Depart for Nha Trang Airport after breakfast for the short morning flight to dynamic Ho Chi Minh City, still called Saigon by the locals.
For the afternoon, explore Ho Chi Minh City by vintage Vespa. Our Vespa tours of Ho Chi Minh City will give you a view of greater Saigon unlike anything you'll see from a tour bus, and much more of the city than you could see on your own. We're longtime residents of Saigon, and we know exactly how to take in the must-see sights while also getting you off the crowded tourist trail. Guests ride pillion behind our experienced drivers and helmets are provided.
The half-day tour takes a unique look at familiar and not-so-familiar landmarks in modern-day Ho Chi Minh City, to reveal the city’s culture, architecture, religious practices and fascinating history.
On morning tours, head to Tao Dan Park to catch the bird lovers club (morning only, 0600 – 1000). Enjoy a local coffee while your tour guide explains about the history and practice of keeping birds in Saigon.
The next stop is 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.
Roll through China town to Nhi Phu temple built in the end of 17th century by Chinese immigrants from Fukkien 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 “Khau” (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 shop for an explanation about “Thuoc Bac - medicine from herbs” or” Thuoc tau – medicine from China.”
Leaving China town, we drive through the tunnel to District Two where we see downtown Saigon from a different perspective and we have a chance to see a developing Ho Chi Minh City.
Visiting a local market before heading back to district 1 for a twin set of neighboring landmarks: the Post Office, noting the architecture and in particular the map of Saigon that shows where this modern city has come from, followed by Cathedral of Notre Dame (“Our Lady”).Moving then to the remarkable Reunification Palace and the previous CIA Office before a drive down Dong Khoi Street (it means “people’s revolution”) allows us to correct a modern myth. We reveal the place where, in 1975, during the dying days of the former regime, the iconic photograph was taken of a helicopter lifting people out of Saigon.
A stop at the historic Opera House (now the Municipal Theatre) lets us talk about the history the square represents from the time it was the main road into the Bat Quay, to the French invasion, to the filming of Phil Noyce’s “The Quiet American”.
The final stop is an outside view of HCM City People’s Committee (formerly Hotel 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. End the tour at the hotel.
Dine to night at the Dining Room restaurant.
Overnight at the Reverie Hotel, Ho Chi Minh City
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City
Meals: Breakfast / Dinner