With its tapered shape and distinctive helipad protruding like a tongue near the top, the sleek Bitexco Financial Tower is destined to become one of Saigon’s most memorable icons. It stands just to the east of the south end of Nguyen Hué and a stone’s throw from the river. Visitors come not so much for its ground-floor car showrooms and offices of wheelers and dealers, but for the sweeping views from the Saigon Skydeck on the forty-ninth floor, 178m above the ground. Look upwards and you’ll see the lip of the helipad on the floor above; look down and you should spot a few familiar sights, such as Ben Thanh market, the Hotel de Ville, the Opera House and the tips of the spires of Notre Dame Cathedral far below you. From this vantage point, it’s evident that Saigon’s skyline is changing at a breakneck pace.

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