Girl Meets World
By Ginny Tonkin GoErie.com staff blogger
Girl Meets World is a multimedia look at the sights, sounds, and insights of experiencing a different culture through teaching English as a foreign language.   Read more about this blog.
Posted: June 1st, 2011
360˚HCMC tour

Don’t look down.

Look up. 68 stories up. The Bixteco Financial Tower is the tallest building in Ho Chi Minh City, and at 861 ft, it ranks 24th in the world.

The impressive view from below the Bixteco Tower

The impressive view from below the Bixteco Tower

Recently opened to the public, one can visit the city icon’s Skydeck for $10. For any Western tourist, this seems reasonable, but this actually keeps out the majority of locals or domestic tourists. This is a huge sum for locals; just as an indicator, local Vietnamese public school teachers are paid in between $60-$100 a month.

Nevertheless, its seen as an icon of modernization, and I needed to see it for myself. During my last day in Vietnam, I chose to visit the tower, and take in the city that had been my home for the past eight months.

Check out my 360˚ tour of Saigon! Or find the video in the player to the right.

Controversial due to its profitability and rumors about its less-than-perfect building safety standards, it nonetheless strikes an impressive figure on the Saigon profile and provides a spectacular view of the city. The owners have plans to open a restaurant directly above the observation deck, as well as a food court on the 6th floor.

The helipad on the side invites CEOs and other VIPs to meetings via helicopter, though I do believe I am correct in saying it hasn’t been used yet. The tower’s unique shape resembles the lotus, a predominant symbol of Vietnam–though I have friends that have described the tower as a cucumber with a chunk lopped off the side :-)

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Check out my GirlMeetWorld YouTube page for a video of the Water Festival in Siem Reap.

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