HO CHI MINH CITY
Natural land area: 2,095 square kilometres
Population: 7,123,340 people
Administrative units: Inner districts (district 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Tan Phu, Tan Binh, Binh Tan, Phu Nhuan, Binh Thanh, Thu Duc, Go Vap); Suburban districts (Cu Chi, Binh Chanh, Hoc Mon, Nha Be, Can Gio)
Ethnics: Kinh (Viet Nam's main ethnic group)
Climate: Tropical climate, with rainy season from May to late November, then dry season from December to April next year.
Ho Chi Minh City is located at 10°45'N, 106°40'E in the southeastern region of Vietnam, 1,760 km (1,090 mi) south of Hanoi. The average elevation is 19 metres (62 ft) above sea level. It borders Tay Ninh and Binh Duong provinces to the north, Dong Nai and Ba Ria-Vung Tau provinces to the east, Long An Province to the west and the South China Sea to the south with a coast of 15 km in length. The city covers an area of 2,095 km2 (809 sq mi) (0.63% of the surface of Vietnam), extending up to Cu Chi (12 mi (19 km) from the Cambodian border), and down to Can Gio on the Vietnam East Sea coast. The distance from the northernmost point (Phu My Hung Commune, Cu Chi District) to the southernmost one (Long Hoa Commune, Can Gio District) is 102 kilometers (63 mi), and from the easternmost point (Long Binh Ward, District Nine) to the westernmost one (Binh Chanh Commune, Binh Chanh District) is 47 kilometers (29 mi).
Today, the city's core is still adorned with wide elegant boulevards and historic French colonial buildings. The most prominent structures in the city center are Reunification Palace (Dinh Thống Nhất), City Hall (Ủy ban nhân dân Thành phố), the Municipal Theatre (Nhà hát thành phố, also known as the Opera House), City Post Office (Bưu điện thành phố), State Bank Office (Ngân hàng nhà nước), City People's Court (Tòa án nhân dân thành phố) and Notre-Dame Cathedral (Nhà thờ Đức Bà). Some of the historic hotels are the Hotel Majestic, dating from the French colonial era, and the Rex Hotel, Caravelle hotel some former hangouts for American officers and war correspondents in the 1960s and 1970s
The city has various museums, such as the Ho Chi Minh City Museum, Museum of Vietnamese History, the Revolutionary Museum, the Museum of Southeastern Armed Forces, the War Remnants Museum, the Museum of Southern Women, the Museum of Fine Art, the Nha Rong Memorial House, and the Ben Duoc Relic of Underground Tunnels. The Củ Chi tunnels are northwest of the city in Củ Chi district. The Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens, in District 1, dates from 1865.
Besides the Municipal Theatre, there are other places of entertainment such as: the Bến Thành and Hòa Bình Theaters and the Lan Anh Music Stage. The Đầm Sen Tourist and Cultural Park, Suoi Tien Amusement and Culture Park, and the Can Gio Eco beach resort are three recreational sites inside the city which are popular with tourists. Ho Chi Minh City is home to hundreds of cinemas and theatres, with cinema and dramatic ticketing revenue accounting for 60-70% of Vietnam’s total revenue in this industry.[clarification needed] Unlike other dramatic teams in Vietnam’s provinces and municipalities, those in Ho Chi Minh City live on their own income and keep their theaters active everyday, and are not subsidized by the Vietnamese government. The city is home to most of the private movie companies in Vietnam.
Like many of Vietnam's smaller cities, the city boasts a multitude of restaurants serving typical Vietnamese dishes such as phở or rice vermicelli. Backpacking travelers most often frequent the "Western Quarter" on Pham Ngu Lao street in District 1.
Saigon-HCM City is a unique and breathtaking city. Discover the variety of sites, shops and restaurants that reflect the city's great ethnic and cultural diversity.