Guidebook A city caught between generations


A city caught between generations

“The contrast between old and new comes into stark focus,” writes Clay Dillow at National Geographic. “Vendors slowly push bicycles laden with flowers, fruit, and baked goods past storefronts like Salvatore Ferragamo and Starbucks … men loll on the back of parked motorbikes swiping lazily at smartphones, shaded by the growing cast of office towers crowding the city’s skyline … rooftop bars, swimming pools, restaurants, and nightclubs now dot the skies -- though in a former time some, like the U.S. embassy, served as evacuation centres for U.S. military helicopters during the final hours of the war.” “The city is changing so fast that many are believing that the old character will soon disappear, much like tourist-filled Thailand,” says James Clark at Nine Travel. “So, if you've never been, we'd say get moving quick.”

Is it Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City? Although the label "Saigon" is shorter and is used more often in daily speech, “the newest generation of Vietnamese youth growing up under the current government tends to use ‘Ho Chi Minh City’ more often,” says Trip Savvy. “Their teachers and textbooks are careful to use only the new name.”

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