Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), still often referred to as Saigon, was a Khmer seaport in the 17th century before becoming a French colony. In the 20th century it had a twenty year stint as the capital of South Vietnam, and is the largest city in today’s Vietnam. You can witness its amazing blend of European, Vietnamese and Chinese culture through its beautiful architecture, which is dotted by rivers, arroyos and canals. HCMC is rapid and thrilling and, even with the maddening traffic as cyclo drivers speed under vast neon billboards, you can immerse yourselves in variety. HCMC boasts the country’s finest hotels and a plethora of eateries, from simple or Parisian style street cafés to ultra swish Vietnamese and international restaurants.

Highlights

  • French Colonial Buildings
  • Opera House
  • Notre Dame Cathedral
  • Thien Hau Temple

 Places to stay

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Hotel Majestic Saigon

Hotel Style: Heritage

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Lobby of IC Asiana Saigon in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

IC Asiana Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)

Hotel Style: International

Conveniently located in the heart of downtown, the Intercontinental Asiana Saigon features 305 spacious, modern and elegantly appointed rooms including 18 suites and a stylish Presidential Suite.  See Hotel

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Liberty Central Saigon Centre Hotel

Hotel Style: International

Strategically placed near the airport in Ho Chi Minh City's Dong Khoi neighborhood, Liberty Central Hotel (Managed by Metropole Hotel HCMC) is close to famous attractions like Ben Thanh Market, Ho Chi Minh City Hall, Ho Chi Minh City Museum, Reunification Palace, etc.  See Hotel

Enchanting Travels - Vietnam Tours - Ho Chi Minh City Hotels - Park Hyatt Saigon - exterior

Saigon Park Hyatt (Ho Chi Minh City)

Hotel Style: International

The 9-storey luxury Park Hyatt Saigon Hotel is centrally located at Lam Son Square, near the elegant Opera House in downtown Saigon within walking distance to shopping, entertainment and main tourist attractions.  See Hotel

 Things to do

Private – Cooking class with Ms. Cam Van and lunch

On this half day excursion you will meet Ms. Nguyen Dzoan Cam Van, one of the most influential Vietnamese chefs, and who has published almost 40 cookery books. Start your day by visiting a local market, where you will see the buying and selling rituals and learn about the tasty ingredients. Following the market, you will drive to Cam Van’s home set near a canal in the tranquil backstreets of Saigon for a hands on cooking class where you can taste the fruits of your labour. Be entertained by your host and her many stories of travelling the USA to present her native cuisine.

Bonsai Cruise

In the early evening, why not board the Bonsai, a charming 19th century dragon boat, and enjoy a scenic cruise along the Saigon River? Admire the cityscape floating past whilst you indulge in cocktails and canapes or let the live band tempt you onto the dance floor. Enjoy a buffet consisting of Vietnamese and European cuisine, followed by after dinner drinks (payable) on deck before returning to the pier around 9.30pm. Transfer to your hotel.

Excursion to Ben Tre

Take a motorboat excursion to Turtle Island, exploring the Delta with its charming houses on stilts and fish farms en route. On Turtle Island you can visit a local house where your host will keep you refreshed with coconut milk and freshly picked fruit. Whilst walking through fruit orchards, you can chat to the owner and gain insight into everyday farming and village life. Back at the pier, witness the making of coconut candy by a family run business. A sampan with personalised rower awaits to show you life on the the small canals before taking a stroll across coconut gardens where you stop for a short break, enjoying honey tea and a traditional folk song performance followed by lunch at My Tho, consisting of local delicacies. On the way back, stop off at Cao Dai temple that will enlighten you on the monotheistic Caodaism religion through a rich array of symbolism.

War Remnants Museum

Visit the War Remnants Museum, showcasing military equipment such as helicopters, fighter jets and curiosities. From a guillotine used for execution in prison to jars showcasing preserved human fetuses, the museum’s collection offers fascinating diversity. Please note, some guests may find some of the exhibits disturbing.

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