Explore the famed Cu Chi tunnels, built by the Viet Cong army to avoid detection from the United States military. Afterward, spend the afternoon touring Ho Chi Minh City, seeing military landmarks and examples of French Colonial architecture.
Get picked from your hotel and travel to Cu Chi, a district of the city most famous for its 75-mile (121-km) network of underground passages built by the Viet Cong army. Follow your guide through this historic military site, now a war memorial, which was once a key position for the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War—known as the American War in Vietnam.
Learn how the tunnels provided shelter, medical treatment sites, storage for food and weapons, and routes for supplies and communication. See booby traps that were built to capture intruders, and dioramas illustrating daily life in the tunnels. If you like, you can even crawl through parts of the narrow passageways.
Afterward, return to the city for a traditional Vietnamese lunch served on the river. Spend the afternoon visiting Ho Chi Minh City's main sites. Begin at Independence Palace, where Viet Cong troops broke through the main gates in 1975 and took control of the South Vietnamese government, ending the long war. Inside the 1960s-style building, see the official living quarters, meeting rooms, and a military command center complete with radio equipment and tactical maps from the war.
Take a walk from the palace to see French Colonial architecture, including Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica, the Saigon Central Post Office, Ho Chi Minh City Hall, and Ho Chi Minh Municipal Theater, also known as the Saigon Opera House. Stroll toward the Saigon River along Dong Khoi Street and Nguyen Hue Boulevard, admiring historic buildings and the modern Bitexco Tower, until recently the tallest skyscraper in Vietnam.
Wrap up your afternoon at Ben Thanh Market—the city’s central market and one of its most colorful areas. Marvel at the wide variety of goods, and even practice your bargaining skills. At the end of the tour, your guide returns you to your hotel.