INSIDER’S HO CHI MINH BY VINTAGE VESPA SCOOTER (B)
Your Vespa tour of modern-day Ho Chi Minh City will give you a view of Saigon unlike anything you'll see from a package tour, and much more of the city than you could see on your own. We are longtime residents of Saigon, and we know exactly how to take in the must-see landmarks while also getting you off the crowded tourist trail for a peek at the history, the streets and the sights that most visitors never even hear about or see. Guests ride pillion behind our drivers.
On morning tours, head to Tao Dan Park to catch the bird lovers club (morning only, 0600 – 0900). Enjoy a local coffee while your tour guide explains about the history and practice of keeping birds in Saigon. Next, pass by the Reunification Palace before visiting 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”).
Travel down Dong Khoi Street; known for its elegant shops, the name actually means “people’s revolution”. Pass by the Opera House, popular backdrop for wedding photos, now used as a Municipal Theatre. This area is rich with history from the times of the French invasion to the filming of Phil Noyce’s “The Quiet American.” 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. Then take a quick stop at the colorful Ho Thi Ky flower market before riding to the Funeral Home to get to know about Vietnamese funeral ceremonies & customs. 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 “Khẩu” (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 shops for an explanation about “Thuoc Bac - medicine from herbs. Return your hotel at noon time.
Afternoon is your leisure time to relax, shopping or explore more of the city at your own space.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.