Ho Chi Minh City – Saigon

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Overview

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) is a city of contrasts.
The pace of life is frenetic, and yet the wide boulevards and parks help the city retain a notion of calm.

The most cosmopolitan and rapidly growing city in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City is still often called by its former name Sai Gon. The dizzying combination of lively markets, bumper-to-bumper motorbike traffic, and beautiful colonial-era buildings like the Postal Office and Notre Dame Cathedral make a visit to Ho Chi Minh City unforgettable. Capable of holding grand galas and elegant events in its bustling city center, Ho Chi Minh City can also spark magic in an intimate gathering by whisking participants away on a secret tour of hidden speakeasy bars around the city.

Places of interest

War Remnants Museum

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, given the degree of destruction that the country reached during the war and the years after. Photos of shattered villages, tortured people, and children with all kinds of deformities, a direct consequence of the 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.

Notre Dame Cathedral

Built during the French colonial period, at the end of the 19th century, this Catholic cathedral was initially called the Church of Saigon and later received its title of Notre Dame Cathedral. Its two imposing 58-meter high towers, its red brick brought from Marseille and the windows, make it a beautiful sight. They say that in 2005, the figure of the Virgin (in marble) that is in the garden area, shed a tear down one of her cheeks and dozens of faithful gathered in the surroundings believing that they were witnessing a miracle.

Thien Hau Pagoda

Built in the 18th century by the city’s Cantonese community, Thien Hau is a Buddhist pagoda dedicated to the sea goddess Mazu, protector of ships and sea people. The temple is accessed through a beautiful green gate and once inside we see the altar to Mazu with three statues of the goddess. In addition, on the roof, scenes of battles can be observed in relief.

experiences

Vespa Adventure

Ride around Saigon in style with a Vespa driven by your guide to attractions that have been selected for your enjoyment or decide to take a cyclo tour to see the sites of: The Opera House, City Hall and Notre Dame Cathedral. Stopping by to experience the local cuisine and the culture of a Vietnamese-Chinese community. Perhaps a unique experience in learning about the traditional medical practices of Vietnam and how it translates into daily life regimes of the locals. Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) is filled with mystery and quirky findings that can’t be seen or found back home.

City Highlights

Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City, a metropolis that stretches further than your eyes can perceive its magnitude. A commercial hub with must-see sights. The Opera House, City Hall and Notre Dame Cathedral are some highlights that will be seen, while taking a cyclo ride around the bustling streets of Ho Chi Minh City. Experience the local cuisine and the culture of a Vietnamese-Chinese community with a stopover at the city’s largest wholesale market.

A Glimpse into Traditional Vietnamese Medicine

Pulse reading is considered one of the most important diagnostic methods in Vietnamese traditional medicine, demanding intense study and an innate talent. We start our tour visiting FITO, the first Vietnamese museum that offers an insightful look into the history and use of traditional medicine in everyday life.

Our journey continues to the center of District 5, where we take a walking tour passing by many traditional herbal medicine shops, learning about the many active chemicals in a single herb, and how different herbs are combined for traditional therapies.

Afterwards, we visit a traditional medicine shop to have a pulse diagnosis by a practitioner, who will then provide an overview of your health based on the pulse readings and external observations of your eyes, skin & tongue.