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Today, the city's core is still adorned with wide elegant boulevards and historic French colonial buildings. The most prominent structures in the city center are Reunification Palace (Dinh Thống Nhất), City Hall (Ủy ban nhân dân Thành phố), the Municipal Theatre (Nhà hát thành phố, also known as the Opera House), City Post Office (Bưu điện thành phố), State Bank Office (Ngân hàng nhà nước), City People's Court (Tòa án nhân dân thành phố) and Notre-Dame Cathedral (Nhà thờ Đức Bà). Some of the historic hotels are the Hotel Majestic, dating from the French colonial era, and the Rex and Caravelle hotels are former hangouts for American officers and war correspondents in the 1960s/70s. It was approximated 4.3 millions tourist visited Vietnam in 2007, and 70 percent, about 3 millions came to visit Ho Chi Minh city. In 2007, the number tourist came to the city increased up to 12 percent compare to 2006, and the tourism industry got up to 19,500 billion VND, went up to 20 percent.

A tour guide demonstrates a secret entrance at the Củ Chi tunnels.
The city has various museums, such as the Ho Chi Minh City Museum, Museum of Vietnamese History, the Revolutionary Museum, the Museum of Southeastern Armed Forces, the War Remnants Museum, the Museum of Southern Women, the Museum of Fine Art, the Nha Rong Memorial House, and the Ben Duoc Relic of Underground Tunnels. The Củ Chi tunnels are northwest of the city in Củ Chi district. The Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens, in District 1, dates from 1865. Aside from the Municipal Theatre, there are other places of entertainment such as: the Bến Thành and Hòa Bình theatres and the Lan Anh Music Stage. The Đầm Sen Tourist and Cultural Park, Suối Tiên Amusement and Culture Park, and Cần Giờ's Eco beach resort are three recreational sites inside the city which are popular with tourists. Ho Chi Minh City is home to hundreds of cinemas and theatres, with cinema and dramatic ticketing revenue accounting for 60–70% of Vietnam's total revenue in this industry.[citation needed]
Unlike other dramatic teams in Vietnam's provinces and municipalities, residents of Ho Chi Minh City keep their theaters active without being subsidized by the Vietnamese government. The city is home to most of the private movie companies in Vietnam. Like many of Vietnam's smaller cities, the city boasts a multitude of restaurants serving typical Vietnamese dishes such as phở or rice vermicelli. Backpacking travelers most often frequent the "Western Quarter" on Phạm Ngũ Lão Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.