( IPEC2012 : Local Information | ipec

The 10th International Power and Energy Conference

IPEC 2012

12 - 13 December 2012

Sheraton Saigon Hotel & Towers

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

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Local Information

Ho Chi Minh City formerly named Saigon is the largest city in Vietnam. It was once known as Prey Nokor, an important Khmer sea port prior to annexation by the Vietnamese in the 17th century.
It situated in the southern part of Vietnam, is still called Saigon by most of the natives. Hochiminh city is the Vietnam’s largest city and its economic powerhouse. The population is thought to be around 8 million people. The average temperature is from 22°C (71°F) to 31°C (88°F).
From it’s founding in the 15th century, it has been influenced by various cultures, Khmer, French and the Americans. It’s a complex combination of the old and the new, traditional and modern, European and Asian. Exploring the the history, the food, the shopping and simply gazing at the constant activity, will easily keep you busy all day.
In present days, Ho Chi Minh city is considered the biggest travel center in the country and has possibility of holding attraction for 70% international tourists to visit Vietnam. That is because this city has features of good infrastructure, convenient traffic, various travel resources. In addition, the fact that Ho Chi Minh city is connected with many historical events, places, vestiges, has obviously changed it into a promising, real tourist place for a range of travellers.

        infrastructure            traffic





Reunification Palace

Open daily 7:30AM-11:00AM, 1PM-4PM. Also known as Independence Palace (this is the old name). This 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. There is also a photo gallery and a propaganda film recounting how the South Vietnamese supporters and American imperialists succumbed to Ho Chi Minh’s indomitable revolutionary forces, upon which point the South Vietnamese supporters were forgiven and everyone lived happily ever after. Tours are available and are free, but not necessary. There is a nice outdoor café on the grounds outside the palace. 

Ho Chi Minh museum
Open daily 7:30AM-12 noon, 1:30PM-5PM, last admission 4:30PM.
The museum (in a French colonial era building) near the dock of Saigon shows the life story of the modern day father of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh.



Saigon Opera House (Ho Chi Minh Municipal Theater)


The Saigon Opera House (Vietnamese: Nhà hát lớn Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh), an opera house in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, is an example of French Colonial architecture in Vietnam.
Built in 1897 by French architect Ferret Eugene, 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.

Nha Rong wharf

The Nha Rong Wharf, or Uncle Ho’s souvenir area, is located at the junction of the Ben Nghe Channel and the Saigon River. This museum mostly contains pictures and objects relating to President Ho Chi Minh. It is from this area that 21 year old Ho Chi Minh set sail on a French ship named Admiral Latouche Treville in June 1911. The Dragon House Wharf, originally called Nha Rong, was a French shipping company built in 1862. The first ship left Nha Rong in November 1862.
In September 1979, the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City chose Nha Rong as the Ho Chi Minh Museum–Dragon House Wharf. The name was taken from the two dragon-shaped symbols on the top of the building. Over time, approximately ten million people, local as well as international, have visited the Ho Chi Minh Museum. In addition, events such as artistic festivals and the introduction of new members into the Youth Union and Communist Party have been held in this museum.

Cu Chi tunnel


Cu Chi Tunnels is known nationwide as the base where the Vietnamese mounted their operations of the Tet Offensive in 1968. The Cu Chi Tunnels consist of more than 200 km of underground tunnels. This main axis system has many branches connecting to underground hideouts, shelters, and entrances to other tunnels. The tunnels are between 0.5 to 1 m wide, just enough space for a person to walk along by bending or dragging. However, parts of the tunnels have been modified to accommodate visitors. The upper soil layer is between 3 to 4 m thick and can support the weight of a 50-ton tank and the damage of light cannons and bombs. The underground network provided sleeping quarters, meeting rooms, hospitals, and other social rooms. Visiting the Cu Chi Tunnels provides a better understanding of the prolonged resistance war of the Vietnamese people and also of the persistent and clever character of the Vietnamese nation.





Notre Dame Catheral (Duc Ba catheral)

A red-brick cathedral built by the French made largely with imported materials (the bricks are from Marseilles and stained glass windows from Chartres). The cathedral was constructed between 1863 and 1880. It has two bell towers, reaching a height of 58 meters (190 feet). Known in Vietnamese as Nha Tho Duc Ba, a statue of the Virgin Mary stands in the park grounds in front. The cathedral is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the City.

Thien Hau Temple (The Pagoda of the Lady temple)


Thien Hau temple is literally translated as The Pagoda of the Lady temple. It is a Chinese sanctuary situated on the bustling Nguyen Trai Street in the China town area of Ho Chi Minh, the capital of Vietnam. Thien Hau is also referred to as the lady of the sea, thus the shrine is dedicated to her. She is also known as Mazu.