Cost to build: $220 million
Completion date: October 31, 2010
Fast fact: Designed to represent Vietnam's national flower, the lotus, this 262-meter skyscraper is meant to characterize the beauty and growth of the city below.
It has a helipad on the 52nd floor that juts out 22 meters.
The Bitexco Financial Tower may no longer be the tallest building in Vietnam -- that honor goes to Hanoi's Keangnam Landmark -- but it's still a standout on Ho Chi Minh City's skyline..
It's ambitious and in your face, much like its host city. No surprise, given it was designed by award-winning Ecuadorian architect Carlos Zapata.
There's an observation deck on the 47th floor, the Saigon Skydeck, where visitors get a 360-degree view of HCMC.
Saigon Skydeck, 36 Ho Tung Mau St., District 1, HCMC, Vietnam; +84 (0)8 39 156 156; tickets from 200,000 VND/adult ($9.50), 130,000/child
Ryugyong Hotel, Pyongyang, North Korea
Height: 330 meters
Cost to build: $750 million
Completion date: N/A
Fast fact: The hotel has held the Guinness World Record for world's tallest unoccupied building for an unenviable 21 years.
The world's tallest unoccupied building is undoubtedly an icon -- though probably not one you'd wish to be associated with.
Symbolizing decades of mismanagement and incongruous ostentation, what was originally started in 1987 in preparation for a festival was abandoned due to construction problems and funding issues.
Construction re-commenced in 2008 when Egyptian telecommunications company Orascom shelled out $180 million to complete the building's glass façade.
Kempinski Hotels group got on board to manage the property, then distanced itself again earlier this year when Pyongyang threatened the possibility of nuclear attacks against the United States and South Korea.
The last reports on the hotel's progress came from a Hong Kong journalist who escaped his chaperone in December 2012.
"When I stepped through scaffolding into the lobby and looked inside, there were no completed surfaces, just bare concrete and one electric light hanging down," Simon Parry told CNN.
We can expect the spacecraft-like shell to remain grounded for the foreseeable future, with an inspection by the European Chamber of Commerce concluding, after an inspection in the 1990s, that poor construction materials and technique rendered the building a write-off.
Ryugyong Hotel, Pyongyang, North Korea; website (not official)
Transamerica Pyramid, San Francisco
Height: 260 meters
Cost to build: $32 million
Completion date: 1972