The perfect complement to the more laid back Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City (more commonly known as Saigon) has a pulsating energy that is impossible to resist.

Saigon is the economic engine of Vietnam, a thriving, sprawling metropolis of 13 million people with about 7 million scooters on the streets.

Attractions include the bustling Ben Thanh Market, where vendors sell everything from food, sweets and spices to tobacco, souvenirs and clothing - including custom-made suits, and Nha Hang Ngon, where you can taste traditional street food served up from food stalls in a leafy garden.

Other notable sites and experiences include the Notre-Dame Basilica, the Jade Emperor Pagoda for its statues and woodcarvings, the War Remnants Museum, and the Khanh Van Nam Vien Pagoda, said to be the only pure Taoist temple in Vietnam.

Many people make trips out to the Mekong Delta and to the Cu Chi Tunnels from Saigon.

Hotel accommodation in Saigon is very good value and there is just a handful of colonial style, boutique hotels in Saigon.

Jasmine Holidays has staff based in Saigon which helps keep us right up to date with developments in Vietnam and the wider region.