Bitexco Financial Tower, Saigon - review by Rusty Compass
Ho Chi Minh City | see and do guide

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Bitexco Financial Tower, Saigon

| 25 Apr 2012


Bitexco Financial Tower, Saigon
Hai Trieu St, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
0900AM to 0900PM

Our rating
25 Apr 2012

This brand new Saigon building stands way above all others. Love it or hate it, it’s impossible to miss. And there’s a skydeck on the 46th floor with amazing views across the city that is definitely worth a visit.

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Bitexco  Financial Tower was designed by New York architect Carlos Zapata who is said to have taken his inspiration from the lotus flower. It requires a fair amount of imagination to make the connection.

The Financial Tower is an unavoidable feature of the city landscape. It’s visible virtually everywhere. For travellers, its skydeck on the 46th floor is a great place to get a sense of the city’s geography, its incredible, dense sprawl, and the Saigon River’s long winding run to the sea. Visit early in your Saigon travels to put some context over the relentless grind of the city at street level.

Naming an enormous new skyscraper “Financial Tower” may have been a tad hubristic in these fraught global financial times. Its opening coincides with the most challenging economic times since Vietnam tentatively opened its doors to global commerce twenty years ago. And so Saigon’s newly opened tallest building, for now at least, feels like a monument to financial excess. Almost a year after its inauguration, complete with helipad, it remains largely unoccupied and even its retail spaces are barren. Word around town is that the helipad is unusable on account of dangerous winds.

The challenges facing Saigon’s new Financial Tower seem to parallel those facing the country’s fragile economy.

Travel tips
Bitexco FInancial Tower sits on the fringe of the area established by the French as the banking centre and a number of grand old structures from this period still stand. The Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange isn’t far away. 

Just across the road at 39 Ham Nghi St is an anonymous building that was the US Embassy during the critical early years of the Vietnam War. It was bombed in 1965 and a new embassy was built in another location.
Mark Bowyer
Mark Bowyer is the founder and publisher of Rusty Compass.
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