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Ho Chi Minh did not escape the war but it’s now a rapidly growing city. The nation’s economic heart has embarked onto important urban and education developments. Some 50 universities and colleges attract over 300,000 students. You will also find dozens of supermarket chains, luxury shopping malls and modern fashion centres. But Ho Chi Minh is also a city with a rich past: heavily influenced by the French in terms of culture and style, the city is still characterised by elegant boulevards and historic colonial buildings.