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Downtown Saigon

Let it not be said that Ho Chi Minh City - formerly Saigon - isn't a fascinating city. It's lively, bustling and fascinating all at the same time. It still retains the street-life of so many cities in Asia - although it is sad to see the KFC's and Pizza Huts around, as also shopping malls with all the usual up-market brands names.

Motor-bike riders, young and old, female and male, dominate the streets. It doesn't matter whether it's a family of four either. Dad will "drive" with Mum at the rear and 2 kids wedged, seemingly precariously, between them. For pedestrians it's a matter of literarily "launching" onto the street to cross.

And the food. Vietnamese value fresh produce. And everywhere one looks people are eating, no matter how seemingly basic the venue.

Add to the love of food the influence on Vietnamese cuisine of the now long-departed French colonials, and foodies are in for a treat.


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