Ho Chi Minh is the largest city in Vietnam, and is populated by more than 9 million people. Located on the Saigon River, it is the economic center and cultural trendsetter for the rest of the country. Formerly known, and still referred to by many as Saigon, this is an exhilarating city in which you can’t help but get immersed in the local culture, by virtue of the street markets, pavement cafes and stands on wheels.
Day 1: Full City Tour
Ho Chi Minh City is an interesting mixture of Chinese, Vietnamese, French and modern entrepreneurial influences, and this private tour reflects that. The tour starts with an exploration of the city’s turbulent past, taking in the Reunification Palace and the War Remnants Museum. The tour then takes in some French culture by visiting the Notre Dame Cathedral. After a traditional Vietnamese lunch, you’ll swing by the Cholon Chinese district, where you can test your bargaining skills at the market.
Day 2: Mekong Delta Trip
The Mekong River which winds its way from Tibet, China, Burma, Laos, Cambodia and finally makes its way into Vietnam. For this tour you’ll board a private longtail boat and journey through the delta, a hugely fertile region which Vietnam owes half of its food production to. You’ll sample local tropical fruit, learn about another local industry, coconut candy, and experience rural Vietnamese life.
Day 3: Cu Chi Tunnels Tour
This tour takes you to the world of the Cu Chi freedom fighters, who created a tunnel system that runs for 200 km (12 mi) underground. These tunnels became legendary in the 1960s, during the Vietnam War, when the Viet Cong basically transformed these tunnels into functioning underground cities that allowed them to control the surrounding farmlands. Your guide will take you on a tour around the tunnels and introduce you to the hardships that these soldiers endured and the ingenuity they employed to stay alive.