Saigon City Tour,
Ho Chi Minh City
Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City and The South
Info : Saigon City Tour
Saigon (officially known as Ho Chi Minh City) is the capital of the south and is a large lively city with a vast selection of restaurants, coffee shops, bars and markets to explore, and also some of Vietnam's most important 20th century historical sights.
This half day tour will take you through the bustling streets to some of the buildings that have been at the heart of Vietnamese history in the last 100 years or so.
Visit the former Presidential Palace where the presidents of Vietnam were based throughout the American conflict and which was used as a base for many of the operations during the war too. The typical 1960s Soviet block-style architecture is fused with more traditional Chinese and Vietnamese style furnishings and creates a somewhat bizarre picture of the Vietnamese government during this time.
Look out for the grand and opulent meeting rooms where the former presidents would entertain international guests, and also look out for the deer antlers presented to the former presidents by hilltribe people from the centre of Vietnam. The bunker-like basement of the building is reminiscent of the UK's Cabinet War Rooms and consist of a series of corridors, communications rooms and operation centres where the President and American advisors would carry out their work in case of bombing attacks.
Also pay a visit to the History Museum, which documents the origins of Vietnam's history since pre-historic times and contains a large number of historical and religious artefacts collected by the French from across Indochina. Make sure to look out for the spectacular Buddha statue with 1000 eyes and 1000 arms! The museum documents Vietnam's diverse history and culture prior to colonisation and a colourful display of traditional water puppetry can also be seen in the museum grounds.
Stop off at the Catholic Notre Dame Cathedral built by the French in 1887 and the nearby post office, a pink building with impressive architecture inside.
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Nick actually listened to the type of trip we wanted. He then shared his knowledge and expertise to help with the detail of the countries that we did not have. Refreshingly he did not try and sell something 'off the shelf' or anything that would have been easy for him!