Home to many French colonial buildings, Dong Khoi Street has witnessed many changes in Ho Chi Minh City. During the French occupation, it was the centre of glamour and was called Rue Catinat.
It became Tu Do or Freedom Street during the Vietnam War. When the Communists took over Saigon in the late 1970s, the name changed again to Dong Khoi, which means Total Revolution.
Now Dong Khoi Street is at the heart of the city’s commercial life. It is still the best place to admire the grand old colonial buildings although they too are being overshadowed by the nearby high-rise office towers. International brands, boutiques, stylish cafes and high-end restaurants now line this bustling street.
Walk along Dong Khoi Street to admire what is left of the colonial architecture. Starting from the southern end on the bank of the Saigon River, have a look along the way at the Continental Hotel, the Opera House, the Caravelle Hotel, the stunning Gustav Eiffel-designed Central Post Office, and the Hotel de Ville, which is now the People’s Committee Building, ending at the Notre Dame Cathedral on Paris Square.