Bitexco Financial Tower

7, Bitexco Financial Tower, 2 Hải Triều, Bến Nghé, Hồ Chí Minh, 700000, Vietnam

An emblem of the new Vietnam, this 68-story skyscraper, named for a Vietnamese conglomerate and designed by Venezuelan architect Carlos Zapata, is easily identified in Ho Chi Minh City’s skyline—a helipad juts out from near the top, looking a little like a flying saucer crashed into the building. Upon completion in 2010, it was the tallest building in Vietnam; it can no longer claim that title (which now belongs to the Keangnam Hanoi Landmark Tower), but its construction remains an impressive achievement. The 49th-floor wraparound Saigon Skydeck offers expansive views of the river and the city’s concrete sprawl; you’ll find the same fine views at the somewhat pricey café-restaurant-bar Eon, located on floors 50, 51, and 52.

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Ho Chi Minh City from the 49th floor

Walking the streets of Ho Chi Minh City, it’s easy to believe you are in a small village, or at least, a mid sized town. A supersonic trip up to the 49th floor of the Bitexco Financial Tower quickly dispels that notion. Saigon (as it is still called) stretches for miles and miles from every vantage point of the 360 degree Skydeck. If you’ve been walking the streets a little dazed and challenged by the Vietnamese language, the Quốc Ngữ; (written Vietnamese alphabet) on street signs and aggressive motorbikes, this is a great place to get your bearings. The tour guides speak flawless English and are eager to interact. Just point out the window or in their direction and they will appear at your side to give you a lesson in Vietnamese politics or tell you how to find a ticket for a ride up the river.

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