The second largest city in Vietnam and also its commercial capital, Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) is fast becoming the nation’s window to the world. Buzzing with frenetic activity, cosmopolitan Ho Chi Minh City looks outward, listens to jazz, and drinks French wine. Existing alongside the high-rise hotels, shopping malls, and chic restaurants, are ancient pagodas and colonial buildings, recalling a checkered but vibrant past.
One of the most recognizable landmarks in the city, this prominent shopping center was built in 1914 by the French, who named it Les Halles Centrales or the Central Market Hall. The main structure that houses the market is made of reinforced concrete and occupies an enormous area. Its most famous feature is the massive clock tower that dominates the neighborhood.
Located in the former US Information Service building, this exhibition was once known as the War Crimes Museum. The films, pictures, and other items on display here document atrocities committed by American, Chinese, and French soldiers in grim detail. Events are told from a Vietnamese perspective and are both moving and thought-provoking.
Cu Chi tunnels are a symbol of Vietnam's continual fight against foreign incursions. The tunnel system covers close to 200 km including under what was once a US air base. The tunnels once spanned an area stretching from close to the Cambodian border to the city limits of Ho Chi Minh City. They are a symbol of Vietnamese ingenuity, loyalty, hard work and determination. They were originally constructed to fight against the French in the 1940s. Their purpose was to provide the peasant army with a means of communication between villages while remaining undetected.
Vietnam has two big deltas, the Red River delta in the North, and the one we talk about here is Mekong in the South, this Mekong delta region is formed by the various tributaries of the mighty Mekong River which begins its journey to the sea in Tibet and winds its way for 4500 km through China, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Southern Vietnam.
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