Offering a tantalising peek of its former French colonial charm amidst a plethora of other potent imagery, a Ho Chi Minh City holiday from The Co-operative Travel will tempt you like no other.
Curious westerners flock to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) because it makes a perfect base for exploring the magical Mekong Delta, one of Vietnam's most popular tourist destinations, as well as being a fascinating muddle of a place.
Today Ho Chi Minh City has a cosmopolitan and energetic air, and having actively welcomed the new capitalist principle, the business-minded spirit of the people is much in evidence. Although relatively modern, it has still managed to hold onto its Asian character, and fine restaurants, smart hotels and chic bars line the sidewalks crammed with noodle stands and markets.
Your choice of accommodation on a Ho Chi Minh City package holiday or all-inclusive holiday is very extensive. Basic lodgings are available at bargain prices, but many large hotel chains now have their own establishments, meaning that the price and quality range is among the widest you'll find anywhere.
Among the sights not to be missed are the Hotel de Ville. The former French colonial town hall is now home to the equivalent of the city council, the Ho Chi Minh People's Committee. The best souvenir shopping in Ho Chi Minh City is in Ben Thanh Market, for everyday essentials as well as souvenirs, and the Dong Khoi Bazaar where beautiful arts and crafts are available, but getting a reasonable price for your purchase will depend on your negotiating skills.
South Vietnamese cuisine is heavily influenced by the presence of Chinese food, so familiar dishes appear on many menus. A handful of restaurants invite you to prepare your own meat on a mini barbecue set next to your table.
Ho Chi Minh City does have a small selection of sophisticated bars, while the handful of clubs try to appeal to all tastes. America Discotheque, the largest club in the country, for example, has two rooms catering for diverse musical tastes.
You might find Ho Chi Minh City holiday deals and offers difficult to track down, but it's always worth checking The Co-operative Travel website for a last-minute Ho Chi Minh City holiday which will offer you substantial savings.