Experience the dynamic Ho Chi Minh City, still called Saigon by the locals. There are many ways to explore the bustling city of Ho Chi Minh, however none is as exhilarating as on the back of a Vespa scooter! Pillion with a professional driver on a ride around Ho Chi Minh City, while taking in sites. Enjoy a local lunch before departing on a vespa tour.
Head to the monument of Thich Quang Duc, a Vietnamese Mahayana Buddhist monk who burned himself to death on June 11, 1963 to protest against the persecution of Buddhists by South Vietnam’s Ngo Dinh Diem administration.
Then take a quick stop at the colourful Ho Thi Ky flower market.
Roll through Chinatown to Nhi Phu Temple built in the end of the 17th century by Chinese immigrants from the Fukien Province.
Although the exact construction date is unknown, an inscription on the pagoda's ancient bell dates the pagoda to pre-1765. Nhi Phu Temple is built in a Khẩu (gate) architectural style with an open yard in the center. Its roof is covered with tubular tiles lined with bas-relief mosaics made from broken ceramics, depicting the eight immortals of Taoism including apricot trees, orchids, bamboo and of course dragons and phoenix.
Continue with a short walk through the alley full of tailor’s supplies. Then back to Nhi Phu Temple to return to district one by bike. On the way stop at a Chinese Medicine shops for an explanation about Thuốc Bắc - medicine from herbs or Thuốc tàu – medicine from China.
Leave Chinatown and drive through the tunnel to District 2 where to see downtown Saigon from a different perspective and have a chance to see developing Ho Chi Minh City.
Visit a local market before heading back to District 1 for a twin set of neighbouring landmarks: the Post Office and the Cathedral of Notre Dame. Note the architecture and the old map of Saigon that shows how the city transformed into a modern one.
Move to the remarkable Reunification Palace and the previous CIA Office before a drive down Dong Khoi Street or People’s Revolution street. Pass by the historic Opera House (now the Municipal Theatre). Recognise the square where scenes from the film by Phil Noyce, The Quiet American was filmed.
Pass HCM City People’s Committee (formerly Hôtel de Ville) which is one of the most photographed buildings in Vietnam - notable for its gardens, ornate facade and elegant interior lit with crystal chandeliers. Enjoy a delicious lunch at one of the best restaurants in Saigon, Monsoon, serving up delicacies from Indochina.
In the afternoon step off the beaten track and take a stroll to the oldest quarter of the city (a car will be at disposal should it be needed.
Explore Saigon’s well-kept secret - Antiques Street, Le Cong Kieu, where genuine antiques are mixed in with genuine fakes: Aladdin oil lamps, carved wooden chests, Marelli copper fans, opium pipes, abacuses, etc. Find military cast-offs from the Vietnam War, observe for relics from the French Indochina era. Follow a typical street to reach the Beaux-Arts Museum, a superb neo-colonial building home to various modern arts. Explore the art galleries surrounding the museum, where local artists gladly display their talent.
Spend the rest of the evening at leisure.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh.