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Program at a Glance
About TDT University
About Ho Chi Minh city
The conference activities will take place at Ton Duc Thang University (19 Nguyen Huu Tho Street, Tan Phong Ward, District 7) one of the biggest and most beautiful university of Ho Chi Minh City.
Ho Chi Minh City, or by the abbreviations HCMC or HCM, is the largest city in Vietnam which also called Saigon (after "officially" renamed to Ho Chi Minh City in 1975). However the old Saigon name is still used by both Vietnamese and foreigners, especially when referring to the most central part of the city to which most tourists flock.
What to see
City Hall, end of Nguyen Hue Street. Originally called the Hôtel de Ville and now formally re-branded the People's Committee Hall, it's a striking cream and yellow French colonial building beautifully floodlit at night. No entry, but the statue of Uncle Ho in front is a very popular place for photos.
Reunification Palace: Also known as Independence Palace, is a restored 5 floor time warp to the 60s left largely untouched from the day before Saigon fell to the North (construction started in 1962 and finished in 1966). Formerly South Vietnam's presidential palace, the war ended on April 30, 1975 when tank #843 crashed through the gate. A replica of that tank is now parked on the lawn outside. Be sure to check out the impressively kitschy recreation room, featuring a circular sofa, and the eerie basement, full of vintage 1960s phones, radios, and office equipment, supposedly left exactly as it was found when the North took over.
The museum was opened in a hurry, less than five months after the fall of the South Vietnamese regime. It has moved to new premises with 3 stories of exhibits and various U.S. military hardware (tanks, jets, helicopters, howitzers) on display outside the building. This disturbing display of man's cruelty during the Vietnam (American) War includes halls full of gruesome photographs, a simulated "tiger cage" prison and jars of deformed foetuses attributed to contamination by Agent Orange. An exhibit on the 3rd floor tells the story of the war journalists from all over the world who documented, and often disappeared or died in the war.
Notre Dame Cathedral (facing down Dong Khoi Street, next to the Post Office) A French-built Catholic cathedral in the city centre.
Saigon Skydeck (Add: 36 Ho Tung Mau Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1)
Located on the 49th floor the observation deck offers sweeping 360‐degree panoramic views of the entire city and the nearby Saigon River. Facilities include a gift shop, information touch screens (in English and Vietnamese), free to use binoculars and complimentary bottled water. The 50th floor is also freely accessible via a set of stairs which lead to a cafe that serves a range of refreshments.
Head up to the 54th floor, the one with the helicopter deck (change elevators at the 50th) and ask for the "bar", you will have a very interesting experience of HCMC view.
Central Mosque (Add:66 Dong Du Street, District 01)
One of 12 mosques serving Ho Chi Minh City, the Central Mosque was built in 1935. It was originally constructed for worshipers from southern India then resident in Saigon, but now Muslims from as far as Pakistan and Indonesia come to pray. Friday draws the biggest crowds. The shaded verandah and cool stone floors make it an ideal place to sit, read or even nap in the heat of the day. As with most mosques, remember to take your shoes off before entering and dress conservatively if you wish to enter.
Thien Hau Pagoda (Add: 710 Nguyen Trai St, District 5).
Dedicated to Lady Thien Hau, the sea goddess, who left two giant turtles to keep an eye on things in her absence. A festival is held in her honor on the 23rd day of the March lunar month. Don't miss the gorgeous sculptures in the walls of the courtyard outside the temple.
Emperor Jade Pagoda (Add: 73 Mai Thi Luu St., District 1)
Considered by many to be Saigon’s finest pagoda. Check out the room filled with unusual figurines, to the left of the main hall. There are many turtles in a concrete pond in the courtyard.
Ben Thanh Market
Ben Thanh is recognizable from its clock tower on the large traffic circle. The largest old-style market in the central district, with several hundred small stalls stuffed with goods on almost impassably narrow aisles. Due to its popularity with tourists, the market is now divided between tourist goods (jeans, T-shirts, smaller souvenirs in abundance) and regular items (fruit and vegetables, rice, kitchen wares, flowers, meat, fast food and local-style pickled fruits and candies). Most items are not price-marked, and vendors always quote a 50-100% higher price to tourists, so bargaining hard will save you money. The chief method of parting visitors from their money is ambiguity: for example never making it quite clear how many you are being quoted for; or what the exact price is; or what exchange rate is being used to calculate your change.
Binh Tay Market (Chinatown)
The more underrated twin of Ben Thanh, selling everything from spices, Chinese medicines, silk to obscure varieties of fermented fish, dried seafood and jerky. If you are searching for a variety of Vietnam silks and velvets, skip the tourist trap Ben Thanh Market and head for Bình Tây instead. Most of Chợ Bình Tây is wholesale goods. In fact, you can see much of Ben Thanh Market's goods are from here.
Cu Chi Tunnel: Cu Chi is about 40 km northwest of HCMC. The Cu Chi Tunnels are an elaborate underground community made up of 250 km of tunnels and chambers below the city.
The tunnels were dug with simple tools and bare hands during the French occupation in the 1940s, and further expanded during the Vietnam War in the 1960s to provide refuge and a defensive advantage over the American soldiers. Despite all the bombings in their town, the Cu Chi people were able to continue their lives beneath the soil, where they slept, ate, planned attacks, healed their sick, and taught their young. Some even wed and gave birth underground, but over 10,000 lost their lives here.
The Municipal Theatre of Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon Opera House, is an opera house with French Colonial architecture in Vietnam. Built in 1897 by French architect Eugène Ferret as the Opėra de Saigon, the 800 seat building was used as the home of the Lower House assembly of South Vietnam after 1956. It was not until 1975 that it was again used as a theatre, and restored in 1995.