Street-by-Street: Dong Khoi

24

Nov
2021

Street-by-Street: Dong Khoi

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Arguably the liveliest part of the city, the area around Dong Khoi Street is the very nerve center of Ho Chi Minh City. Dong Khoi Street itself became famous during the French era, and was then known as the Rue Catinat. Home to stately hotels, elegant boutiques, and cozy cafés that coexisted with bars and brothels, it was at the center of most of the action in Graham Greene’s novel, The Quiet American. The subsequent communist regime shut down most of these establishments, but Viet nam’s economic liberalization in 1986 gave the area a new lease on life as smart hotels, restaurants, and shops slowly made a reappearance. Today, Dong Khoi’s vibrance is unparalleled in the country, and it does justice to the city’s old nickname “Paris of the Orient.”

General Post Office

One of the most handsome French-Colonial buildings in the city, the cavernous interior of this massive structure, with its comfortable benches, provides a cool respite from the heat outside.

Notre Dame Cathedral

This tall, late 19th-century cathedral is built of locally quarried stone and covered with red ceramic tiles shipped in from France. The statue of the Virgin Mary was added to the lawns in front of the building in the 1950s.

People’s Committee Building

The erstwhile Hotel de Ville now houses the office of the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City. It is one of the most magnificent and photogenic colonial buildings in the entire city.

Continental Hotel

Constructed in classic French-Colonial style, this elegant hotel is a serene haven amid the bustle of the city. The central atrium is popular for afternoon tea and the patio offers al fresco dining in summer.

Municipal Theater

This lovely Neo-Classical building, known as the Opera House in colonial times, was once the heart of French high society.

Rex Hotel

A popular base for several journalists during the Vietnam War, the Rex is one of the best known landmarks in the city. The hotel’s rooftop bar offers superb views of the street below.

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