Ho Chi Minh City Cruise
Ho Chi Minh City, the former Saigon, is often referred to as 'Vietnam's Jewel' and the 'Pearl of the Orient.' The official name change tookplace in 1976, following the reunification of the country. Located inthe south of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City is the country's largest city,with a population of more than six million people and over one millionmotorbikes. In its history feature the Khmer, the Vietnamese and theFrench, who were replaced by the Americans and a 'Puppet Regime,' andfinally the communists. Each one flattened existing structures andrebuilt them to please their own style.
Under the currentgovernment, the city is once more being rebuilt. Whole blocks aredisappearing and replaced by concrete, steel and glass structures.Central Saigon, which is still the official name for the city center,shows evidence of the French colonial city it once was, with wide,tree-lined boulevards, sidewalk cafÐ ¹s and elegant, French-colonialarchitecture.
The city is divided into two major sections: themunicipal and historical districts of Saigon and Cholon or Chinatown,where the entrepreneurial talent and private funds are concentrated.Cholon appears to be the most populated and, in general, the mostvigorous part of Ho Chi Minh City. It is well worth a visit for itsbustle of activity and its pagodas, which are reputed to be the finestin the city.