For those who only have a few days to spend in Ho Chi Minh, a tour of the city is highly recommended. It offers the visitors the opportunity to get a feel of the city's architecture and life. We started off with the Reunification Palace, formerly known as the Presidential Palace. This important city landmark assured its place in history on April 30, 1975 when the first North Vietnamese tanks rumbled past, signaling the fall of Saigon and ultimately the end of the Vietnam War. Currently the building is set as a museum with various meeting areas (still used for diplomatic and government meetings), war rooms and a basement communication center.
Our next stop was the Notre Dame Cathedral which dates back to the 19th century. It is one of the most popular places and a backdrop for wedding photographs. Across the street from the Cathedral is the city's striking French colonial era post office, whilst Hotel de Ville de Saigon, officially Ho Chi Minh City Hall is another of the city's most prominent buildings. Another example of French colonial architecture is the Saigon Opera House (built in 1898) which stands right at the heart of the city. Our last stop was at the Jade Emperor Pagoda, is a Taoist temple build by the Chinese community in 1909. The temple exhibits various phantasmagorical divinities and grotesque heroes, having the Jade Emperor or the king of Heaven at its center.