This vivacious city was the original ‘Pearl of the Orient’. Along the old Rue Catinat, and in the surrounding boulevards, stand relics of empire and revolution: Notre Dame Cathedral, the Opera House, the Post Office and the Reunification Palace.
The city continues to undergo rapid change, with new skyscrapers, lively bars and a booming economy, all under the watchful gaze of Uncle Ho’, whose statue stands proud outside the old Hotel De Ville.
There is still plenty of local charm: soup sellers ring their chimes to signify a freshly made lunch, fortune tellers read palms and incense drifts from busy temples. The choice of restaurants is outstanding, and this is a great shopping city: classy boutiques sell lacquerware, silk and modern art. Nearby, are the infamous Cu Chi Tunnels, a network of over 250 kilometres of secret underground passages used by the Viet Cong during the conflict with America.
Saigon City Tour
Today we will explore the main sites of Saigon including Rue Catinat, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Reunification Palace and the Museum of War Remnants. We will also be taken into Cholon (Chinatown) to visit the Thien Hau Temple, with its spiral incense coils and Binh Tay Market, where we walk through the narrow aisles between the food stalls is always an experience. You will then visit a couple of the city’s main pagodas.
There is much to do in Saigon – a vibrant city, the largest in Vietnam and truly cosmopolitan. The juxtaposition of modern and old makes for a diversity of attractions.
Despite Vietnam’s Communist government Saigon has embraced capitalism and is a great place for shopping. You will find everything from local markets to sophisticated department stores and classy boutiques selling their version of traditional crafts. An afternoon could be quite happily spent wandering Saigon’s streets and browsing the goods on offer.
Bassac Cruise ‘Cai Be to Can Tho
This morning you will be transferred by car to Cai Be in time to board the Bassac. While you enjoy a delicious lunch, the Bassac sets sail along the Tien Giang River branching into the Cho Lach canal from where you will observe the traditional Mekong way of life both on and off the water. In the afternoon we stop to visit a traditional village which lines the banks of the river Mang Thit. Soak up the stunning countryside scenery of orchards and rice fields and meet the villagers who will great us with huge smiles. This evening the journey continues as we enjoy a dinner a Mekong delicacies our on deck. We then arrive at the anchorage point of Co Chien where we settle in for the night.
Bassac Cruise Day 2
Our second day on board sees us rising early for breakfast of freshly baked bread and pastries amidst the floating village. After breakfast we are transferred onto a smaller local boat to explore the heart of Cai Rang floating market, the largest of the Delta.
Live weather at Saigon
Staying at the Liberty Central Saigon Citypoint Hotel
The Liberty Central Saigon Citypoint hotel is extremely well located in the heart of District 1 and within walking distance to many of the cities attractions. The hotel has 172 rooms all well equipped with modern facilities and floor to ceiling windows giving great views out over the city. Excellent facilities are also on offer with the property boasting a rooftop pool, fitness centre and one of a kind cinema.