Once known as Prey Nokor (the most important seaport for the Khmers) and Saigon (capital of Cochinchina and South Vietnam) Ho Chi Minh is nowadays the largest city in Vietnam and the main centre of commerce. Ho Chi Minh has evolved from being war-torn city to a flourishing metropolis since the implementation of Đổi Mới, a series of economic reforms initiated in Vietnam in 1986 to create a centralised socialist oriented market economy.
With one of the most vibrant and energetic atmospheres in Southeast Asia this lively city can seriously shake the senses of its visitors. Bursts of street sounds accompany the pulsating ambiance among shops, fine restaurants, luxury hotels and flashy bars while botanical gardens, glitzy cafes and museums provide an escape from the chaos.
It is easy to lose the perception of time here; with so many historical and cultural sights, French colonial and traditional architecture, fascinating museums and theatres, ample elegant boulevards full of commerce and an endless supply of Pho and Vietnamese coffee a visit to Ho Chi Minh can be everything but boring.