Ho Chi Minh City, or Saigon as the city is still frequently referred to, is Vietnam’s largest city. It is a fast-paced metropolis full of contrasts, with street vendors selling fruit and vegetables next to glitzy western-style bars and boutiques. Amazingly, the city’s history dates back only 300 years
In the morning you will be picked up at you will visit:
The Notre Dame Cathedral and Old Post Office:
Built between 1877 and 1883 this is one of the best examples of classical French colonial architecture. Remarkably, every stone used in its creation was shipped from France to Vietnam. Her two forty metre towers, topped with iron spires, still dominate the city’s skyline. The Old Post Office is another example of French colonial architecture and is also the country’s largest post office.
Dong Khoi Street, the Opera House and the Peoples’ Committee Building:
Built in 1897 by French architect Ferret Eugene, the 800 seat Opera House was used as the home of the Lower House Assembly of South Vietnam after 1956. It was not until 1975 that it was again used for performances. The structure was restored in 1995. The Opera House is located on the historical Dong Khoi Street which is home to many boutiques and fine restaurants. Just around the corner are the iconic Rex hotel and the beautiful Peoples’ Committee Building.
The Reunification Palace:
This is one of the most important buildings in the city. Here on April 30th 1975 the ‘American War’ officially ended when tank number 843 of the North Vietnamese Army crashed through the gates of what was, at the time the residence of the President of the Republic of Vietnam.
You will enjoy lunch at a local Vietnamese restaurant.
In the afternoon, you will visit:
The War Remnants Museum:
Formerly known as the Museum of American War Crimes, this is a poignant display of the futility of war. Some of the black and white photography in the ‘Requiem’ exhibit is particularly touching, dedicated to both foreign and Vietnamese journalists and photographers who perished during the conflict. The courtyard outside contains the spoils of war, namely rusting jets, tanks and cannons captured from the American military machine.
Thien Hau Pagoda:
Located in Cholon, the city’s Chinatown, this pagoda is dedicated to the Goddess of the Sea. The most impressive features of this structure are the intricately friezes and the carved tableaus towards the front of the pagoda. The impressive incense coils in the interior also make for some great photos.
Cholon Cyclo Tour:
This is one of the best ways to observe street life in this vibrant commercial centre. Enjoy a ride through the narrow streets and timeless street scenes as you soak up the atmosphere in comfort.
Binh Tay Market:
The name ‘Cho Lon’ can be roughly translated as ‘Big market’. Although the whole district lives up to its name a visit to this market really drives the point home. Selling everything from hats to dried squid, you are sure to enjoy a walk through the maze of stalls in this bustling market.
upon your travel period and specific touring needs.