Saigon’s “open-minded atmosphere” is fostering a vibrant creative scene, says Naomi Lindt at The New York Times. Galerie Quynh is a “contemporary gallery, putting on several shows a year that examine the Vietnamese psyche,” the nonprofit San Art “supports experimental work,” and Craig Thomas Gallery is “run by an American who’s been involved in the local art scene for over 10 years.” And Salon Saigon, located in the residence of US Ambassador the 1960s, has been “transformed into, a chic, elegant gallery showcasing contemporary art, with a focus on drawing, says Travelfish.
It’s no surprise that Saigon exudes “a youthful, inventive energy,” writes Naomi Lindt at The New York Times, because over half of its eight million dwellers are younger than 35. “This dynamic spirit shines through in quirky cafes, innovative cuisine and boutiques selling homegrown fashion,” she says. "The locals spend a lot of money,” local Vietnamese-Canadian documentary maker Linh Phan tells Traveller. “The country's quite young, so you have kids who are working, they live at home, so they don't pay rent, their food's all paid for, they don't have to pay for laundry, they don't have to pay for anything -- so all the money that they get is disposable income."
It’s a city that has changed amazingly over the past decade, according to Andrew Forbes at CPA Media. “The beggars and piles of human excrement have disappeared from the streets, fine old colonial buildings have been restored, new parks created and there is a palpable feeling of wealth and upward social mobility amongst the population,” he writes. “You’re met with staggering French architecture dating back to the 18th century, endless stalls selling the famed banh mi sandwich, and meticulously landscaped parks boasting temples and palaces,” comments Claire Volkman at Vogue.