Ho Chi Minh City, still often referred to by its original name of Saigon, is a fast-paced city full of contrasts, where street vendors selling fruit and vegetables can be seen next to glitzy, Western-style bars and boutiques. Learn about the city's turbulent past and enjoy glimpses of its fascinating modern-day culture on this city tour. A guide unravels Saigon’s history, from the 1859 capture of the city by the French to the dramatic period of the 1950s, '60s and '70s. You'll see attractions like Reunification Palace, the War Remnants Museum, Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral and Central Post Office.
After hotel pickup, your Ho Chi Minh City tour begins with a visit to Reunification Palace, where on April 30, 1975, the ‘American War’ (or Vietnam 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.
Head to the War Remnants Museum, formerly known as the Museum of American War Crimes, to see its poignant display of the futility of war, and then visit Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office; constructed between the 1860s and 1880s, these are some of the best examples of French colonial architecture. Continue to Jade Emperor Pagoda, built in 1909 in honor of the supreme Taoist god; this is one of the most atmospheric temples in Ho Chi Minh City, stuffed with statues of phantasmal divinities and grotesque heroes. Admire the detailed woodcarvings between the heavy smoke of incense in the air.
Next check out Ben Thanh Market, a bustling destination that's popular with tourists due to its central location. You can browse its wide selection of goods before your tour ends with transportation back to your hotel or drop-off at another central location, if you wish.