North of Notre Dame Cathedral, Le Duan Boulevard runs between the Botanical Gardens and the grounds of the Reunification Palace. Known as Norodom Boulevard to the French, who lined it with tamarind trees to imitate a Gallic thoroughfare, it soon became a residential and diplomatic enclave with a crop of fine pastel-hued colonial villas to boot. Its present name doffs a cap to Le Duan, the secretary-general of the Lao Dong, or Workers Party, from 1959 until his death in 1986. Turn northeast from the top of Dong Khoi and the sense of harmony created by Le Duan’s graceful colonial piles ends abruptly with a number of brand-new edifices.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Vietnam features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The 20 best beaches in Vietnam

The 20 best beaches in Vietnam

With more than 2000 miles of coastline, Vietnam brims with secluded coves, white sands and waters fit for snorkelling. For days spent basking on sun-baked str…

22 Sep 2017 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

There's nothing like an amazing view to inspire you to book your next trip, whether you're drawn by rolling countryside, isolated islands or soaring mountain …

30 Aug 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City: where should you visit first?

Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City: where should you visit first?

Situated at the northern and southern extremes of this long, thin country, Vietnam’s two main cities lie more than one thousand kilometres apart. Southern …

22 Aug 2017 • Helen Abramson insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month