Since 1975, its official name has been Ho Chi Minh City, in honour of the communist leader. Saigon, its former name, is more commonly used to designate the capital of southern Vietnam. Near the Mekong delta, along the Saigon River, this metropolis was only a Khmer fishing village that developed in the 17th century under the Nguyen dynasty. Saigon officially designates the city centre of this province of 7 million inhabitants. Among the essentials of Saigon that a travel guide will recommend to you, we can mention the Notre-Dame cathedral, the large central post office whose steel structure was designed by Eiffel, the Continental hotel and the Majestic hotel in the French colonial style and the Opera built in 1900 on the model of the Petit Palais in Paris. Tourists enjoy the Ben Thanh market, but the largest market in the city is Binh Tay in Chinatown Cholon, which is very impressive for its variety and entertainment. The Revolution Museum, with its wide range of planes, helicopters and other vehicles on display in the gardens, as well as the Ho Chi Minh City Museum, which occupies the former brick premises of the Maritime Courier Company, are not to be missed. The oldest vestige of the French colonial period, this building was built when Saigon was the head of the Asian maritime transport line, both passenger and freight, between Marseille and the Far East. Among the skyscrapers, the Bitexco financial tower high in 2010 and the highest in the country. Nightlife is lively in Saigon and local cuisine is one of the pleasures of the stay.