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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Ho Chi Minh City Including Cu Chi Tunnels 1 Day

See the historical and architectural highlights of Ho Chi Minh City on a full-day tour with an expert guide. After visiting the outskirts of town to tour the Cu Chi tunnel system, once used by the Viet Cong, return to the city center to see Reunification Palace and French Colonial structures like Notre Dame Cathedral, City Hall and Ho Chi Minh Municipal Theater (Saigon Opera House). Learn about Vietnamese history and culture, and end your day at the bustling Ben Thanh market. This tour is limited to seven people to ensure you enjoy a small-group experience.

After morning pickup at your Ho Chi Minh City hotel, travel about 20 miles (30 km) to reach Cu Chi, a district of the city most famous for the 75-mile (121-km) network of underground passages built by the Viet Cong army.

Follow your guide through this historic military site, now a war memorial park, which was once a key position for the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War (known as the American War in Vietnam). Learn how the tunnels provided shelter, supply and communication routes, medical treatment sites, and food and weapons storage. See booby traps that were built to capture intruders and dioramas that illustrate daily life in the tunnels. If you like, you can even crawl through parts of the narrow passage ways.

After your time in Cu Chi tunnels, return to the city for a traditional Vietnamese lunch served at a riverside restaurant. Then spend the afternoon visiting Ho Chi Minh City’s top sights. Start your city tour at Reunification Palace, where in 1975, Viet Cong troops broke through the main gates and the party took control of the government, ending the long war. Inside the 1960s-style building, check out the official living quarters, meeting rooms and a military command center complete with old radio equipment and tactical maps from the war.

A short walk from the palace, your guide shows you fine examples of French Colonial architecture, including Notre Dame Cathedral, the Central Post Office, Ho Chi Minh City Hall and Ho Chi Minh Municipal Theater, also known as the Saigon Opera House. Stroll toward the Saigon River along Dong Khoi Street and Nguyen Hue Boulevard to admire historic buildings and the ultra-modern Bitexco Tower, until recently the tallest skyscraper in Vietnam.

Wrap up your afternoon at Ben Thanh Market — the city’s central market and one of its most colorful areas. Marvel at mounds of goods, and practice your bargaining skills if you wish to purchase any items. At the end of your tour, your guide returns you to your hotel.


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