Places to visit

Phanta Stay places around ( Ho Chi Minh)


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Kirill Kamanin (author)
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Phanta stay is a 1.2 km from Fine Arts Museum, Phanta Stay offers accommodation with a restaurant, free private parking, a bar and a shared lounge.

Uploaded by Kirill Kamanin

History: Bui Vien grew out of the post-war stagnation by offering accommodations to those new global travelers who could afford plane tickets but not the pleasure of staying in places with names like Majestic, Continental or Caravelle. When Vietnam began encouraging tourism, after it opened its economy in the late eighties, foreigners showed up with more cash in their pockets than a Vietnamese farmer made in an entire year. Families converted the bottom floors of their homes into places catering to tourists. Since then, the business model of Bui Vien hasn’t changed much—just brighter signs and different owners.

Nothing can compare to walking down Bui Vien around midnight in the middle of peak tourism season—dozens of shops hiding behind metal security gates, crowds in tiny plastic chairs on the sidewalks, and music vibrating your organs with overlapping beats from all the pubs, bars and clubs lining the street. Below you, strewn garbage and filth. Above, an orange sky and schizoid power lines. There’s a weird kind of nervous energy to the scene, like everyone knows something violent could erupt any second. Bui Vien feels like a powder keg, full of people either about to unleash some primal desire, or those who stand to profit from the transaction. Bui Vien is first and foremost an industry that feeds off money, and as far as the locals are concerned, addicts and perverts have money as well.

Some of the faces on Bui Vien are regulars—junkies, dopes, prostitutes, sloppy drunks, hardened criminals, cynical expats, skittish dealers and perverts of all sorts. There’s no mistaking Bui Vien’s underworld aura. Petty criminals roam the area in search of electronics and other easy grabs. Drug dealers with raspy voices basically fall over themselves to read their menus to foreigners. Girls line the street, hoping to lure people into dubious massage parlors. Disputes over turf happen all the time. It’s normal to see trained fighters whack each other while crowds of skeletal underlings toss around bottles and chairs and tables.

Despite all the glaring drawbacks of Bui Vien, it continues to thrive. Most visitors arrive through some combination of curiosity and proximity, and even though a majority of people rightfully despise Bui Vien and all it stands for, their stories attract hundreds of new visitors every day, checking in to see what the fuss is all about.

Bùi Viện (1839–1878) was a prominent Vietnamese reformer and diplomat of the late 19th century, served under the Nguyễn dynasty. He was considered the first person from Vietnam to travel to the United States.


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It is now the first Hou Temple (Mazu Temple) in Saigon, the first national monument in Vietnam. It was built in 8th year of Guangxu (1882) and was rebuilt in 1922 (11 of the Republic of China) by the disaster of Zhurong. The Mazu in this Tin Hau Temple is of paper-thickness and other people. Compared with the Tin Hau Temple (the embankment, the main Chinese gathering area in Ho Chi Minh City) that has a history of more than 200 years, the god ’s idol is wood-carved. Much smaller.

The people in the temple told me that there are often believers from Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand who come to worship, and Taiwanese are mostly scattered tourists. As for the Chinese, this is the last time that they left in less than 10 minutes. On the contrary, some French people came to study its architecture.

Looking closely at the pillars of an ancient Mazu temple, you can feel the caring of the Saigon overseas Chinese in the Republic of China during the 11th and 12th years of the Republic of China; Since its creation, the incense has never broken, only with the decree to stop burning paper money.

It is said that the main religious beliefs of overseas Chinese in Vietnam are Taoism and Buddhism; in general, Vietnamese people mainly believe in Buddhism. So when you see that there are Vietnamese people worshipping Mazu, it is probably the local overseas Chinese.

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The Mong Bridge (Cầu Mống in Vietnamese, "Rainbow bridge") is a steel bridge across the Bến Nghé River, connecting District 1 and District 4 of Ho Chi Minh City. It is one of the oldest bridges in that city. Originally named Pont des Messageries maritimes, it was built in 1893-1894 by the French construction company Levallois Perret (the company formerly led by Gustave Eiffel) for the merchant shipping company Messageries maritimes. The bridge was completely removed in 2005 during the construction of the Saigon River Tunnel and afterwards rebuilt, turning it from a road bridge into a footbridge. In addition, the previous statue of An Duong Vuong holding a magic crossbow was also dismantled.

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Bitexco Financial Tower (Vietnamese: Tháp Tài chính Bitexco) is a skyscraper in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. At its completion in 2010, it became the tallest building in Vietnam and kept this status until January 2011, when it was surpassed by Keangnam Hanoi Landmark Tower. With 68 floors above ground and three basements, the building has a height of 262.5 metres (861 ft), making it the second tallest building in the city, fifth tallest in Vietnam, and the 263rd tallest in the world, as of the beginning of 2018.

The tower is owned by Bitexco Group, a Vietnamese multi-industry corporation, with a focus on real estate development. The building also houses the Ho Chi Minh City office of Bitexco Group, while its headquarters are in Hanoi.

The tower was designed by Carlos Zapata, Design Principal and Founder of Carlos Zapata Studio, with French company AREP as architect of record. Designer Zapata, who was born in Venezuela but is based in New York City, drew inspiration for this skyscraper's unique shape from Vietnam's national flower, the Lotus.

The tower was officially inaugurated on 31 October 2010. In 2013, named the Bitexco Financial Tower one of the 25 Great Skyscraper Icons of Construction. And in 2015, named the Bitexco Financial Tower the #2 Coolest Skyscraper in the World

Bitexco Financial Tower is a mixed use project which includes office, retail, F&B and entertainment space. The tower has around 38,000 square metres of office space, from 7th to 65th floors, and a five-storey retail podium, Icon68, including food court and seven screen multiplex cinema with around 10,000 square metres from Ground to 4th Floors. At Floor 49, at height around 178 metres, there is an observation deck open to the public.

Vietnam's first non-rooftop helipad is on the 52nd floor of the Bitexco Financial Tower. The helipad extends 22 meters out from the main structure. It is strong enough to carry a helicopter up to 3 tons of weight.

Key design features

The glass from Belgium was purchased and shipped to China for manufacturing. Once in China the low iron heat strengthened glass was cut into 6,000 individual panels. Each panel is double glazed with the outside layer being 8 mm thick and internal air space of 12 mm and an internal panel of 8 mm. Finally the glass was shipped to Ho Chi Minh City and the panels were installed as the building grew higher. Each of the 6,000 sleek glass panels enveloping the Bitexco Financial Tower is individually cut to unique specifications because each floor is unique, giving the building its eye-catching shape.

Helipad Located on the southern side of the Bitexco Financial Tower, the helipad cantilevers from the 52nd floor and resembles a blossoming lotus bud.

Constructed from more than 250 tons of structural steel and requiring 4,000 ultra-strong bolts to hold it together, the helipad took almost a year to plan, build and coordinate before it could be hoisted to its place at height around 191 meters. Its installation alone took about two months.

Most of the materials used to construct the helipad were purchased from Europe and South Korea and the manufacturing took place in Bu Gang, a city near Seoul. Once the fabrication of the helipad was completed, it was shipped to Vietnam.

To ensure proper assembly, the entire helipad was pre-assembled on the ground of a factory in Đồng Nai Province in Vietnam – a process that took about three weeks.

When the helipad was ready to be lifted into place, the roads surrounding the southern face of the Bitexco Financial Tower were closed for safety reasons and the helipad was transported into the centre of District 1. The massive yet delicate operation of lifting the helipad began. It was lifted in parts and attached to the 52nd storey of the Bitexco Financial Tower, 191 meters above Ho Chi Minh City.

Bitexco Financial Tower Helipad Vertical Transportation Bitexco Financial Tower operates Otis double-deck elevators with specialised Compass System which is the most modern and advanced elevator system in Vietnam. With speed up to 7 meters per second, it was the fastest lift system in South East Asia at the time of installation. There are 3 separate elevator zones servicing the tower with 14 passenger and 2 service lifts, plus further lifts to serve the retail and parking areas.

Saigon Skydeck on 49th floor The Saigon Skydeck soft opened for visitors from overseas and domestically on 1 January 2011, officially opening in July that same year. The observation deck offers 360-degree panoramic views of Ho Chi Minh City, guest facilities and a gift shop. Saigon Skydeck opens daily and a ticket costs around $10.

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The Sri Thendayuthapani Temple, better known as the Chettiars' Temple or the Tank Road temple, is one of the Singapore Hindu community's most important monuments. It was gazetted as a national monument on 21 October 2014. It was built in 1859 by Nattukkottai Chettiar community.

This Hindu temple, dedicated to the six-faced Lord Subramaniam, is at its most active during the festival of Thaipusam. It is here that hundreds of pilgrims, their bodies pierced by hooks, spears and spiked steel structures called kavadi, end their Kavadi Attam procession from the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple on Serangoon Road. This act of penance and propitiation is carried out by devotees in gratitude to Lord Subramanian, son of Lord Siva, for granting their prayers.

The community is deeply rooted in the Hindu tradition especially in the Saiva Siddhantha. Members of the community are very devoted to Sri Thendayuthapani also called as Lord Muruga.

But it was not until 35 years after their arrival in Singapore that they constructed a proper temple in honour of Sri Thendayuthapani. C M Turnbull, in her book A History of Singapore 1819-1975 records that they built the Subramaniam Temple (a popular name given to the temple by non Chettiars) in Tank Road in 1859.

However prior to that year, they had installed a Vel (spear), a weapon representation of Lord Muruga, under a tree where they offered their prayers. The Vel was installed below a pipal (arasa maram) tree at the bank of a tank (pond). Fresh water from the hill where the Central Park is now, emerged as a waterfall and filled the tank. The location was ideal for the establishment of a temple. The Chettiars took their bath there before offering their prayers to the Vel. The railway line nearby also provided an excellent form of transport to and from Malaya where they had also established their businesses.

The tree had to be uprooted when the government acquired the land for re-doing Tank Road. The site where the Vel was now forms part of the slip road that leads to River Valley Road and Clemenceau Avenue.

As quoted in their website, the slab stones found at Sri Thendayuthapani Temple show that the temple was consecrated on 4 November 1859. The community bought the land, where the present temple stands, from the estate of Mr Oxley, the first Surgeon General of Singapore.

The temple in its original form was of a simple structure. At the entrance to the temple, two raised platforms similar to that found in Chettiar households in Tamil Nadu were erected. It had an alangara mandapam and an artha mandapam. The alangara mandapam was used to house the decorated deities on special occasions while the artha mandapam was the centre hall leading to the main sanctum. The main sanctum was of course dedicated to Lord Muruga in the form of Sri Thendayuthapani.

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Gia Long Palace (Vietnamese: Dinh Gia Long), now officially the Hồ Chí Minh City Museum (Vietnamese language: Bảo tàng Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh) is a historical site and museum in Hồ Chí Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam. The museum is situated at the corner of Lý Tự Trọng and Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa streets, located on 2 hectares of land, near the Independence Palace

Construction of the palace began in 1885 and completed in 1890, and was designed by French architect Alfred Foulhoux to house the Museum of Commercial Trade, exhibiting products and goods of Southern Vietnam. However, the building soon became the residence of the Governor of Cochinchina, starting with Henri Éloi Danel (1850 - 1898).

World War II era In 1945, control of the palace changed hands several times. After the Japanese Imperial Army toppled the colonial regime of French Indochina on March 9, French governor Ernest Thimothée Hoeffel was arrested, and the palace became the residence for Japanese Governor Yoshio Minoda.

On August 14, the Japanese handed over the palace to its puppet Empire of Vietnam government, to be used as the residence of Lieutenant General Nguyễn Văn Sâm.

On August 25, the Việt Minh seized, arresting Nguyễn Văn Sâm and Secretary of the Office of the Lieutenant General Hồ Văn Ngà. After, the building became the headquarters of the Provisional Administrative Committee of Southern Vietnam, later renamed the "People's Committee of Southern Vietnam".

On September 10, Lt. Col. B. W. Roe (from the British military mission) occupied the palace and made it the Allied Mission headquarters, evicting the "People's Committee".

On October 5, the building was used by General Leclerc as the temporary headquarters of the High Commission for the French Republic in Indochina. After Admiral Georges Thierry d'Argenlieu from the High Commission selected Norodom Palace to be the Commission's new location, the palace was used as Leclerc's office, this time as the official headquarters of the Commissioner of the French Republic in Southern Vietnam.

Under the State of Vietnam After the French reconquest of Indochina, on June 2, 1948 the French government handed over the building to the Provisional Government of the State of Vietnam, establishing its headquarters there. It was later transformed into the Palace of the Premier, serving as official residence of the Premier of the State of Vietnam, starting with Premier Trần Văn Hữu.

On January 9, 1950, a large protest of over 6000 students and educational instructors demanded the release of students arrested for advocating Vietnamese independence. At 13:00, Premier Trần Văn Hữu ordered the police to quash the protest, arresting 150 people, injuring 30, and 1 student, Trần Văn Ơn from Petrus Ký High School, died from his injuries. Trần Văn Ơn's funeral on January 12, 1950, had 25,000 attendees.

Under the Republic of Vietnam From June 26 to September 7, 1954, this palace was used as the temporary official residence of the Prime Minister (Ngô Đình Diệm), since Norodom Palace was still occupied by French High Commissioner Gen. Paul Ely. Bảo Đại renamed the palace to Gia Long Palace, and its street was renamed Gia Long Street (from La Grandìere). This was also the last residence of President of the Republic of Vietnam Ngô Đình Diệm, beginning 27 February 1962 after Norodom Palace was bombed and partially destroyed by mutinous Air Force pilots. Diệm had been Prime Minister since 1954, and president since 1955, but originally lived in the Independence Palace until it was bombed by two mutinous pilots of the Republic of Vietnam Air Force. As a result, Diệm had to relocate, and ordered a new palace to be built, moving to Gia Long Palace in the interim. It was the last place Diệm worked before his assassination on 2 November 1963 in a coup d'etat.

The Supreme Court of the Republic of Vietnam (Tối cao Pháp viện Việt Nam Cộng hòa) was housed in the Palace, from October 31, 1966 to April 30, 1975, the Fall of Saigon.

Under Socialist Republic of Vietnam After the North Vietnamese communist invasion of South Vietnam, on 12 August 1978 the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee ordered that the former Supreme Court be used as the Ho Chi Minh City Revolutionary Museum (Bảo tàng Cách mạng Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh), a propaganda museum, later renamed to its current name on 13 December 1999.

Architecture The 2-floored palace building covers an area over 1700 m², using classical Baroque architecture with European and Oriental influences. The flooring, staircases and halls were European-styled, while the roof was Oriental-inspired. Surrounding the palace is a trapezoid-shaped flower garden, with 4 pathways.

The front face of the roof is decorated with grotesques. Other exterior structural designs include symbolic chickens representing daytime and owls for nighttime and ring-enclosed white flowers. Many other motifs embossed on the roof is a combination of Greek mythological symbols, iconic plants and tropical animals such as lizards and birds flying or expanding its wings.

Diệm commissioned the construction of three extremely deep tunnels leading from the palace to other parts of the city so that he and important government officials/military figures could escape in the event of a coup. During the 1963 coup d'etat, Diệm is widely believed to have used one of these escape routes to escape the siege on the palace, which caused considerable damage. He fled to a supporter's house in Cholon but was captured and executed a day later. The successor presidents still worked there until the completion of re-built Independence Palace, in 1966. The tunnels were 2.2 m high, with cast reinforced concrete (170 kg of iron / 1 m3 of concrete). Walls were 1 m thick, with 6 iron vault doors for entry and exit. The tunnels had 2 downward stairs, leading to a basement with 6 rooms totalling 1392.3 m², which included conference rooms, offices, bathrooms, electrical rooms. The Presidential Office and Presidential Adviser's Offices were equipped with battery banks for uninterruptible power supply, portable radios, RCA transceivers. There are two exit tunnels that run towards Le Thanh Ton Street as well as six ventilation holes and numerous sewage drainages.

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Ho Chi Minh City Hall or Saigon City Hall or Hôtel de Ville de Saïgon (Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee Head office - Trụ sở Ủy ban Nhân dân Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh) was built in 1902–1908 in a French colonial style for the then city of Saigon. It was renamed after 1975 as Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee.

Although this elegant colonial building is not open to the public, Saigon City Hall is popular for its great photo opportunities. Tourists can take photographs outside and many people choose to do this at night when the building and its grounds are lit up. The building was designed by the French architect P. Gardes and built between 1898 and 1908. It was called the Hotel de Ville until 1954. Between 1954 and 1975, it was called the City Hall of Saigon under the then South Vietnam Government. After the reunification of the country in 1975, it was given its present name, the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Head Office.

Visitors to the building are greeted by a statue of Ho Chi Minh teaching a child. It is a popular spot where locals and tourists get their photographs taken. The City Hall has a renaissance style that was inspired by the design of town halls in France. It has a main hall and rectangular wings. A notable feature of the building is the bell tower that stands on a pyramid-shaped pedestal. The City Hall is spectacular when lighted up at night. It consists of working government offices and is not open to visitors.

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Notre Dame de Saigon (Notre Dame Cathedral Saigon) in Ho Chi Minh City is the current Catholic church of the XIX century. It is sometimes called Notre Dame de Paris in Saigon, since it is a copy of the Notre Dame Cathedral in France. Today it is the main center of the Christian religion in the city and a popular place among tourists. Cathedral of Our Lady of Saigon

History of the Cathedral Notre Dame de Saigon is located in the central part of Ho Chi Minh City - on the Paris Commune Square. Today, the cathedral is one of the oldest buildings in the area. Against the background of the 22-storey Diamond Plaza shopping center, it looks very tiny. However, in the old days it was Notre Dame towering over other buildings.

The history of the cathedral began in 1876, when the French governor Marie-Jules Dupree announced the start of a competition for the construction of the Catholic Cathedral. As conceived by the French colonists, a large Christian church in the city center was to become an ideological symbol of the greatness of Western civilization in this region and “eclipse” the numerous Buddhist pagodas in the vicinity. The winner of the competition was the project of architect Jules Bourard in the Neo-Romanesque style interspersed with Gothic architecture. The author subsequently actively oversaw the construction. Initially, three possible places for the construction of the cathedral were chosen: On the corner of the current Le Duan Boulevard and Hai Ba Trung Street; In Kinh Lon (Kinh Lon) - the area of ​​the boulevard Nguyen Hu (Nguyễn Huệ); At the intersection of Dong Khoi and Nguyen Du, where it was built. It is interesting to note that all building materials were imported from France. So, the outer wall of the church is made of Marseille red brick. This is indicated by the presence of the marking “Guichard Carvin, Marseille St André France” on the plates. Some of them are labeled “Wang-Tai Saigon” - these are newer materials of local production. They were used during the partial restoration of the cathedral from the consequences of the Second World War. Despite the lack of special protective additives, French brick has proven itself in the hot and humid climate of Vietnam. Over the nearly 150-year history of the building, the material has not faded under the sun and retains the same appearance as in the 19th century. The thickness of the walls is, on average, 65 centimeters, and this provides the interior with an almost complete sound and heat insulation.

Stained-glass windows and columns, along with other complex interior elements, were also made in France (in Chartres) and delivered ready-made to the place of construction. Some of the stained-glass windows were destroyed by shelling during the Second World War, and today we can see copies of them.

The roof of Notre Dame consists of three types of tiles: "Yin-yang" for the low part of the roof; “Fish scales” for medium height; typical european roof tiles that adorn the top of the cathedral. By the way, the construction team also consisted entirely of visiting French. The first foundation stone was laid by Bishop Isidore Colombe on October 7, 1877. Construction took approximately 2.5 years and officially ended on April 11, 1880, on Easter Day, with a solemn consecration ceremony. It was attended by the new Governor Charles Le Muret De Willer. When you inspect the temple, pay attention to the memorial plate, which shows the name of the creator, the start and end dates of construction. The cost of construction amounted to a whopping 2.5 million francs at that time. The entire amount was allocated from the budget of France, because of which Notre Dame initially received the status of the State Council. In 1895, two bell towers 57.6 meters high were completed. On the upper part of the towers we can observe crosses 3.5 meters high and 2 meters wide, each weighing 600 kg. Thus, the full height of the cathedral in its current form reaches 60.5 meters.

According to the initial idea, the architectural composition of the building was crowned with a bronze statue at the entrance. It depicted the Bishop of Adran, Pigneau de Behaine, who leads under the arm of Prince Cунnh, son of Emperor Gia Long. The statue stood until 1945, when it was demolished. However, the pedestal is preserved. In 1959, Vietnam formalized official relations with the Vatican. This was a new impetus to the spread of Christianity in the country. Bishop Joseph Pham Van Thien attended the Marian Congress that year in the Vatican and ordered a statue of the Virgin Mary for the Ho Chi Minh Temple. A 4-meter statue made of white marble, made in Rome by Italian sculptor Giuseppe Syochetti, arrived in the city on February 16, 1959. It was immediately installed on a pedestal, and a day later it was solemnly presented in the presence of the Roman Cardinal Aghajanyan. Along the way, the cathedral was named Notre Dame de Saigon (Notre-Dame de Saigon). Subsequently, the Vatican recognized it as a basilica, and today the temple is officially called the Cathedral Basilica of Notre Dame (Notre-Dame Cathedral).

In 2005, it was announced that the Virgin Mary was streaming, and thousands of pilgrims gathered in Ho Chi Minh City. For some time, the city became the object of attention of the Christian Catholic community of the whole planet.

A number of travelers and experts believe that the cathedral is emphasized simple and does not represent significant interest. Especially against the backdrop of the many vibrant Buddhist pagodas of Ho Chi Minh City. But there are a number of good reasons why the building needs time.  Some interesting facts about Notre Dame Cathedral in Saigon: The above mentioned statue of the Virgin Mary is located in front of the entrance. The 4-meter figure of a woman holds a small globe in her hands (can be interpreted as a symbol of the spread of the Christian faith) and steps on the snake with her foot. The last symbol in the Christian faith means the victory of good over evil. At the feet of the statue is a box in which parishioners can put prayers.

There are 6 bells on the bell tower. Each of them corresponds to a certain note, and the note “fa” is absent. On weekdays, you can hear the ringing of two of them (at 05:00 and 17:30), on the weekends three are heard. All 6 Notre Dame bells ring only on the day of the feast of the Nativity of Christ. The bells are controlled by electronics, the sound is heard in a radius of 10 km. The graceful simplicity of the exterior design of the cathedral is fully offset by the interior decoration. Here you will see luxurious stained glass windows and arches, as well as murals with biblical scenes that occupy the entire space of walls and ceilings. The central place here is occupied by the altar of expensive pure white marble with carved statues of angels.

During the service, guests of the temple can hear choral singing and playing the church organ. This is one of the two oldest instruments in Vietnam, which is designed in a special way: the sound is well heard in any part of the room, but it does not extend outside the temple. The design of 10-centimeter aluminum pipes has dimensions of 3x4x4 meters (height, width, length). Notre Dame de Saigon has been fully electrified since construction. Here you will not see candles, they have never been used. Watches from the facade were made in Switzerland in 1887. They are suspended between two belfries at a height of 15 meters. Weigh 1 ton.

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Born in Mauzun (Puy-de-Dôme) on 23 September 1840, Foulhoux studied architecture at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris from 1862 to 1870 and subsequently became an Architect-Inspector with the Compagnie des Chemins de fer de Paris à Lyon et à la Méditerranée (PLM), one of the most important private railway companies in France.

In 1874 he left for Saïgon, where in the following year he succeeded Paulin Vial as Director of Civic Buildings. Then in 1879, following the establishment of the first civil regime in Cochinchina under Governor Charles Le Myre de Vilers, Foulhoux was appointed Architect-in-Chief, permitting him to focus exclusively on what he did best – designing civic buildings for the colony.

Foulhoux’s final work, the Hôtel des postes or Central Post Office, is widely regarded as his greatest, though unfortunately many local tour guides quote the Wikipedia article which erroneously credits the building to Gustave Eiffel. Built between 1886 and 1891 on the site of the former headquarters of the Commandant des troupes, it was constructed around a prefabricated cast iron frame, permitting the creation of a unique vaulted ceiling with wrought iron beams and columns reminiscent of industrial architecture.

5 The Hôtel des postes (1891)

It was later reported that Foulhoux’s intention was to capture the essence of human scientific and technical advancement, a theme which is continued on the Neo-Baroque façade with its window plaques bearing the names of leading scientists and philosophers like Descartes, Morse, Ampere, Volta, Ohm and Faraday. Particularly noteworthy is the fact that, a full 30 years before the inception of Hebrard’s Indochinois fusion-style architecture, the design also incorporates roof ridge decoration inspired by Khmer art. A statue of the Greek messenger goddess Iris once stood in the centre of the main lobby, but this was removed in the 1950s to create more space.

On 15 September 1891, the journal Architecte constructeur: Revue du monde architectural et artistique of 15 September 1891 commented: “The inauguration the new Saigon Post Office, which was held on July 14, had been postponed until the return of the Governor General. This monument, adorned with a most artistic façade, is particularly well laid out and well equipped for the different services to which it is intended; it does the greatest honour to the skill and talent of the distinguished Chief Architect of the Colony, M. Foulhoux."

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In 1858, France launched an attack on Đà Nẵng, starting its invasion of Vietnam. In 1867, France completed its conquest of southern Vietnam (Cochinchina), comprising the provinces of Biên Hòa, Gia Định, Định Tường, Vĩnh Long, An Giang, and Hà Tiên. To consolidate the newly established colony, on 23 February 1868, Pierre-Paul de La Grandière, Governor of Cochinchina, held a ceremony to lay the foundation stone of a new palace to replace the old wooden palace built in 1863. The new Governor's Palace was designed by Achille-Antoine Hermitte, who was also the architect of the Hong Kong City Hall. The first cubic stone, measuring 50 cm along each edge, with indentations containing French gold and silver coins bearing Napoleon III's effigy, came from Biên Hòa.

The complex covered an area of 12 hectares, including a palace with an 80-meter-wide façade, a guest-chamber capable of accommodating 800 people, with spacious gardens covered by green trees and a lawn. Most of the building materials were imported from France. Owing to the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, construction fell behind schedule and was not completed until 1873. The palace was named Norodom Palace after the then king of Cambodia, Norodom (1834–1904). The avenue in front of the palace bore the same name. From 1871 to 1887, the palace was used by the French Governor of Cochinchina (Gouverneur de la Cochinchine); therefore, it was referred to as the Governor’s Palace. From 1887 to 1945, all Governors-General of French Indochina used the palace as their residence and office. The office of the Cochinchinese Governors was relocated to a nearby villa.

World War II On 9 March 1945, Japan defeated and replaced France in French Indochina in a successful coup. Norodom Palace became the headquarters of Japanese colonial officials in Vietnam. In September 1945, Japan surrendered to the Allied forces in World War II and France returned to Vietnam and Norodom Palace was restored to its position as the office of the French colonists.

After World War II On 7 May 1954, France surrendered to the Việt Minh after its defeat at the Battle of Điện Biên Phủ. France agreed to sign the Geneva Accords and withdrew its troops from Vietnam. According to the accords, Vietnam would be divided pending general elections. The 17th Parallel would act as the temporary border until a vote based on universal suffrage was held to establish a unified Vietnamese government. North Vietnam was under the control of the Việt Minh communists, while South Vietnam was under the anti-communist State of Vietnam. On 7 September 1954, Norodom Palace was handed over to the prime minister of the State of Vietnam, Ngô Đình Diệm by a representative of the French presence in Vietnam, General Paul Ély.

In 1955, Diệm defeated former Emperor Bảo Đại, the chief of state of the State of Vietnam, in a referendum. Ngô Đình Diệm declared himself president of the newly proclaimed Republic of Vietnam and renamed the building the Independence Palace. According to fengshui, the palace is located on a dragon’s head; therefore, it was also referred to as the Dragon’s Head Palace.

Vietnam War Main articles: 1962 South Vietnamese Independence Palace bombing, Arrest and assassination of Ngô Đình Diệm, and 1963 South Vietnamese coup On 27 February 1962, two pilots of Diệm's Republic of Vietnam Air Force, Nguyễn Văn Cử and Phạm Phú Quốc, rebelled and flew two A-1 Skyraider aircraft towards the palace and bombed it, instead of going on a raid against the Việt Cộng. As a result, almost the entire left wing was destroyed. However, Diệm and his family escaped the assassination attempt. As it was almost impossible to restore the palace, Diệm ordered it demolished and commissioned a new building in its place. The new palace was constructed according to a design by Ngô Viết Thụ, a Vietnamese architect who won the First Grand Prize of Rome (Grand Prix de Rome) in 1955, the highest recognition of the Beaux-Arts school in Paris. He was also a laureate of the Prix de Rome awarded by the French government.

The construction of the new Independence Palace started on 1 July 1962. Meanwhile, Diệm and his ruling family moved to Gia Long Palace (today the Ho Chi Minh City Museum). However, Diệm did not see the completed hall as he and his brother and chief adviser Ngô Đình Nhu were assassinated after a coup d'état led by General Dương Văn Minh in November 1963. The completed hall was inaugurated on 31 October 1966 by the chairman of the National Leadership Committee, General Nguyễn Văn Thiệu, who was then the head of a military junta. The Independence Hall served as Thiệu’s home and office from October 1967 to 21 April 1975, when he fled the country as communist North Vietnamese forces swept southwards in the decisive Ho Chi Minh Campaign.

On 8 April 1975, Nguyễn Thanh Trung, a pilot of the South Vietnamese air force and an undetected communist spy, flew an F-5E aircraft from Biên Hòa Air Base to bomb the palace, but caused no significant damage. At 10:45 on 30 April 1975, a tank of the North Vietnamese army bulldozed through the main gate, effectively ending the Vietnam War.

In November 1975, after the negotiation convention between the communist North Vietnam and their colleagues in South Vietnam was completed, the Provisional Revolutionary Government renamed the palace Reunification Hall (Hội trường Thống Nhất).

The Palace is depicted on the 200-đồng note of South Vietnam.

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Tao Dan Park has a long history, beginning ever since the 1860s when the French started invading Vietnam. The Tao Dan Park is located right behind the Reunification Palace and was repaired at the same time when the Palace was rebuilt by the French. In 1869, the French separated the Tao Dan land from the garden of the Reunification Palace and built Miss Cawell Street between them (also known as Huyen Tran Princess nowadays).

After being repaired, the garden was officially named Jardin de la Ville. For the Vietnamese at the time, it was either called Ong Thuong garden or Bo Ro garden. There were many explanations for the name Bo Ro, but most people understood it as a transliteration from the French word “beaux jeux” in “jardin des beaux jeux”, meaning “garden of elegant games”. When it was officially done, a guy named Mr. Moreau was handed the power of managing the garden. He was also the first one to take charge of the Bo Ro area.

Throughout the time from 1896 to 1926, they built more structures inside the garden, such as a soccer field, the pool, the tennis field, etc. It might be considered as one of the most modern soccer fields in the area at that time. Until 1954, when the French officially withdrew their forces from Vietnam, the Reunification Palace and the Bo Ro garden was back in the control of the Vietnamese, the garden was named Tao Dan Park.

During the 1970s, with a huge amount of trees, the Tao Dan Park could be considered as the lungs of Ho Chi Minh City, providing fresh air and a clean atmosphere. Sometimes they even held exhibitions and events here. Tao Dan Park was also the place where military scouting, Vietnamese scouting and a lot of other activities were organized. Among them, the most significant event was the Dong Tam fair, which funded the Hospitable of People. The park has been existing from then until now, becoming an attractive tourist destination of Ho Chi Minh City.

Highlights Of Tao Dan Park Tao Dan Park is so special because it has a huge number of trees, creating such a clean and refreshing environment. But aside from the green sceneries, there are a lot of other incredible things in Tao Dan Park that visitors must at least see once in their life.

Historic structures at Dan Park Historic structures at Dan Park (@rdxtion) 1. Historical Structures During history, there had been a number of structures being built inside the Tao Dan Park. Nowadays, the ancient temple built to honor the Hung Kings and a small Cham tower are the two most famous ones. Both of these structures represent the history of Vietnam, also perfect places to take amazing pictures. Foreign visitors always be impressed with the delicate and eye-catching architecture of these relics.

Aside from that, the Tao Dan Park even has a Lam tomb built in 1895, which also represents the heroic history of Vietnam. This is one of the monuments of the compound tomb that has the largest acreage and most beautiful architecture in Ho Chi Minh City. In the far east of the parks, visitors can be a delight to admire the different statues being displayed there.

  1. Astonishing Nature It’s not randomly that the Tao Dan Park is named “the lungs of Ho Chi Minh City”. The place has more than 10 hectares of green and tall trees, which incredibly help to make fresh air and to manage the city’s temperature. Most paths inside Tao Dan Park are covered by the thick branches, saving it from the burning sun rays. That is why local people often come here to relax, exercise, catch up with their friends and enjoy their normal, simple life.

Activities in Tao Dan Park Activities in Tao Dan Park (@nhannt98) 3. The Children’s Playground In 1975, there was a time the Tao Dan Park was also called “Tao Dan Culture Park”, and the children’s playground was built. Until now, the playground had been repaired once, creating a safe and active place for little kids to hang out and play. The playground has a total of eight entertainments, including seesaw, slide, swings, small Ferris wheel, etc.

The current children’s playground has an area of about 300 meters square, located on the side of Truong Dinh street. On weekends, this place is crowded with small children who come to have fun.

  1. Tao Dan Spring Flower Festival During every New Year, the colorful and stunning spring flower festival is held in Tao Dan Park. On this occasion, various unique and eye-catching works of art made from flowers are displayed for visitors to admire and take astonishing pictures. The delicate, colorful and stunning flowers, the creativity of the masterpieces plus the bustling and happy atmosphere of the holiday create such charming scenery in Tao Dan Park, gaining great attention from the public.

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at first the temple was just a small temple covered with a corrugated iron roof? and only allow people who followed Hindu religion to visit/ From 1950 to 1952? the total structure of the temple was rebuilt with a new version by some indian businessmaen living and working in district 1 at that time as a lace to practice their belife as well as to have their business always blessed by the goddess

Mariamman Hindu Temple is a sacred Hindu Temple dedicated to the goddess of the Rain ‘Mariamman’. This temple was built in the late 19th century by traders coming from India and has been well preserved. This complex is the only Hindu temple in Saigon and is believed to have miraculous powers giving luck and wealth to its visitors.

The outer wall of the Temple has a collection of interesting statues of different gods and goddesses like Mariamman, Vishnu, Brahma and Ganesha. The main hall of the complex (The Rajagopuram) stands twelve metres tall and inside you find a well maintained statue of Mariamman flanked by her protectors ‘Maduraiveeran’ and ‘Pechiamman’.

In the outer hall, Parvati's sons Ganesha and Muruga are on her right and left, respectively. The Raja-gopuram of this temple is about 12m high and contains a number of statues. Statues of Lakshmi, Murugan and other devas dot the hallways.

The main feature of the temple are the various statues of Mariamman, which surround the outer walls of the temple. These include Nataraja, Shiva, Brahma, Vishnu, Kali, Biramasakthi, Samundi, Thirumagal, Mageswari, Meenatchi, Valambigai, Andal, Kamatchiamman, Karumari-amman, Sivagami and Parvati who has Murugan in her lap.

Migrants from Tamil Nadu have constructed temples to the Goddess Mariamman all over South East Asia. There are, for example, temples to Mariamman in every state in Peninsula Malaysia, most notable of which is the Sri Mahamariamman Temple in Kuala Lumpur. As well as being the goddess of fertility, Mariamman is also believed by many South Indians to have the ability to cure them of disease and to be the protector of Hindus travelling abroad.

Main shrine at the Mariamman Temple The most striking feature of the Mariamman Temple is the gopuram tower which is constructed above the main entrance to the temple. A ‘gopuram’ is a classic feature of temple architecture in Tamil Nadu state and is a tower with representations of Hindu gods and important characters from Hindu mythology built into the structure. The gopuram tower at the Mariamman Temple in Ho Chi Minh City is 12 metres tall and features a number of different Hindu gods represented by colourful statues.

Secondary shrine at the Mariamman Temple Inside the Mariamman Temple is a large square room. In the centre of the room is the main shrine to the Goddess Mariamman. In the relief above the shrine the seated goddess is flanked by Ganesh and Naaga, as she is traditionally depicted in the shaktha agamas. Vietnamese worshippers at the Mariamman Temple Whilst the Mariamman Temple was initially built as a place of worship for the Tamil community, in the modern day the majority of worshippers at the temple are Vietnamese nationals. Vietnamese people often have complicated religious beliefs which combine belief in one of the mainstream religions, such as Buddhism, with worship of other gods or spirits, and some Vietnamese people also worship the Hindu Goddess Mariamman. If you visit you will see mainly Vietnamese people at the temple offering gifts. The number of Tamil people living in Ho Chi Minh City has dwindled since the 19th Century due to the many years of conflict in the country during the 20th Century and the maintenance of the temple is now funded by the Vietnamese government.

There is also a huge mandapam or main hall inside the kovil.

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Tran Nguyen Han (Chinese character: 陳 元 扞, 1390 - 1429) was a Dai Viet military during the early Le dynasty. He was a member of the Tran lineage, prominent with his participation in the Le Son uprising led by Le Loi against the colonization of the Ming empire. He used to hold the post (1424-1425), Thai lieutenant (1427), commanded the battles to liberate Tan Binh and Thuan Hoa (1425-1426), besieged Dongguan, destroyed Xuong Giang and blocked the way. of the Ming army in Chi Lang-Xuong Giang campaign (1427). Uprising the victory, Le Loi ascended to the throne as Emperor, Thai Le Le (1428). Trần Nguyên Hãn was promoted to the rank of Ta minister. But later because of suspicion, Thai To accuse him of causing him to commit suicide. During the reign of Emperor Le Nhan Tong, he was pardoned and restored to his position.

Origin According to the popular Dai Viet book, Tran Nguyen Han of Lap Thach district, descendants of Tran Nguyen Dan Diagram, was well-educated and skilled in military tactics.

Pham Dinh Ho and Nguyen Phe in the book of Funeral Mourning, Tran Trong Kim in Vietnamese history and Phan Ke Binh all said that Tran Nguyen Han was from Hoac Xa, Quang Oai and Son Tay districts (now in Ba district. Vi, Hà Nội). Tran Xuan Sinh rejected the idea. He said that he had been to Huo Xa commune (also known as Van Xa), but that the villagers worshiped Tran Khat Chan and that they - they knew nothing about Tran Nguyen Han. From the above argument, this author thinks that Tran Trong Kim in Vietnam has a history and Phan Ke Binh based on the tangent of random love.

The Dai Viet Book of History writes that he: Well-educated, well-trained, and a descendant of Tran Tran Dan. Trần Nguyên Đán was the Tran Dynasty's king, who was a mandarin of Tu Do. He sent his son to Hồ Quý Ly, so when Hồ Quý Ly robbed Trần's family, the Trần family was killed, and only the children of Hồ Lý could live. In his lifetime, Tran Thuc Giao and Tran Thuc Quynh surrendered, acted as puppet officers for the Ming dynasty, and were killed by the Hau Tran dynasty along with 500 people, not knowing whose descendants Tran Nguyen Han was. [4]

The Dai Viet Book of History states that: When the Ho Dynasty died, the Ming army invaded, hundreds of them mourned, Tran Nguyen Han raised the will to save lives. One day, when he came to worship at Bach Hac temple, he saw the god at Tan Vien mountain temple and told the god at Bach Hac temple that heaven had sent Le Loi, the person from Lam Son to be King of An Nam. That's why he came to Thanh Hoa to look for Le Loi, and followed along. Le Loi knew his strategy, treated very well, for attending the intrigue, according to the invaders. In the Year of the Rat (1425), he was ordered by Le Loi and his Lieutenant General Le No to obey Le Da Bo's orders to bring more than 1,000 troops and an elephant to attack the lands of Tan Binh and Thuan Hoa (i.e. provinces from Quang Binh). to Thua Thien-Hue today).

Attacking Tan Binh and Thuan Hoa In the year of the Year of the Snake (1425), in the autumn of July, Le Loi judged that the Ming army in Thuan Hoa and Tan Binh lands had long been not informed to Nghe An and Dong Do, telling the generals: The general good at the old days, leaving the snake to fight against the blankets, avoiding strong areas to fight against weak spots, thus using only half the strength and doubling the effort. Immediately he and Lieutenant General Le No, obeyed Le Da Bo's order to bring more than 1,000 troops and an elephant to attack the lands of Tan Binh and Thuan Hoa.

When the uprising army reached Bo Chinh river, they met the Minh army. Tran Nguyen Han, Le No and Le Da Bo put their troops in a dangerous place, secretly ambushed in Ha Khuong to lure the enemy. General Minh was Nham Nang who brought all his troops, he and Doan No, Le Da Bo combined the remaining troops to fight and then pretended to lose. Nham Nang pursued, the ambush army fought the two sides, the Minh army was broken, severed and drowned a lot.

Despite the victory, his and Doan Noi's troops were few, and the Minh army was still large. Le Loi ordered Le Ngan, Le Boi and Le Van An to bring 70 warships to cross the sea. Having been convinced to win the previous battle, he immediately won in Tan Binh and Thuan Hoa lands. The army and people of the localities occupied by the Ming army all agreed, the Ming army retreated into the stronghold. The lands of Tân Bình and Thuận Hóa belong to the insurgents. In September, the year of the Year of the Horse (1426), Le Loi received a message from Dinh Le on the victory of Good Dong, Chuc Dong and immediately sent his troops to the North.Dong Do army. Le Loi divided his army into 3 wings, on October 23, sent Tran Nguyen Han and Bui Du to bring more than a hundred naval boats, up the Dai Lung river to the mouth of the Hat River, then smoothly downstream to the East wharf at the beginning of Lo River; wrong Dinh Le brought more than 1 thousand secret troops to the Tay Duong bridge; Le Loi personally led the soldiers to the South gate outside Dai La citadel to attack Dong Quan citadel. At night, on the third guard, 3-sided troops attacked and set fire to houses outside the city, smoke and sky filled with smoke. The troops stationed outside the city of Phuong Chinh scrambled to run into the door of the dead body. The Lam Son army forced all of the people in the country to follow the Ming army and more than a hundred warships and many weapons and scepteres. The Ming army knew that the militia and army in the nearby areas were following the insurgency. Every day, they became more and more miserable.

Xiacheng Jiang In the fall, September, the year of Dinh Mui, Tran Nguyen Han was made a Thai lieutenant. Le Loi ordered Thai Lieutenant Tran Nguyen Han, Sima Le Sat, and Lieutenant Ly Trien and Nguyen Ly to attack Xuong Giang.

The leader of the Ming dynasty, Kim Dian, kept this citadel to protect the Ming army's way to retreat to the North, along with the newly admitted Ly Nham, trying to defend. The insurgency surrounded for more than 6 months, fighting in Khoai Chau and Lang Giang. The insurgents could not go to the citadel, Le Loi saw that the Minh army reinforcements were coming, and they sent new generals, including Tran Nguyen Han, to rush out the army. underground tunnel, using interconnection, spear, hard crossbow, rocket, artillery, four sides hit together, less than an hour was defeated. Li Ren and Jin Yan committed suicide. The inscription collected gold and silk, and the daughter divided the soldiers equally. Vuong Thong heard that the losing match had to be a sacrifice.

Participated in defeating the Ming reinforcements On September 18, Dinh Mui (1427), the two armies of the Ming army led by An Vien, Lieu Thang, entered Lang Son and the feudal state of Moc Thanh at Le Hoa gate [8] [10] [12] Days. 20, the army led by Lieu Thang was attacked by Le Sat, Luu Nhan Chu, Tran Luu, Le Lanh, Dinh Liet, Le Thu, who attacked in Chi Lang, Lieu Thang was slashed at Ma Yen mountain. After a series of failures and a number of marshals died, Cui Tu, Hoang Phuc led the army, but were surrounded by Le Ly and Le Van An with 30,000 troops, and erected fences at the left bank of Xuong Giang river. block out

Meanwhile, Le Loi ordered Tran Nguyen Han to block the transportation of Minh army food. In early November, the general Lam Son army attacked, the Minh army was defeated, killed and captured alive with the generals

Dongguan Oath This oath - which later history books called the Dongguan oath - took place in December 1427 in the south of the city, on the banks of the Cai River. In the list of participants of the festival of Lam Son, Tran Nguyen Han was second, after Le Loi

Position and reward Around 1424-1425, Tran Nguyen Han was a scholar. In 1427, after the war of conquering Dongguan, he was made a Thai lieutenant

Dai Viet used to sign the whole letter in chapter X, writing "General Assembly of martial generals and officers to assert, reward, consider high and low merits and rank hierarchy. Take the excess of Nguyen Trai as a subordinate of the army; cadet Tran Han as the Lieutenant General, the secret area of ​​ambassador Pham Van Xao as Thai Bao

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Bến Thành Market (Vietnamese: Chợ Bến Thành) is located in the center of Hồ Chí Minh City, Vietnam in District 1. The market is one of the earliest surviving structures in Saigon and an important symbol of the city. Ben Thanh Market is a famous destination for many local and foreign tourists from all around the world. The market operates all year round and opens at around 6am} every day until the official closing time at 6pm. After 6pm, the day market transitions into a night market which runs until 10pm.

Today, Ben Thanh Market welcomes more than 10,000 visitors per day to shop and visit. The market has nearly 1,500 booths with more than 6,000 small businesses selling wholesale and retail items from consumables to luxury goods. Currency exchanges are not required by some vendors but most prefer Vietnam's currency, Vietnamese dong.

The market developed from informal markets created by early 17th-century street vendors gathering together near the Saigon River. The market was formally established by the French colonial powers after taking over the Gia Định citadel in 1859 (see Citadel of Saigon). This market was destroyed by fire in 1870 and rebuilt to become Saigon's largest market. In 1912 the market was moved to a new building and called the New Bến Thành Market to distinguish over its predecessor. The building was renovated in 1985.

The original market started out in the early 17th century as an informal wet market founded by local street vendors. When the neighboring Gia Dinh citadel was overthrown by French imperialists in 1859, the market was properly constructed and declared a formal establishment along French Colonial lines. The original structure included a wooden thatched roof which would later be destroyed by fire in 1870 was rebuilt to become called "Les Halles Centrales".

In 1912, the market was moved into the building people are familiar with today, using fireproof metal structure to become the largest and most central of the markets in the city. When all the vendors moved into the new market building the old building was not demolished but instead transitioned to a wholesale market known as the Old Market or Chợ Cu. As for the new market, the name changed to Ben Thanh Market to be distinguished from its predecessor. The name Ben Thanh derives from the words "harbor" (Ben) and "citadel" (Thanh).

In 1985 the new market went under major renovations to keep up with the city's progress of a modern blend. Despite many restorations over time, the market remains one of the earliest and most iconic surviving structures of Saigon.


Wooden vaulted ceiling Ben Thanh market has a total area of 13,056 m². The 100-year-old building has a unique Indochina design that stands out among the modern and contemporary buildings around Saigon center. Throughout the years, the market underwent major renovations to both the exterior and interior but the overall architecture remained with its iconic clock tower in the foreground.

Since the building was constructed around the time of the French Colonial Era, the building holds strong French influence. Khuong Van Muoi, President of the city Architects’ Association, said the build adopted some of its unique features from French architects. He mentions the orientation of the building and banners along the roof that extends over the market to provide shade. These designs were integrated specifically for natural air-conditioning.

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