Enjoy going around Ho Chi Minh City with me on this specially designed Online Experience which combines some of the most popular attractions and beautiful hidden gems of the “Pearl of the East".
We will start our tour at the Reunification Palace, also known as the Independence Palace, which was the home and workplace of the President of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. This is where the Vietcong tank crashed through the gate on April 30th, 1975, signalling the fall of Saigon as the then President, Duong Van Minh, surrendered to the Vietcong.
We will then make our way through the beautiful park on our way towards Notre Dame Cathedral, which was built by French colonists in the 1880s and is a symbol of what was then known as Saigon. The Cathedral is one of the few remaining symbols of Catholicism in a largely Buddhist Vietnam. Across the road from Notre Dame is the Central Post Office of Saigon, a beautiful and elegant building of French architecture constructed in the late 19th century.
A short walk down Dong Khoi street, which was originally named Rue Catinat by the French before being renamed Tu Do Street in the late 1950s, takes us to where we can see the former CIA Building. This is the site from where the last US helicopter left Saigon in 1975, a moment that you will get to witness in a historic photo I will make you privy to.
In the next phase of our tour, we will uncover some of the lesser-known or hidden gems in this beautiful city. Walk pasting the Opera House; we will visit some of the most famous hotels of the Vietnam War: the Continental Hotel, where many diplomatic cocktail parties were held; the Caravelle Hotel, which housed the Australian and New Zealand embassies; and the Rex Hotel, where American officers stayed and cracked open beers on the rooftop bar. After exploring these sites, we will go to the City Hall at the top of Nguyen Hue street.
Today a walking street, Nguyen Hue street, is one of Vietnam's most beautiful and lively streets. It is here that many important events of the year are held and celebrated, including the New Year fireworks, flower displays for Tet, Lunar New Year, or football screenings when Vietnam's soccer team plays an important Asia cup or World cup match! Even on days when no such event is being held, this is a beautiful spot to spend some time in before you take your leave from the lovely Ho Chi Minh City.