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Saigon

 

Saigon (also known as Ho Chi Minh City) is the economic engine of Vietnam, a thriving, sprawling metropolis of 13 million people with at least as many scooters on its busy streets.

There are plenty of sights in Saigon and a city stay in Saigon is essential to really experience Vietnam properly.

Reminders of the war-time period are there in Saigon's re-unification Palace, the War crimes museum and the nearby Cu Chi Tunnels, whilst Saigon itself is dotted with French colonial buildings.

There are just a handful of colonial style, boutique and luxury hotels in Saigon.

 

Discover Saigon

Alcove Library Hotel

Modern boutique hotel between the airport and the city centre. Quieter location and pleasant homely feel - 10-minutes from centre.

Fantastic Value
Great Value Boutique Hotel
3 Nights from
£687pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Caravelle Hotel

Historic and stylish Saigon hotel in great central location – a Saigon institution.

Stay 3 pay 2 nights
Luxury Historic Hotel
3 Nights from
£745pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Fusion Suites Saigon

Highly recommended boutique luxury hotel in central Saigon with a daily spa included. Easy walk to Ben Thanh Market.

Luxury in Central Saigon
Spa Inclusive Boutique Hotel
3 Nights from
£745pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Renaissance Riverside

Elegant hi-rise Saigon hotel overlooking the Saigon River.

Early Bird Offers
Riverside Luxury
4 Nights from
£777pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Majestic Saigon Hotel

Centrally located historic riverside Saigon hotel with a real character – former haunt of Graham Greene & assorted spies.

Early Bird Discounts
Historic Riverside Hotel
3 Nights from
£785pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

An Lam Saigon River

Luxury boutique hotel in Saigon by the river with the feel of a private luxury residence. 20 minutes by speedboat from central Saigon.

FREE night offers
Luxury Riverside Hideaway
4 Nights from
£838pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Park Hyatt Saigon

Saigon’s premier address located right on central Lam Son Square.

Early Bird Offers
Best Hotel in Saigon
4 Nights from
£1112pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Saigon City Stays

Stopover in vibrant Saigon. Discover the Cu Chi Tunnels, Saigon's lively markets and fascinating street life and culture.

Great Value Stopover Packages
Saigon Discovery Package
2 Nights from
£125pp
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Hotel, Transfers, Tours included

Mekong Delta - Bassac Cruise

See the best of the Mekong Delta on a relaxing overnight cruise aboard a converted rice barge.

Boutique Delta Cruise
Rice Barge Cruise
1 Nights from
£220pp
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Package from Saigon

Mekong Delta - Song Xanh

Cruise the Mekong Delta aboard a converted Sampan on a private cruise.

Private Mekong Delta Cruise
Private Sampan Cruise
1 Nights from
£290pp
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Package from Saigon

Saigon to Phnom Penh

Travel overland through the Mekong Delta from Saigon to Phnom Penh in Cambodia with the option to see coastal Cambodia.

3 and 4 night packages
Overland Delta & Coast
3 Nights from
£375pp
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Hotel, Transfers, Tours included

Central Highlands

Travel overland from Saigon to Danang through Vietnam's Central Highlands with nature, hilltribe people and activities.

Best of the Central Highlands
Saigon to Danang
5 Nights from
£580pp
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Inclusive Package

Saigon & Beach Holiday

Combine a short stay in Saigon with a boutique beach resort in Long Hai, Nha Trang, Phu Quoc, Mui Ne or Hoi An.

Choice of Beach Resorts
City Stay & Beach Holiday
10 Nights from
£1095pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Classic Vietnam Tours

Browse a choice of Vietnam itineraries from 8 night Highlights to 14 night Classic Vietnam tours.

Tailor Make your Trip
8 - 14 night Classic Tours
8 Nights from
£1395pp
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Flights Inclusive Price from UK

Indochina Highlights

See the best of Cambodia & Vietnam in one varied trip. Cities, ancient temples, stunning landscapes and time to relax by the beach.

Tailor Make your Trip
Vietnam & Cambodia
12 Nights from
£1695pp
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Flight inclusive price from UK

Classic Mekong - Pandaw River Cruise

Cruise Saigon to Angkor with Pandaw with pre and post accommodation, shore excursions and almost everything included.

Tailor Made River Cruise Holiday
Boutique Mekong Cruise
12 Nights from
£2395pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Mekong River Cruise - Lost Civilisation

Cruise the Mekong between Vietnam and Cambodia and explore one of the great rivers of Asia. Visit Saigon and the Temples of Angkor.

Tailor Made River Cruise Holiday
Vietnam & Cambodia Cruise
11 Nights from
£2475pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Red River Cruise - Pandaw

Discover Hanoi, Halong Bay, the Red River & the best of northern Vietnam on this exciting Pandaw River Cruise.

Tailor Made River Cruise Holiday
Red River Cruise & Beyond
12 Nights from
£2975pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Vietnam Family Holiday

Great Vietnam Family Holiday itinerary, perfect for exploring the best of Vietnam.

Hanoi to Saigon
Based on Family of 4
13 Nights from
£2995pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Art Tour of Saigon

Gain a deeper understanding of Vietnam's history through its compelling art. From modern day sculptures and abstract canvasses to the grand halls of the HCMC Fine Arts Museum, this day tour is ideal for art & history lovers.

The Half Day Tour is led by art historian and resident Sophie Hughes.

Depart at around 9 am from your hotel to a café to enjoy traditional Vietnamese sweet coffee and have an overview of the tour.  View a private collection of works housed in a traditional Saigon villa by students who studied at the first French founded School of Fine Arts.

Innovative use of visual aids compares the striking similarities between Vietnamese students of the 1920's and their contemporaries in Paris.

Drive to a private home converted into a gallery to see a remarkable collection of Vietnamese Combat Art and Propaganda Art.  The gallery owner has been carrying out primary research on combat artists for years collecting paintings that illustrate the incredible wartime hardship artists endured to produce works during this time.

Continue to the impressive HCMC Fine Arts Museum, a stunning example of Sino-French architecture, to learn how artists have been tools of the government during resistance, revolution and reconstruction of a nation. The artworks from Northern and Southern artists before and after re-unification demonstrate how politics lead to Vietnam's 1990's art market boom.

The last stop is a contemporary art gallery which works with Vietnamese and international artists nurturing experimentation and creating opportunities for emerging artists. Meet with the Director and talk about the current exhibition.

End the tour with a final discussion about the future of Vietnamese art in an international context and what that means for the next generation of Vietnamese artists.

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From £21pp

Saigon Street Food

Experience Saigon’s street dining culture and taste some of the city’s signature dishes. Depart from the hotel in the early evening and drive through the busy streets to a part of the city where the authentic local lifestyle has been preserved.

Your first tasting of the night is a famous street dish called ‘com tam’, which consists of a succulent grilled pork chop served with Saigon-style broken rice.

Along with your guide set off on foot, the best way to discover the narrow back alleyways and observe how the local people spend their evenings.

Walk through endless rows of steaming food stalls selling an array of delicious snacks. Stop for a popular ‘banh mi kep thit,’ the Vietnamese version of a crusty French baguette filled with pâté and charcuterie fillings.

Continue strolling through the bustling streets to one of the buzzing beer shops. Pull up a chair next to the locals and sample a plate of tofu, also known as ‘dau hu’, washed down with a glass of refreshing ice cold beer.

End the evening at a nearby famous street café. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere and grab a coffee or juice before driving back to the hotel.

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From £25pp

Morning Walking Tour

This morning walking tour will take you deep into local neighborhoods, exploring markets and bustling side streets and will reveal much about local life in Saigon, which has a vibrant and colourful street life.

Pick up from your hotel before continuing by vehicle to the starting point of the walking tour. Begin at a charming and buzzing local market, before heading through tiny back alleys into some of the friendliest neighbourhoods in Saigon.

Families have set up businesses along the way and it’s a culinary journey walking down one of these side streets! Venture into a small temple honouring 5 Mother Goddesses before continuing to a monastery where the monks are welcoming and happy to show you their home and discuss their beliefs.

From here, stroll to one of the older parts of Saigon, where French era villas can be seen along a Teak Tree lined street. Hidden from the main boulevards of the city, the culture thriving in these back streets is the real life of Ho Chi Minh City.

At the end of the 2-3 hour walking tour return to your hotel. A vehicle is available at all times in case of weary legs.

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From £26pp

Good Morning Saigon

Soak in the sights and sounds of Saigon in the early morning. Set off very early and witness the city slowly waking up. Spend some time sipping café da, a Vietnamese iced coffee at the outdoor ‘bird café’ in one of Saigon's most attractive parks.

This is a great place to mingle with the locals and even join in the early morning chatter.

Saigon’s bird lovers flock here on a daily basis to show off their prized birds and to listen to the singing.

They sit on the bench-lined walkways shaded by ancient towering trees exchanging expertise and sharing gossip.

Stroll through to the adjacent park and witness the locals going about their daily exercise routines. Some practice Tai Chi while others jog and challenge each other to games of badminton.

Continue walking to an old dim sum shop, a popular and bustling eatery in the neighbourhood. Sit amongst the locals and sample the same breakfast they enjoy every day – an assortment of tasty dim sum with steamed dumplings, buns and rolls.

After a delicious breakfast, return to your hotel as the locals set off to begin their daily work.

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From £35pp

Saigon Insider

Start your tour at the antique street and walk through the shop to see original vintage antiques. Pass by the beautiful Fine Art Museum and continue to walk towards Yersin street. En-route stop at a fresh fruit smoothie stall for refreshment.

Along the way pass plenty of shops selling all kinds of things. Yersin Street market is a local market where you can find shops dedicated to very specific items including multiple war material surplus stalls (some items are new but most products are second hand).

After the market visit a secret bunker located in an unassuming house that was stashed with weapons and soldiers to prepare for the 1968 Tet Offensive. There will be someone at the house to guide you through the floor hatch to the bunker in the busy hem (alley).

Take a short drive towards the North of Saigon and take a leisurely walk alongside Nhieu Loc canal which splits the city in half.

Here you can encounter typical Vietnamese street scenes along the way with temples, churches, locals having coffee on wooden benches and chickens skittering about.

Stop for refreshments and mingle with the locals before heading back to your hotel.

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From £35pp

Saigon by Sidecar

Enjoy the view from the sidecar of a classic motorbike on this unique and exciting journey around Saigon. Hop into the sidecar as your experienced driver revs up the engine, and guides you through Saigon's back alleys and bustling city streets.

Relaxing in the low seat of the vintage sidecar like something out of a 1940’s movie, you are sure to attract a lot of admiring glances!

Pull over to see the tomb of Le Van Duyet, the powerful 19th century governor of Saigon. Stop for photos in front of the Notre Dame Cathedral and admire the colonial architecture of the Central Post Office.

Ride past Ben Thanh Market, one of the oldest surviving markets in Saigon. Take a tour of the former president’s palace, renamed as the Reunification Hall after the merger of North and South Vietnam in 1976.

Breathe in the aromas of the freshly cut blooms on a walk through the wholesale flower market. As the grand finale to this glamorous tour, visit the secret bunker where North Vietnamese agents kept their weapons for surprise attacks in 1968.

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From £48pp

Mekong Delta - Ben Tre

After a journey through Ben Luc and Tan An, proceed to Ben Tre to take a boat trip on the Mekong River to Vam Xep Canal where local handicrafts and coconut sweets are produced.

Enjoy fresh seasonal fruits, a performance of traditional songs, and observe local life. Take a short ride on a horse carriage to a typical local house to taste some homemade honey-tea.

Proceed by sampan through the small canals to observe the daily life of local people along the riverbanks with some stops for a leisurely stroll.

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From £50pp

Cu Chi Tunnels & Tay Ninh

Travel to the outskirts of Saigon to visit the unusual Cao Dai Temple at Tay Ninh and explore the historic Cu Chi Tunnels. This is probably the single best day trip to take from Saigon.

Drive through the countryside to Tay Ninh and the colourful, whimsical building home to the eclectic Cao Dai religion.

The Cao Dai Great Temple has architecture that could have come straight from a Walt Disney fantasy and where all the major faiths of the world blend together in a unique religious mosaic, a strange but compelling sight.

After lunch in a local restaurant, journey from Tay Ninh to the Cu Chi Tunnels, an incredible network of 200 km underground tunnels constructed by the Vietnamese resistance fighters during the French and American wars.

Start the visit with the Ben Dinh or Ben Duoc sections of the tunnel. Here you can imagine what it was like to be a guerrilla complete with Russian Carbine rifles and AK 47’s on display. In the late afternoon journey back to Saigon.

An optional trip can be added to the Wildlife at Risk (WAR) Rescue Centre. The centre is the first multi-species wildlife hospital and holding facility in southern Vietnam and its main purpose is to help stop the endangered wildlife trade in Vietnam. You’ll be taken on a guided tour through the centre where educational displays and information about the country's biodiversity can be seen as well as some of the animals themselves (though no contact with the animals will be made).

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From £51pp

Half Day Cooking Class

Take a guided trip to the colourful food market and learn about local ingredients, including 'Nuoc Mam' (fish sauce) which is ubiquitous to Vietnamese cooking, before enjoying a morning cooking class.

Set off around 8 am to a local market in downtown Saigon for a guided walk around the market to learn about various ingredients and about some of the secrets of preparing some of Vietnam's best-loved dishes.

Continue on to the cooking centre where a chef will demonstrate the preparation of typical Vietnamese dishes before you 'become the chef' as you prepare and sample the dishes you and your fellow classmates create.

Transfer back to your hotel after lunch.

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From £58pp

Saigon Family Adventure

Spend a day out in Saigon in great family-friendly activities guaranteed to please kids of all ages. Explore the Cu Chi Tunnels, visit an animal rescue centre, travel through the Saigon by cyclo and enjoy an evening music performance in a private home.

Leave Saigon around 8 am for the drive to Cu Chi (as an optional extra the journey can be taken by speedboat along the Saigon River). Leaving the city behind, the scenery changes to views of rice paddies, villagers drying noodles by the side of the road and other scenes typical to southern Vietnam.

Visit the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, which consist of an incredible underground tunnel network constructed by Vietnamese resistance fighters (Viet Cong) during both the French and American wars (children can enter the tunnels which have been widened allowing easy access). Children generally love exploring the tunnels.

Located close to the Cu Chi Tunnels is the Wildlife at Risk (WAR) rescue centre (availability is upon request). The centre is the first multi-species wildlife hospital and holding facility in southern Vietnam and its main purpose is to help stop the endangered wildlife trade in Vietnam.

Enjoy a guided tour through the centre where educational displays and information about the country's biodiversity can be seen as well as some of the animals themselves (though no contact with the animals will be made).

In the late morning journey back to Saigon for lunch at popular Quan An Ngon. 

In the afternoon enjoy a special musical performance in the intimate confines of a converted living room, known as Truc Mai House, which belongs to a couple of Vietnam’s most accomplished exponents of traditional Vietnamese music.

At the end of the performance participation is welcome to try and master these ingenious, handmade instruments.

Following the performance drive back to your hotel.

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From £95pp