This stimulating Ho Chi Minh tour is perfect for travelers wanting the lay of the land, or for first time visitors wanting to catch Saigon's main areas of attraction. An experienced guide will accompany your group on this private tour of Saigon.
Naturally, you'll see the primary historical and cultural places native to the area, but Saigon (known as 'the Pearl of the Far East) is so much more. It's the high pace of its people, set to the many cafes' thumping beats. It is the shoppers haggling in the colorful market streets. Your knowledgeable guide will elaborate on the many places you see.
As an Asian country (the Chinese comprise the largest ethnic bloc) with strong French and Soviet Union influences, Vietnam embodies a true clash of cultures. Saigon and its nine million residents are the heart of it all.
The communist Vietnamese won independence after the "Fall of Saigon" in 1975. Many attractions echo that era. For instance, the Reunification Palace (formerly the Presidential Palace) is an interesting monument designed in the 1960s with the help of the Soviets. The tank that crashed through its gates on April 30, 1975, signifying "The Fall" still graces its front lawn.
The hustle and bustle of Cholon (China Town) may surprise you as you navigate through its maze of narrow streets and vendors. Sitting at its center is the Thien Hau Pagoda, dedicated to the goddess Thien Hau, protector of the sea. Tourists mingle as worshippers light some incense. Inside, photographers have a heyday shooting its ornate designs.
Known as the "Paris of the East," you'll see the landmark twin towers of the Notre Dame Cathedral, made with bricks imported from Marseille France.
Your memorable tour of Saigon will enable you to map your bearings, hassle free. Yet, the scent of food and eager residents flooding the streets will encourage you to dive into Saigon and drum your own beat. Dress comfortably as this unique Oriental city welcomes you.
Please Note: Passengers will be granted a Vietnam visa by the cruise line. Some of the cruise lines include the visa within the cruise package. However, if a visa was not included in your cruise package, you pay may purchase one directly onboard. The cost varies anywhere from $5 US to $10 US per person depending on the cruise line.