The Hanoitimes - Ho Chi Minh city today, armed with a confident economy and a population with an average age of around 32, is taking a more international lifestyle in its stride.
Prestige Online, the online web portal of the Prestige brand, has some words on the transform of Ho Chi Minh City. According to Jing Zhang, editor from Prestige Online, the reality is that food in Ho Chi Minh City is changing, even the people in the markets and streets — their food is changing too. Some people wouldn’t even know what authenticity is, even if it hit them in the face.
Ho Chi Minh city today, armed with a confident economy and a population with an average age of around 32, is taking a more international lifestyle in its stride. Hip designer-led restaurants and speakeasy-type bars with inventive cocktails have popped up all over the city, luring savvy visitors looking for more than just museums and motorbike tours.
Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.
To stay, there are, of course, the classic hotels such as the Majestic, the Caravelle and the Continental, all close to the waterfront in District One and possessing their own heritage and charm. But for those who prefer modern luxury spaces with truly international levels of service, Prestige Online suggests heading towards the grandeur of the Park Hyatt Saigon; otherwise there are the boutique Bach Suites Saigon or the Hôtel des Arts Saigon MGallery, a block away from one another in District 3.
The Social Club rooftop bar is a poignant place from which to consider how this Southeast Asian country has emerged from the more rough-and-tumble times. Vietnam is now the fastest-growing economy in the region. A former capital of French Indochina, Saigon has emerged the easy winner of the most cosmopolitan city in the country, with an incoming tide of young, international, well-traveled immigrants and savvy Vietnamese returnees.
It’s all propelled the luxury, lifestyle, leisure and dining scenes into new territories, with more luxe and sophisticated spots being allowed to flourish. “Saigon changes a lot in the last few years… Hong Kong is a very commercial place, but here it’s a little less commercial — you can take a bit more of a risk and that’s why I can rent a whole building here,” Prestige Online wrote.
The number of foreign visitors to Ho Chi Minh City in the first quarter of 2019 is estimated at 2.25 million, equal to 27% of this year's target and making up half the foreign arrivals in Vietnam in the period, according to the municipal Department of Tourism.
In 2019, Ho Chi Minh City aims to service about 8-8.5 million foreign visitors and expand the tourism sector by 15 - 20%. Last year, Ho Chi Minh City welcomed more than 7 million foreign holidaymakers.