Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) is a vast, vibrant, hectic, intense cosmopolitan city yet with room to breath and a pace calm enough to ride a bike. As the country cautiously mutates from communism to capitalism, many ambitious citizens have tasted the delights of profit and drive around in SUV’s. Still, most common folks peddle around to local grocery stores and buy milk in real coconuts from street vendors. Visitors can buy knock-off copies of Lonely Planet guidebooks from 10-year-old street-smart kids. Of course, there are war memories here at the War Remnants Museum but most people have put the American War far into the distant past and welcome tourists as if it had not happened. These are resilient, enduring, hard-driving folks who are bringing their country into the 21st century with all due haste.

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