See Ho Chi Minh City’s highlights on this revealing half-day city tour. Learn of Vietnam’s cultural past from older Saigonese residents and follow up by exploring some colonial buildings and hidden corners that exemplify the local culture and the city’s colorful heritage.
This tour begins at 08:30 or 13:00. Start with a visit to the iconic Saigon Central Post Office built between 1886 and 1891. Based on the design of French architect Foulhoux, it is the creation of a unique vaulted ceiling with wrought iron beams and columns reminiscent of industrial architecture, which is now considered a symbol of Saigon and one of its most famous landmarks.
If it is available, stop for a chat with Mr. Duong, who enjoys local notoriety for his professional love-letter skills.
Walk along Dong Khoi street, formerly la rue Catinat and pay a visit to Gialong Palace – Ho Chi Minh City Museum for its beautiful architecture and listen to its history through times. Continue to ‘Le Loi Street’ to meet a local artisan who specialises in traditional engravings.
Next, stroll through the old central market (your vehicle will be available) before arriving at the city’s oldest colonial-era apartment, built in 1886, and see what the young creative Vietnamese are up to from their funky boutiques and coffee shops. Sit down at one of the stylish coffee shops and interact with a local resident who moved here in 1975.
Leave the compound and have a look at the building on the other side, which used to be ‘Banque de l’Indochine’ (Indochina Bank) during the 1920s. It’s a stunning example of the ‘Indochinois’ east/west fusion style of architecture that this area is known for. After this last stop, head back to the hotel.