THE DESTINATIONS

Our vision is to be your most trusted brand for cruises booking

Saigon (Ho Chi Minh city)

Ho Chi Minh City, formerly (until 1976) Saigon, largest city in Vietnam. It was the capital of the French protectorate of Cochinchina (1862–1954) and of South Vietnam (1954–75). The city lies along the Saigon River (Song Sai Gon) to the north of the Mekong River delta, about 50 miles (80 km) from the East Sea. The commercial centre of Cho Lon lies immediately west of Ho Chi Minh City.

The area now occupied by Ho Chi Minh City was for a long time part of the kingdom of Cambodia. The Vietnamese first gained entry to the region in the 17th century. Relations with France began in the 18th century, when French traders and missionaries settled in the area. In 1859 the town was captured by the French, and in 1862 it was ceded to France by the Vietnamese emperor Tu Duc. As the capital of Cochinchina, Saigon was transformed into a major port city and a metropolitan centre of beautiful villas, imposing public buildings, and well-paved, tree-lined boulevards. Railway lines running north and south of the city were constructed, and Saigon became the principal collecting point for the export of rice grown in the Mekong River delta.

Saigon was occupied by the Japanese in 1940, but French colonial authorities continued to administer Vietnam until 1945, when they were interned by the Japanese. Saigon itself was largely unaffected by World War II.

After the Japanese surrender in 1945, Vietnamese independence was declared by the Viet Minh organization under Ho Chi Minh in Hanoi, but celebrations in Saigon turned into a riot. French troops then seized control of the city, and the First (or French) Indochina War began. The war ended in 1954 with a Geneva conference, which divided Vietnam into northern and southern zones. The cultural and political life of Saigon, which became the capital of South Vietnam, was enriched and complicated by an influx of refugees from North Vietnam.

Ho Chi Minh City now is the business and financial hub of Vietnam,and the is a popular tourist destination due to its fascinating culture, classic French architecture, and sleek skyscrapers as well as ornate temples and pagodas. The city is also filled with rooftop bars that overlook Saigon and beyond, while fantastic restaurants offer a combination of French, Chinese, and, of course, local Vietnamese cuisine.

 

PLACES OF INTERESTS