Leaving Saigon we drive through pleasant countryside before arriving at Cu Chi. Before entering the tunnels we watch a short introductory video showing how the tunnels were constructed. We then spend the next hour exploring the maze of tunnels. Also on display are various mantraps and the remains of an American tank as well as numerous bomb craters made by 500 pound bombs dropped by B52 bombers. We then drive back to Ho Chi Minh City arriving at approximately 1pm.
We are transfer to restaurant for some traditional Vietnamese noodle soup.
We start by looking at the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Post Office - Built between 1877 and 1883 this is one of the best examples of classical French colonial architecture. Remarkably every stone used in its creation was shipped from France to Vietnam. Her two 40m towers, topped with iron spires dominate the city’s skyline. The Old Post Office is another example of French colonial architecture and is also the country’s largest post office.
Then, we move on to see:
- The Reunification Palace: This is one of the most important buildings in the city. Here on April 30th 1975 the ‘American War’ officially ended when tank number 843 of the North Vietnamese Army crashed through the gates of what was, at the time the residence of the President of the Republic of Vietnam.
- War Remnants Museum: Formerly known as the Museum of American War Crimes, this is a poignant display of the futility of war. Some of the black and white photography in the ‘Requiem’ exhibit is particularly touching, dedicated to both foreign and Vietnamese journalists and photographers who perished during the conflict. The courtyard outside contains the spoils of war, namely rusting jets, tanks and cannons captured from the American military machine.
After that we drive to Ben thanh market - This bustling market is very popular with tourists, primarily due to its central location. It has a wide selection of goods ranging from fake Nike shoes to beautiful silk Ao Dais.
The tour finishes at approximately 6pm when you will be transferred back to your hotel (you have the option of staying on at Ben Thanh market and make your own way back to hotel)