A trip to Southern Vietnam should cover Saigon for an overview of the biggest city in Vietnam, the underground world Cu Chi Tunnels and green Mekong Delta with boat cruise on Mekong River.
Day 1: Saigon Arrival
Arrival flight information (own ticket, flight information to be advised)
Upon arrival, when you leave the airport terminal please look for 4U Tours’ guide displaying a welcome signboard with your name on it. Transfer to your hotel.
Saigon is the country’s commercial center and, with over eight million inhabitants and four million motorbikes, a city that never sleeps. Despite the well-documented hustle and bustle, Saigon retains its connections with the past.
Rest of the day should be at leisure to adjust jetlag and get acquainted to local transportation and foods.
Welcome dinner at a local restaurant to begin your food experience, starting with Spring Rolls and other local dishes.
Accommodation: Park Hyatt Saigon (5-star)
Address: 02 Lam Son, District 1, Ho Chi Minh city
Tel: (+84 8) 3824 1234
Our grand hotel in Saigon majestically rises nine stories above District 1, steps from the elegant Opera House, Notre Dame Cathedral, Reunification Palace, Ben Thanh Market, and other Saigon main tourist attractions, the exhibition center and business district. Hyatt’s 244 rooms & suites redefine urban luxury, blending sophisticated design and décor with the latest modern comforts as the leading Saigon hotel.
Day 2: Exploring Saigon
This morning, drive to visit Notre Dame Cathedral, General Post Office and the former Presidential Palace.
Notre Dame Cathedral, a red brick edifice with twin spires based on the original construction from Paris.
Central Post Office, designed by the French architect, Gustav Eiffel, before he had risen to fame for the Eiffel Tower.
The former Presidential Palace, the headquarters of the Saigon Government during the American war, is a short drive away and reveals the history of Saigon during its turbulent recent past.
Then visit the KuJean Gallery and have a talk with designer Chuong Dang, who is famous for his re-made jeans and Ao Dai designs. You are welcomed to try his jeans as well as Ao Dai designs and take some photos.
Continue with Ru. Pho Bar within some steps, Chuong Dang will make you surprise when being a talented chef. Enjoy the cooking show and learn how to cook some Vietnamese dishes with him.
Enjoy your lunch with what you have cooked.
After lunch, drive to Minh Phuong Lacquer-ware Showroom, where you can see various kinds of products from lacquer ware.
You will be instructed to make a product by yourself that you can bring home as a souvenir.
In the evening, enjoy A O Show, a combination of arts highlighting the peaceful country life and poetic scenery of Vietnam is currently scheduled in Saigon. “A O Show” is special in the way it contains episodes of Vietnamese traditional folk games, dances and circus acts performed against the background of traditional and modern music combined with artistic lighting. Bamboo pipes and baskets are used throughout the performance as set decorations and traditional daily activities of villagers and festive celebrations are demonstrated by performers and musicians in farmers’ clothing.
Dinner today is on your own.
Day 3: The Underground World
In the morning, depart for 2-hour drive to the northwest of Saigon to Cu Chi Tunnels, located approximately 25 miles from Ho Chi Minh City in an area that was controlled by the Vietcong through its now legendary system of tunnels. The underground network provided sleeping quarters, meeting rooms, hospitals, and other social rooms.
You will get inside an underground house to explore the underground world of the tunnels.
You also have chance to shoot with real gun and bullet (on own).
Return to Saigon and enjoy lunch at 47 Restaurant to enjoy local food in local way.
This afternoon, drive to visit Chinatown with Binh Tay Market.
Chinatown (Cho Lon) is an interesting place to see classical Chinese architecture reminiscent of years gone by with plenty of Chinese restaurants. It is also a place of historical and cultural importance. Chinese minorities hid here from the Tay Son and subsequently had to rebuild the area twice following attack. Those who survived settled and began selling variety of Chinese products.
Then take a cyclo ride to Thien Hau Temple (the Temple of the Lady Thien Hau), a Chinese style temple located on Nguyen Trai Street in the Chinatown. It is dedicated to Thien Hau, the Lady of the Sea. Thien Hau is worshipped in the seafaring Chinese communities of Fujian, Guangzhou, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia. She is not specifically a deity of Taoism or Buddhism, though she has been brought into connection with figures and themes from Taoism and Buddhism.
Dinner will be at Ly Club Restaurant with French cuisine.
Day 4: Day trip to Mekong Delta
This morning depart for 2.5-hour drive to Cai Be located in Tien Giang Province.
On arrival, board the local motor-boat Mekong Travel to visit Cai Be Floating Market and experience the agricultural river activities. Then take the rowing boat to go deeper inside the maze of small & quiet canals. Chances to see traditional houses made of wood and palm leaves, learn how local farmers catch fishes or pick up fruits by ancestral ways in Mekong Delta. Then cruise further 45 minutes to An Binh Island in Vinh Long.
Enjoy lunch with Mekong Delta specialties at Ut Trinh Home’s Restaurant.
Walk around the family’s garden seeing many kinds of vegetables and fruits. Then sit down for a cup of tea while enjoying the traditional folk music of Mekong Delta.
Get back to your boat and cruise to visit the brick kilns to see how the local people create lovely potteries from clay and how bricks are burned. Continue to visit the rustic workshop of Viet Artisans. Set in peaceful scenery, the non-profit project Viet Artisans helps unemployed women in the rural of Mekong Delta how to make culturally-meaningful handicrafts. You might want to buy some souvenirs as a way to support them.
Cruise back to the pier in Vinh Long where your car is waiting for a 3-hour drive back to Saigon.
Dinner is on your own.
Day 5: Saigon Departure
Breakfast at hotel
Today, you are free until being transferred to the airport for your departure flight home (air ticket is on your own).