On this half day tour explore the highlights of Saigon with its 300 years of timeless traditions. Saigon began as a small fishing village, then rebuilt by the French in the mid-19th century and proclaimed the capital of their colony Cochinchina. Modern-day Saigon has a poplulation of more than seven million people, and is the largest economic center of Vietnam. Its wide boulevards lined with stately trees, and French colonial-style buildings contribute much to the beauty and allure of the city.
Your first stop is Cholon, Saigon's lively China Town district. Founded by Chinese immigrants in 1780, Cholon is the location of some of Saigon's finest pagodas and one of the most colorful and exciting markets in the city, Binh Tay. Visit the oldest pagoda in Saigon, Giac Lam Pagoda, built in 1744. A haven of tranquility where Taoism and Confucianism merge with Buddhism, the pagoda compound includes ornate tombs, a rare bodhi tree and an elegant statue of Quan The Am Bo Tat, the Goddess of Mercy. Continue to the Reunification Palace, where, in 1975, the Southern forces officially surrendered to the Revolutionary forces. It is now a museum, frozen in time with many of its exhibits still in their pre-1975 state. Enjoy a photo stop at the stately 19th century neo-Romanesque Notre Dame Cathedral and the impressive Central Post Office built by Gustave Eiffel.
Your final stop is at a local lacquerware factory where skillful Vietnamese artisans can be observed making lacquerware items, from the beginning stage to the finished product.
Please note: Clothing must cover knees and shoulders. Shoes must be removed in temples and pagodas.