Vietnam’s business capital mixes the atmosphere of the colonial past with peaceful temples and bustling markets.
You can imagine Saigon to turn into the next Bangkok, in 10-20 years time. Calling it fast-paced would be pushing it, considering the traffic, but it is certainly the commercial hub of Vietnam. Streets are clogged with slow-moving traffic, mostly motorbikes – thousands of them, they are a pest, really, and they are everywhere – and taxis. Pavements are equally clogged, with parked motorbikes, or people waiting on motorbikes, or otherwise with low tables and chairs, representing restaurants and coffee shops. Lots of building sites, everywhere in town, the old French architecture – with the exception of some of the more illustrious colonial buildings – making way for modern high-rise.
As big cities go, it has something on offer for everybody. Fancy shops, upmarket hotels (and plenty of mediocre low-budget ones), plenty of good restaurants, busy markets, old colonial architecture, hidden temples providing an oasis of peace inside the bustling city.
Definitely a place to spent some days, if even just to soak up the atmosphere.