam located in the Southern. It was renamed to Ho Chi Minh City in 1975.
However, the informal name of Saigon remains in daily speech both domestically and internationally. Saigon nowadays is on strong developing with many international commercial buildings and many industrial Zones around the outskirt areas.
There are 12 districts from number 1 to 12 inside the city and 11 districts in outskirt area they are Tân Bình, Bình Thạnh, Phú Nhuận, Thủ Đức, Gò Vấp, Bình Tân, Tân Phú, Nhà Bè, Cần Giờ, Hóc Môn, Củ Chi, Bình Chánh.
Ho Chi Minh City is the most crowded city in Viet Nam with the estimated population around 10 million in this present time. A big part of them is from other cities and provinces throughout the country specially from the North.
There are millions of motorbikes in this city due to the population density.
Ho Chi Minh geography:
Ho Chi Minh City located in the southeastern region of Viet Nam, around 1750 km from the South from Ha Noi Capital.
The average elevation is 19 metres above sea level. It borders Tay Ninh and Binh Duong provinces to the north, Dong Nai and Ba Ria-Vung Tau provinces to the east, Long An Province to the west and the South China Sea to the south with a coast 15 km long. The city covers an area of 2,095 km2
Transports:
- By Air: - Tan Son Nhat International Airport: Ho Chi Minh City is served by Tan Son Nhat International Airport, located in Tan Binh District. Tan Son Nhat Airport is currently the largest airport in Vietnam in terms of passengers handled (with an estimated number of over 15.5 million passengers per year in 2010, accounting for more than half of Vietnam's air passenger traffic ; it will soon be superseded by Long Thanh International Airport, scheduled to begin operation in 2025. Based in Long Thanh, Dong Nai Province, about 40 km northeast of Ho Chi Minh City, Long Thanh Airport will serve international flights, with a maximum traffic capacity of 100 million passengers per year when fully completed;[35] Tan Son Nhat Airport will serve domestic flights.
- By Rail: - Ho Chi Minh City is also a terminal for many Vietnam Railways train routes in the country.
The Reunification Express (tàu Thống Nhất) runs from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi from Saigon Railway Station in District 3, with stops at cities and provinces along the line.
- By Water: - The city's location on the Saigon River makes it a bustling commercial and passenger port; besides a constant stream of cargo ships, passenger boats operate regularly between Ho Chi Minh City and various destinations in Southern Vietnam and Cambodia, including Vung Tau, Can Tho and the Mekong Delta, and Phnom Penh. Traffic between Ho Chi Minh City and Vietnam's southern provinces has steadily increased over the years; the Doi and Te Canals, the main routes to the Mekong Delta, receive 100,000 waterway vehicles every year, representing around 13 million tons of cargo. A project to dredge these routes has been approved to facilitate transport, to be implemented in 2011–2014.


 Tourist Attractions in Ho Chi Minh

Ben Thanh market
Ben Thanh market

Ben Thanh market is one of the features of Ho Chi Minh City, specially the picture of its South Gate. It located right in the heart of the City in District 1.
There were many discussions about this market and keeping it as a feature of Saigon that is the final decision of the Government. Ben Thanh market had renovated in 1985.
The same as other local markets , the vendors sell foods, flowers, fruits , clothes, handicrafts ....



The Reunification Palace
The Reunification Palace

Reunification Palace (Vietnamese: Dinh Thống Nhất) formerly known as Independence Palace (Dinh Độc Lập), built on the site of the former Norodom Palace, is a landmark in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. It is a historical witness for many reigns of Government since Viet Nam was under the domination of French colonel, the World War II , Viet Nam War.
Its origin was built in 1868 which replaced for an old building which was built by wood in 1963.
The new complex was cover the area of 12 hectares and was named Norodom Palace.
In 1955, Ngo Dinh Diem , Prime Minister of Viet Nam declared himself President and changed Norodom Palace to Independence Palace.
In 1963, this Palace was bombed by Diem’s Air Force. This Palace was reconstructed and designed by architect Ngô Viết Thụ ( he was the first Asian architect to become an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects) and was the home and workplace of the President of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War.
The Viet Nam War ended on April 30, 1975. The Independence Palace renamed to Reunification Palace. This palace becomes one of the attraction places for Saigon City tour nowadays. Most of the things still remain and preserve inside this palace and open for public.



Notre Dame Church
Notre Dame Church

Notre Dame Church or Notre Dame Basilica is the biggest and the most special Church in Saigon.
All building materials were imported from France. The outside wall of the cathedral was built with bricks from Marseille. Although the contractor did not use coated concrete, these bricks have retained their bright red color until today.
On 7 October 1877, Bishop Isidore Colombert laid the first stone in an inaugural ceremony. The construction of the cathedral took three years. On Easter Day, 11 April 1880, a blessing ceremony and ceremony of completion were solemnly organized in presence of the Governor of Cochinchina Charles Le Myre de Vilers. One can see the granite plate inside the main entry gate commemorating the start and completion dates and designer. The total cost was 2,500,000 French francs (at that time price). At the beginning, the cathedral was called State Cathedral due to source of the construction cost.
In 1895, two bell towers were added to the cathedral, each 57.6 m high with six bronze bells with the total weight of 28.85 metric tonnes. The crosses were installed on the top of each tower of 3.5 m high, 2 m wide, 600 kg in weight. The total height of the cathedral to the top of the Cross is 60.5 m. In the flower garden in front of the cathedral, there was a bronze statue of Pigneau de Behaine (also called Bishop of Adran) leadingPrince Cảnh, the son of Emperor Gia Long by his right hand. The statue was made in France. In 1945, the statue was removed, but the foundation remains.
In 1959, Bishop Joseph Pham Van Thien, whose jurisdiction included Saigon parish, attended the Holy Mother Congress held inVatican and ordered a Peaceful Notre Dame statue made with granite in Rome. When the statue arrived in Saigon on 16 February 1959, Bishop Pham Van Thien held a ceremony to install the statue on the empty base and presented the title of "Regina Pacis". It was the same bishop who wrote the prayers "Notre-Dame bless the peace to Vietnam". The next day, Cardinal Aganianian came from Rome to chair the closing ceremony of the Holy Mother Congress and solemnly chaired the ceremony for the statue, thus the cathedral was then-on called Notre-Dame Cathedral.(Source : Wikipedia )



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