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HANOI :: HO CHI MINH CITY
A captivating mixture of medieval and modern…of Chinese influence and French design, Vietnam's capital is one of Southeast Asia's most engaging cities. With much to see and do, highlights include several sites focused on Ho Chi Minh-his residence, mausoleum, and a museum; the wooden One-Pillar Pagoda, dating back to 1049; the Presidential Palace; 900-year-old Temple of Literature; a performance of the world-famous Hanoi Water Puppets; the Ethnology Museum; and a cruise on stunning Ha Long Bay.
Situated near the South China Sea, Ho Chi Minh City was an ancient Khmer settlement known as Saigon until the end of the Vietnam War in 1975. Today, its French colonial influence from the mid-19th century can be seen in the city's broad boulevards and elegant architecture. Fascinating attractions include the Cu Chi Tunnels, a network of underground tunnels used by the Viet Cong as a hideout during the war; the War Remnants Museum; Reunification Palace; and the colorful Jade Emperor Pagoda with its many intriguing statues and beautiful wood carvings.
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