Ho Chi Minh City, the larggest commercial city in Vietnam, is in the core of Mekong Delta, formerly known as Saigon. It is not only commercial but also a scientific, technological, industrial and tourist centre. Many rivers are batthed the city like arroyos, canals, and the biggest river is Saigon River. The Saigon Port was established in 1862, accessible to ships weighing up to 30,000 tons, a rare advantage for an inland river port.
Climate: There are two distinctive seasons: the rainy season is from May to November, and the dry season is from December to April. The annual average temperature is 27oC. April is the hottest month and December is lowest. Weather is warm all year.
Merchants from countries as China, Japan and many European countries would be upstream the Saigon River to reach up the islet of Pho, a trading centre. The Cho Lon market was merged with Saigon in 1874, forming the largest city in the Indochina at that time. It was celebrated as the Pearl of the Far East for many years. After the reunification of the country, the 6th National Assembly in its meeting of the 2nd of July, 1976, has officially renamed Ho Chi Minh City. The history of city relate closely with the struggle for the independence and freedom of Vietnam.
Ho Chi Minh City is today well-known as a busy commercial and tourist centre in Vietnam, attracting numerous of visitors to Vietnam. This city has various attractions such as Ho Chi Minh Museum, formerly known as Dragon House Wharf, Cu Chi Tunnels, War museums, History Musseum, ancient temples and Buddhist pagoda, etc.…. Recently many tourist areas are invested such as Thanh Da, Binh Quoi Village, Dam Sen Park, Sai Gon Water Park, Suoi Tien, Ky Hoa…., which draw a large number of tourists
Ho Chi Minh City possesses various beautiful buildings, displaying a characteristic combination of Vietnamese, Chinese and European cultures. These include Nha Rong (Dragon House Wharf), Quoc Tu Temple (National Ancestors Temple), Xa Tay (Municipal Office), Ho Chi Minh Municipal Theatre as well as many pagodas and churches (Vinh Nghiem, Giac Lam, Phung Son pagodas…). After more than 300 years development, Ho Chi Minh City presents many ancient architectural constructions, famous vestiges and renowned sights. It is remarkable for it harmonious blending of traditional national values with northern and western culture features.
Ho Chi Minh City is the main junction for train, roads, water, and air transportation systems for domestic trips and foreign destinations.
Roads: Ho Chi Minh City is 1,730 km from Hanoi, 99km from Tay Ninh, 30 km from Bien Hoa (Dong Nai), 70km from My Tho, 125 km from Vung Tau, 168 km from can Tho, 308 km from Dalat, and 375 km from Buon Ma Thuot. The City has National Highway 13 which connects Vietnam with the rest of Indochina
Train: Thong Nhat express train connects Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, via many provinces in Vietnam.
Air: Tan Son Nhat International Airport, 7 km from centre of city, is one of the biggest airports with many domestic and international flights.
With an area of over 70,000 ha, of which 35,000 ha is salt-watered forest, Can Gio has been recognized as a biosphere reserve of the world by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Cu Chi Tunnels consist of more than 200km of underground tunnels. This main axis system has many branches connecting to underground hideouts, shelters, and entrances to other tunnels.
Ben Thanh Market is situated at the intersection of Le Loi Avenue, Ham Nghi Avenue, Tran Hung Dao Avenue and Le Lai Street, 700m south-west of the Rex Hotel.
At first, the market was situated near the Ben Nghe River Dike. After being moved many times, it is now standing in the centre of the city where consumers can conveniently find all sorts of products.
According to Vuong Hong Sen, author of "the book Saigon of the Past", in 1912, the French filled a pond, the Boresse, into a solid foundation of 12,000m2 and built a market on it. The market was close to a landing stage (Ben) of the old city (Thanh), hence its name of Ben Thanh. The opening ceremony for the market in March 1914 was a big festive event.
At present, the front of Ben Thanh Market faces Quach Thi Trang Square; its rear faces Le Thanh Ton Street; its right, Phan Chu Trinh Street and its left, Phan Boi Chau Street. At all of its four sides, there are bustling trading shops.
Located at the centre of the city, Ben Thanh Market is always loaded with varieties of goods, such as consumer goods, cakes and candies, food and foodstuff, and particularly high-quality fruit and vegetables. Goods are displayed in a very attractive way that always catches the eyes of the buyers. They meet all requirements for the customers' daily life or for their families. The market has four gates that are very convenient for the market-goers. For all of its advantages, Ben Thanh Market is one of the most attractive tourist sites in the city for both domestic and foreign visitors.
This is the city biggest resort with its unique scenery.