Hotel de Ville in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam

I didn’t give Saigon the time it deserved. I had planned a few days there, but soon after I took the photos from this walking tour of the center city, I got sick and had to lie low for the remainder of my time. The first thing anyone will notice is that people rarely refer to the city as Ho Chi Minh. Secondly, anyone who has been to Hanoi will observe that it’s the antithesis of Saigon.

Saigon is very developed: modern roads, high rises, international brands. It’s Vietnam’s economic powerhouse. Hanoi is old-world: narrow streets, more historic, less international influence. But Hanoi is the capital.

The following photos are from the center of Saigon. It’s a more international area with expensive boutique stores and high-rise hotels. It not typically Vietnamese—which means not very chaotic, less traffic, and few street food stalls. However, the sidewalks are wide and pleasant for walking and there is some nice architecture to discover along the way.

Even though I didn’t get an honest look at the city, it would be hard for me to get excited about returning. It just doesn’t have the character that Hanoi has. And comparing regionally, I’d pick Bangkok over Saigon any day of the week.

Photos and text by Stephen Bugno


The Park across from Reunification Palace

Reunification Palace

Reunification Palace


A wedding outside Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame Saigon

Notre Dame Cathedral

Saigon Opera House

The Opera House

Saigon night

Saigon by Night

Saigon cyclo

The famous cyclos of Saigon

Saigon from 15th floor (3)

The Saigon River