15 BEST THINGS TO DO IN HO CHI MINH CITY

     
Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam; the former city of Saigon, has played a significant role in the modern history of the world. From a historical perspective sầu, there are loads of Ho Chi Minch City attractions to keep you busy.

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Discover important sites from the Vietnam war, Ho Chi Minh’s monuments, museums, và of course, the fascinating Cu Chi Tunnels are a must.


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Travelling through Vietnam by scooter is great but beware of the crazy traffic.

Aside from the historical story of the thành phố, You’ll never be left looking for things to vị in Saigon. There is a modern side khổng lồ the đô thị worth exploring, và of course, local street food in Vietnam doesn’t get much better than in Ho Chi Minch.

Let’s look at some of the best things in Ho Chi Minh City.


Don’t Forget lớn Get Your Vietnam Visa Before You GoYou must have a visa lớn enter Vietnam. Previously you had to apply for an “approval letter” & then queue on arrival và pay an additional USD$25 for a “visa on arrival”.

The process has been simplified & citizens from over 40 countries can now apply for their visa online. You can apply for your Vietnam Visa here but make sure you allow at least three business days before your departure date for processing.


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Most small apartments in Ho Chi Minc only have a kitchenette as even for locals, street food is the best way lớn dine.

Where to Stay in Ho Chi Minh

District 1 is the best area for visitors to lớn Ho Chi Minc City khổng lồ stay in. District 1 is where you will find most of Ho Chi Minch City’s attractions & tours. Also, more often than not, tour companies will require you lớn meet in District 1.

Here are our top recommended places lớn stay in Ho Chi Minc District 1 to suit all budgets.

Address: P. Q. 1, 34 Nguyễn An Ninch, Phường Bến Thành, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minch, Vietnam

Chechồng rates and availabilityhere for Thanh hao Thu Hotel.

Address: street, 55 Thủ Khoa Huân, Phường Bến Thành, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minc 700000, Vietnam

Cheông chồng rates & availabilityhere forRosa Hotel và Spa.

Address: 132-134 Dong Khoi St., District 1, Ho Chi Minc City, Vietnam

Cheông xã rates and availability here forHotel Continental Saigon.Room rates are much more reasonable than you would expect.


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The best street food in Ho Chi Minc thành phố is made fresh with local ingredients delivered by bicycle straight from the farm to the stall.

Best Things To Do In Ho Chi Minc City

Tour the War Remnants Museum

The War Remnants Museum is the most visited place in Ho Chi Minch thành phố và a must on any trip lớn Vietnam. More than half a million people a year come khổng lồ learn how a history of war has shaped Vietnam giới.

The museum was conceived by the Vietnamese Government in 1975 as an exhibition house lớn expose the real & exaggerated war crimes of the United States & the Puppet Government.

Following a tradition of similar exhibitions exposing war crimes of the French và Americans operating in Vietphái mạnh as early as 1954; the museum’s inception which was politically driven, showcased propaganda highlighting the horror of war.


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By trungydang, CC BY 3.0, Link

Over the years, thanks lớn diplomatic trade off’s, the museum has undergone a few name changes. One thing remains, the horrors of war leave many visitors visibly moved.

Aside from the usual displays of military hardware, the museum has graphic images of the casualties of war prominently displayed as well as documentaries covering the long term effects of agent orange.


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The War Remnants Museum was once known as the Museum of Chinese và American War Crimes.

Some of the exhibits in The War Remnants Museum may not be for the squeamish. However, it is an important & stark look at the wars that have shaped Vietnam giới & the long term effects on all who fought in them. Allow at least a half-day for this museum.

xuất hiện Hours:Daily 7:30 am – 5.00 pm. The ticket window closes between 11.45 am – 12.00 pm. Last entry is at 4.30 pm.

Entry Fee:VND 40,000, (~ US$1.75 )


Tip for Visiting The War Remnants Museum
Morning is the best time to visit as many tours to the Cu Chi tunnels finish at the museum so it can get busy in the afternoon.

Shopping và Street Food at Ben Thanh khô Market

One of the oldest surviving structures in Saigon, the Ben Thanh hao Market is the shopping và street food mecca of District 1.

The market is one of Ho Chi Minh’s liveliest areas. Bursting at the seams with traders hawking fresh produce and day lớn day items lớn locals as well as an equal abundance of souvenirs.


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You will find some of the best street food in Ho Chi Minc đô thị at the Ben Thanh hao markets.

You will find everything from local handicrafts to great value knoông chồng off items such as sneakers, T-shirts, luggage, and activewear.

Be prepared khổng lồ bargain regardless of any fixed price signs you see. Vendors are up for it and phối prices high to accommodate. Just remember, you will always agree on the best price when the bartering stays friendly.


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The Ben Tkhô giòn market comes alive at night & you will find plenty of interesting souvenirs and great Vietnamese street food.

Head to the market in the afternoon when the market restaurants start to lớn open inside. It is an excellent spot for a late lunch và a cold drink while watching the daily market trading.

Ben Tkhô hanh Night Market

Once the market closes, the perimeter of Ben Tkhô hanh becomes a vibrant scene of street food stalls and restaurants. Find a tiny plastic chair và enjoy a cold beer và some authentic Vietnamese street food. The outside market is open until around midnight.

Be very mindful of your personal belongings in the market. It is hectic, and distractions are everywhere – The perfect combination for pickpockets.

Stay Safe in Vietnam: We’ve got you covered with great Travel Safety Tips và the Best Anti-theft Travel Gear so you can relax while you travel.


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Vietnamese Street Food Tour Recommendation
Enjoy Saigon’s famous street food on an evening street food and market tour. Sample a myriad of local dishes và delicacies at some of Ho Chi Minh’s best local eateries. Tour lasts 3.5 hrs and includes all food, beer, coffee, và local guide. Prices start at VND 758,000 pp (~$USD 32). Get full Saigon street food tour details here.

Visit Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica

Constructed between 1863-1880 during the French colonial occupation of Vietnam giới, the Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica is one of the most iconic tourist attractions in Vietnam giới.

Modelled on the kiến thiết of the original Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, all the materials were shipped from France for the cathedral construction. The original church of Saigon was constructed from timber in 1863 which was quickly devastated by termites.

The current red briông chồng structure was the result of a thiết kế competition won by French religious architect Jules Bourard. The winning idea was simply khổng lồ build a smaller version of the Notre Dame in Paris.


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The romanesque styled Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon

The religious centre for more than 6 million of Vietnam’s Catholics and pilgrims, the Saigon cathedral also attracts a daily trade of tourists as well as savvy locals with makeshift shops around the cathedral’s perimeter.

The Saigon Cathedral is currently undergoing a massive restoration that began in 2017 và is expected to lớn remain closed to tourists until at least the middle of 2020. So, much lượt thích the original Notre Dame in Paris, the cathedral may currently only be viewed from the exterior grounds.

The church does, however, still hold mass every Sunday at 9.30 in both Vietnamese và English.


Ho Chi Minch City Book Street

Stretching 100 meters from Notre Dame Cathedral to lớn Hai Ba Trung street is Ho Chi Minh’s Book Street.

Nguyen Van Binch Book Street is not just a place for book lovers; it is a place for book publishers from all over Vietnam to lớn gather. Many come to lớn giới thiệu và promote their new works.


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Looking for unusual things to lớn bởi in Ho Chi Minc city, then pay a visit lớn book street.

There is a dedicated book coffe as well as specific shops for newspapers, magazines, stationery, a second-hand book exchange, và book exhibition area.

There are more than đôi mươi quality book stores in the street, bringing together authors và book lovers. The street aims khổng lồ offer a space where you can take a stroll away from the traffic of Saigon và enjoy a coffee và a good book in a sidewalk coffe.

Book street is in Nguyen Van Binch, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.

Discover the Charm of Historic Hoi An: One of the most charming towns in Vietnam giới, Hoi An should not be missed.


Take a Dinner Cruise on the Saigon River

Take a Bonsai River Cruise for a different view of Ho Chi Minch City as you float past some of Saigon’s most historic monuments. Onboard the traditional 19th century rồng boat you can enjoy dinner and a relaxing evening away from the hectic pace of the thành phố on Ho Chi Minh’s premier river cruise.

You can pre-book dinner & cruise tickets here.


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Get away from the hustle & bustle of Ho Chi Minh city and enjoy some Vietnamese cuisine on a Saigon River cruise.

Tour Reunification Palace

During the Vietphái nam War, the Reunification Palace was the residence of the president of South Vietnam và the site of a dramatic finish to the Vietnam war. One of the most famous monuments of the Vietphái mạnh War, a không lấy phí guided tour of the palace is a great way khổng lồ glean an understanding of the culture & history of Ho Chi Minch City and South Vietnam.

Opening Hours: 7:30 am–11.00 am |1.00 pm –4.00 pm

Entry Fee: VND 40,000 (approx. US$ 2). Free tour guides can be arranged as you arrive.


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The Reunification Palace is also known as the Independence Palace.

Visit the Central Post Office

The Saigon Central Post Office is another iconic attraction in Ho Chi Minc thành phố. Constructed from 1886-1891 in the classic Gothic, Renaissance and French colonial thiết kế many mistakenly credit Gustave sầu Eiffel for the building.

Designed by French architect Alfred Foulhoux, the bright yellow building trimmed in white with elegant green shutters transports visitors khổng lồ Europe.


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An unusual thing to vị in Ho Chi Minc thành phố is to lớn visit the Saigon Central Post Office & check out the hand-painted maps of Saigon in 1892.

The magnificent colonial interior has domed ceilings supported by ornate metal arches, (possibly the mistaken liên kết lớn Eiffel), oil paintings, polished timber phone booths and original wooden countertops.

Two painted maps dating bachồng khổng lồ 1892 depict the postal route between southern Vietphái mạnh và Cambodia and the other, Saigon đô thị & surroundings.

A large portrait of the father of modern Vietnam giới, Ho Chi Minh at the kết thúc of the great hall is the only reminder that you are in Vietphái nam.


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Inside the Saigon Central Post Office, you will find working phone booths và the former telegraph lines of Cochin Đài Loan Trung Quốc. Souvenirs stalls sell a selection of fictional “Tintin in Vietnam” covers.

Pyêu thích Ngu Lao Street Nightlife (Backpacker Street)

The hub of Vietnam’s nightlife in Ho Chi Minch City for most travellers is Pđắm đuối Ngu Lao Street.

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Located on the western side of District 1, Pmê mẩn Ngu Lao Street is a hot spot for backpackers. It is not surprising this is where you will find a myriad of hostels, affordable hotels, cafes, pubs, rooftop bars & western-style restaurants.

Although, thanks khổng lồ its proximity khổng lồ some of Ho Chi Minh’s most popular attractions, Pđắm đuối Ngu Lao Street attracts an eclectic phối of people beyond just the budget traveller.


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A fun thing to lớn vì in Ho Chi Minh city at night is to drink ‘bia hoi’ on Backpacker Street, surrounded by both locals and ex-pats.

Around Pđắm say Ngu Lao Street is also where you will find loads of tour company offices và kiosks và no kết thúc of souvenir & artisan shops attracting travellers of all kinds.

Even if you don’t fancy the nightlife of Pđê mê Ngu Lao Street; spend an evening sampling the street food Ho Chi Minh is famous for, enjoy an icy cold beer roadside while people-watching, or, siêu thị for some chất lượng Vietnamese souvenirs.


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The best souvenirs lớn buy in Ho Chi Minch City are Marou chocolate, Ao Dai traditional dress, Propaganda art và of course a Non La (conical hat).

Phuoc An Hoi Quan Pagoda

Dating baông xã lớn 1902 Phuoc An Hoi Quan Pagoda is one of the most beautifully ornate temples in Ho Chi Minh City. Adorned with elaborate wood carvings, brass ritual ornaments, bright lanterns and spiral incense coils hanging from the ceiling; the temple is worth a visit if you are in the Cholon or Chinatown area.

Inside the temple is a lifeform size figure of the sacred horse Quan Cong. Devotees make offerings lớn the horse, stroke its mane & ring the bell around its neck before departing on a journey.


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The colourful và ornate Phuoc An Hoi Quan Pagoda.

Coffee at the Tao Dan Park Bird Cafe

Vietnam is world-famous for its coffee, so not surprisingly, it also has a thriving cafe culture. Tao Dan Park has a chất lượng coffe culture that is well worth experiencing.

The 10-hectare park is Ho Chi Minch City’s most attractive green space & a gorgeous reprieve sầu from the constant honking & hustle of the motorxe đạp congested thành phố.

Not surprisingly, the tranquil and shady park attracts thousands of locals daily. Come early morning to lớn see groups gather for tai đưa ra or even a spot of badminton.


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Diego Delso, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

The biggest attraction at Tao Dan Park is the daily gathering of older Vietnamese men who bring ornate cages with songbirds lớn what is now known as the bird coffe.

Join the men for some freshly brewed Vietnamese coffee while they socialise over coffee, & more importantly, socialise their birds.

The point of the daily meeting is not just to meet with friends và show off their prized birds, but also for the birds to learn new songs from one another.


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Grab your cage và favourite bird and show it off at this unique Ho Chi Minch đô thị attraction, the Tao Dan Park Bird Cafe.

Eat Pho

Want khổng lồ eat like a local in Ho Chi Minch, then head lớn the nearest street stall for a bowl of Pho (pronounced “fuh”), a traditional Vietnamese noodle soup.

Noodles are added khổng lồ a clear stochồng soup with finely shredded meat according lớn preference. Finish with fresh chilli, basil, lime, and bean shoots to your own taste and this sweet, spicy, salty, comforting soup usually becomes a favourite of all visitors to lớn Vietphái mạnh.


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Pho is wonderfully addictive sầu và will keep you going throughout the day.

Eat the Original Vietnamese Banh Mi Sandwich

The humble Banh Mi is steeped in French Colonial history & Vietnamese ingenuity. The Banh Mi sandwich as we know it today originated in the streets of Saigon in the late 1950s when Vietnam giới split into lớn two countries.

The Vietnamese had always eaten the French baguette as the French had dictated – with butter as an accompaniment to assorted cold cuts và cheese. Mr và Mrs Le, a clever couple who fled the north were the first khổng lồ put the ingredients inside the bread to lớn make a “to go” style sandwich khổng lồ suit the busy Saigon lifestyle.

The simple airy baguette with shredded vegetables, cilantro, chilli, cucumber, & your choice of meat or pate has become a street food staple of Vietnam giới celebrated around the world.

The family of Mr và Mrs Le still run a Banh Mi siêu thị called Banh Mi Hoa Ma in District 3. Read more about the history of the Banh Mi sandwich.


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The ultimate in Vietnamese fast food và a local và tourist favourite. Vietphái mạnh has some of the best street food in the world.

Vietnamese cooking classes

The food in Vietnam is one of the most exciting aspects of the country and what draws many khổng lồ visit.

If you have sầu time & want to lớn vì chưng something different; a Vietnamese cooking class is a great way lớn experience another side of Ho Chi Minc.

Most Ho Chi Minch cooking classes include a local market tour. You will be guided through the market, selecting local fresh ingredients. A fantastic way to lớn get a better understanding of both the dish you will learn to lớn cook and local life in Saigon.


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Want to lớn impress your friends with some great Vietnamese street food after your holiday, then book an authentic Vietnamese cooking class in Ho Chi Minc thành phố.
Farm to Table Vietnamese Cooking Class Recommendation
Spover a morning or afternoon on a farm to lớn table cooking class. Vietnamese cuisine has long been considered one of the healthiest in the world. Learn about và harvest herbs, spices & vegetables from the medicine garden under the guidance of a pharmacist and chef. Discover different varieties of mushrooms & learn about rice cultivation. Once you have gathered your ingredients, a local chef will guide you through the preparation of healthy và delicious Vietnamese dishes. Prices start at VND 1,421,200 (~USD$60) pp. Includes Lunch, cooking class, guide, drink, transport. Get full tour details here.

Visit the Vietnam History Museum

Just inside the gates of the Saigon Zoo And Botanical Garden is the beautiful 1929 French colonial building that houses the Vietphái nam History Museum.

The museum explores the pre-war eras of Vietphái mạnh. The collection of artefacts covers the evolution of Vietnamese cultures, from the Bronze Age civilisation in 2000 BC, the Funan civilisation in the 1st lớn 6th centuries AD, to the Cham, Khmer and Vietnamese.

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Nguyễn Tkhô hanh Quang – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

The museum includes a beautiful collection of Buddha statues, priceless relics from Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, and some stunning Chinese styled mother of pearl inlays. You will even find the perfectly preserved mummy of a woman who died in 1869, her body toàn thân excavated from Xom Cai in District 5.

The museum is a breath of fresh air for those who have sầu had their fill of colonial & war history and the botanic gardens a nice reprieve from the tourist mill.

xuất hiện Hours:Daily 8:00 am – 11:30 am | 1:30 pm – 5:00 pm

Entry Fee:VND 15,000, (~ US$0.65 ). cảnh báo -photos are only allowed inside with the purchase of a VND 30,000 camera ticket.


Giac Lam Pagoda

Built in 1744, Giac Lam Pagodomain authority is the oldest temple in Ho Chi Minh. A pretty garden with a largeBodhi Treeforms the Giac Lam Pagodomain authority which means ‘Feel the Woods Temple’.

The Bodhi Tree was a gift from a Sri Lankan monk who visited the temple in 1953. Surrounded by walls in the middle of the urban sprawl, the pagodomain authority grounds are a delightful escape from the chaos of Ho Chi Minh City.


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Dragfyre –CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Recommended Travel Gear for Vietnam


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Anti-Theft Crossbody Bag


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Triple Security Loông xã and Cable


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Foldable Day/Backpachồng with Security Zips


Related: A Complete Guide lớn The Best Crossbody Bags for Travel


Day Trips From Ho Chi Minh

Cu Chi Tunnels

Cu Chi is 60 km from Ho Chi Minh thành phố. The scenic landscape of rice fields và water buffalo are a stark contrast to lớn the sheer devastation that took place in what was called a “Free Target Zone” during the Vietphái mạnh War.

Few places are more symbolic of Vietnamese determination và tenađô thị than Cu Chi. A 2đôi mươi km subterranean network of tunnels, underground storage facilities, hospitals, và comm& centres honeycomb their way from just outside Ho Chi Minch đô thị to lớn the Cambodian border. The tunnel systems enabled the Viet Cong lớn counter the growing American military effort.


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Set aside at least half a day for the best day trip out of Ho Chi Minh đô thị khổng lồ see the ingenuity of the Vietnamese & to lớn underst& the perils faced by the Vietnam giới tunnel rats.

It is not surprising the Cu Chi tunnels are one of the most popular things to vì in Ho Chi Minh for visitors & an important site for Vietnamese. It is also a fun thing lớn if visiting Ho Chi Minch City with teenagers.

While some of the tunnel network is multiple stories deep, much of it is very small, narrow and dark so not recommended for the claustrophobic.


Cu Chi Tunnels Tours

Half-day Cu Chi Tour

Take a morning or afternoon tour of the Cu Chi Tunnels with a professional guide. The tour lasts approx 6 hrs, includes transport and even offers the opportunity khổng lồ fire an AK-47. Prices start at VND 331,600 pp (~ USD$14 pp). Get half-day Cu Chi tour details here.

VIPhường Cu Chi Tunnels và the Mekong Delta Tour

Combine a Cu Chi Tunnels tour with a cruise down the Mekong Delta and a traditional Vietnamese lunch. The tour lasts approx 11 hrs, includes professional guides, VIPhường or limousine style transfers, all entry fees, boat cruise, lunch, và snacks. Prices start at VND 1,326,200 pp (~ USD$56 pp). Get Cu Chi Tunnels và Mekong Delta tour details here.


Explore the Mekong Delta

The Mekong Delta covers over 39,000 square kilometres of waterways & is one of the most densely populated areas in Vietnam giới. Starting in the Himalayas, the Mekong travels through Trung Quốc, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia và finally, Vietphái mạnh.

Responsible for more than half of Vietnam’s rice cultivation & fishery, the river is vital lớn Vietnam’s economy and day lớn day life.


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Visiting the floating markets on the Mekong can be a highlight of your tour of Vietphái nam.

Life in the delta region revolves around the river. Discover the incredible variety of food & livestoông xã grown in the region.

Visit the famous floating markets and villages that dot the banks of the Mekong. It is along the mighty Mekong where you can learn so much about Vietnamese culture.


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Helpful Packing Additions for Vietnam

We love sầu these handy additions khổng lồ our day pachồng or handbag for every travel situation. Perfect for day trips, especially in countries like Vietphái mạnh.


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Massive sầu residue-free shower substitute bamboo body toàn thân wipes


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Flushable, individually wrapped wipes for travel


Mekong Delta Tour Recommendations

1 Day Mekong Delta Tour

Experience the narrow canals, stilt houses & fishing villages of the Mekong. Visit the Vinc Trang pagodomain authority & see the giant Buddha statue. Cruise along the Tien River và stop for lunch in an Orchid Garden.

Includes transfers, boat trip, lunch, snacks và guide. Prices start at VND 686,900 pp (~ USD$ 29). Get full 1 day Mekong tour details here.

2 Day Mekong Delta & Cai Rang Floating Market Tour

Visit Vinc Trang pagodomain authority, the biggest pagodomain authority in Mekong Delta. Take a boat trip along the Mekong from My Tho to see the fishing villages và experience life on the Delta. Spend the night in Can Tho before visiting the biggest floating market in the Mekong Delta – Cai Rang plus much more.

Tour includes transfers, Motorboat trips, small rowboat trip, Guide. all entrance fees, Most meals, & hotel stay in 3 or 5-star khách sạn. Prices start at VND 1,857,000 (~USD$ 80). See full 2 day Mekong tour details here.

3-Day 2-Night Mekong Delta with Phnom Penh Exit, Cambodia

Take a 3 day Mekong Delta tour from Ho Chi Minh City finishing in Phnom Penh Cambodia. Visit the Vinc Trang Pagodomain authority, the Cai Rang Floating Market, Tra Su Cajuput Forest và so much more.

Tour includes All transfers, guide, Mekong Delta boat trip, Entrance fees, most meals & snacks, 2 nights accommodation, boat ticket khổng lồ Phnom Penh from Chau Doc. Prices start from VND 2,960,800 (~USD$ 125). See here for full 3 days/ 2 night Mekong tour details.


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Visit Cao Dai Temple

One hundred kilometres northwest of Ho Chi Minh City, cthua thảm lớn the Cambodian border, is the Cao Dai Temple.

The incredibly ornate & colourful temple was finished in 1955 following the Japanese occupation of Indochimãng cầu when the Cao Dai Army formed.Caodaists believe sầu all religions ultimately seek to promote tolerance throughout the world.

The basis of Caodaism is lớn strive sầu for world peace and harmony with beliefs steeped in several world religions. They honour Jesus Christ, Buddha, Muhammad & Confucius.


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Prayer time is a highlight of visiting the temple. Thanks lớn the long flowing robes worn, it is a vivid display of colour accompanied by singing and music. Lay followers wear white, priests yellow, blue or red, và bishops have sầu the Divine Eye embroidered on their headpieces.

Add a Visit lớn Cao Dai Temple Onto lớn a Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

Visit the Cao Dai Temple as part of a Cu Chi Tunnels tour. Attend the midday ceremony & learn about the Cao Dai sect. After lunch, visit the subterranean world of the Cu Chi Tunnels. It is a full-day tour an includes entrance fees, transfers, guides, & lunch. Prices start at VND 592,200 pp (~ USD$ 25 pp). Get full Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour details here.

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