Once dubbed The Pearl of the Far East, Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, is the most cosmopolitan and largest city in Vietnam. A city of contrasts, where the pace of life is frenetic, and yet its wide boulevards and parks help retain a notion of calm. The dizzying combination of lively markets, bumper-to-bumper motorbike traffic, and beautiful colonial-era buildings make a visit to Ho Chi Minh City unforgettable.
There is an essential place in Ho Chi Minh and it is the War Remnants Museum, a multi-storey building in which the Vietnam War is explored and remembered through objects, photos and murals. It is not a pleasant visit. Photos of shattered villages, tortured people, and children with all kinds of deformities line the exhibition halls. A reminder of the degree of destruction caused by indiscriminate bombing and use of agent orange during the war. Nevertheless, it remains a recommended visit in which one assimilates something that one already knows in advance, what a war is and what it entails.
Thien Hau is a Buddhist pagoda honoring the sea goddess Mazu, protector of ships and sea people. The temple was built in the 18th century by the city’s Cantonese community. A beautiful green gate welcomes visitors to the temple and whose centerpiece is the altar to Mazu with three statues of the goddess. The roof of the pagoda is a work of at featuring scenes of battles in relief.
Built during the French colonial period, at the end of the 19th century, this Catholic cathedral (top photo) has two imposing 58-meter high towers and a Marseilles red brick exterior. They say, that in 2005, the figure of the Virgin in the garden area, shed a tear down one of her cheeks, an event that attracted dozens of faithful who gathered in the surroundings to witness, what they believed a miracle.
Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City, a metropolis that stretches further than your eyes can see. A commercial hub with a blend of old and new, sky-piercing towers and old pastel colored palaces. The Opera House, City Hall and Notre Dame Cathedral are some of the highlights that you must not miss. Take a ‘xich lo’ ride around the bustling streets of Ho Chi Minh City. Experience the local cuisine and culture of the Vietnamese-Chinese community with a stopover in the city’s largest wholesale market. Looking for an authentic experience? Hop on the back of a Vespa and navigate the streets of Saigon like a true local!
Visit FITO, a museum offering an insightful look into the history and use of traditional medicine in everyday life. Explore the art of pulse reading, one of the most important diagnostic methods in Vietnamese traditional medicine. Moreover, we will visit some traditional herbal medicine shops. Learn about the many active chemicals in a single herb, and the different preparations used in traditional therapies. Here you will also have the opportunity to get a pulse diagnosis by an expert practitioner. The consultation will provide an overview of your health based on the pulse readings and external observations of your eyes, skin & tongue.