In this live-streamed Online Experience, I will share with you some of the major historical sites of Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon.
We will begin our tour at the Central Post Office, designed by the well-known engineer Eiffel. This site is a beautifully preserved remnant of French colonial times and perhaps the grandest post office in all of Southeast Asia. It features arched windows and wooden shutters, just as it would have in its heyday in the late 19th Century, and as we walk around it, you will get to admire its true magnificence. Next, we will visit the Saigon Opera House. An elegant colonial building and one of the most elaborate theatres in Indochina, it was built in 1897 and is used for staging opera and a wide range of performing arts, including ballet, musical concerts, Vietnamese traditional dance and plays.
We will then go to the city's heart and see the City Hall. Formerly known as Hotel de Ville, the French built it in a renaissance style that was inspired by the design of town halls in France. A notable feature of the building is the bell tower that stands on a pyramid-shaped pedestal, and as we walk around, I will show you more interesting aspects of this building.
Continued on our trip, we will ride on a scooter to experience the traffic of Ho Chi Minh City, which can be very crazy and chaotic but is a lot of fun to mingle in. Finally, we will end our tour at the Jade Emperor Pagoda, built in 1909 in honour of the supreme Taoist god (the Jade Emperor or King of Heaven). This is one of the most atmospheric temples in the city, stuffed with statues of divinities and grotesque heroes and perfumed with incense that obscures the exquisite woodcarvings. This is the perfect place to end our tour and say our goodbyes.