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Beyond Boundaries

04D/03N - SAIGON DISCOVERY
04D/03N - Saigon Discovery
Unforgettable: Saigon, officially renamed Ho Chi Minh City in 1976, is the largest city in Vietnam. Still commonly referred to as Saigon, however, it is a city moving forward in leaps and bounds. The French influence is readily seen in the old colonial buildings, such as the Opera House and City Hall, which serve as a contrast to the luxury hotels, shopping malls, restaurants and modern office buildings that are rapidly growing in number. There are many ubiquitous scenes that play out everyday, such as the throngs of motorbikes zipping about the city, and the hustle and bustle of the busy marketplaces selling goods of all kinds. Outside on the streets, young professionals chat on their cellphones, while inside the quiet temple courtyards worshippers pray amdist clouds of incense. Saigon is also a gourmet's delight, with a wide range of restaurants serving delicious Vietnamese and international cuisines, the French influence still being seen in various dishes as well as in the hot, fresh baguettes expertly prepared at the bakeries.
Day 01: Saigon
Arrive at Saigon's Tan Son Nhat International Airport and transfer by sedan to your hotel in Saigon.

Day 02: Saigon City Tour
Full-day private tour of Saigon. Begin with a visit to the historic center, strolling along Dong Khoi Street, the main shopping thoroughfare and heart of old colonial Saigon. Pass by classic European-style landmarks such as the ornate City Hall, the old Opera House, neo-Romanesque Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Central Post Office. Tour the Reunification Palace, followed by a visit to the War Remnants Museum, and then the Emperor of Jade Pagoda. In the afternoon explore bustling Cholon (Chinatown), with visits to Binh Tay Market, Thien Hau Pagoda, and Ben Thanh Market. (breakfast).

Day 03: Cu Chi Tunnels and Cao Dai Temple in Tay Ninh
8:00am. Pick up at your hotel. This morning you take a drive to Cao Dai Temple in Tay Ninh, near the Cambodian border, is home to the unique Cao Dai sect, whose patron saints include Joan of Arc, Victor Hugo and Winston Churchill to name a few. The religion is a hybrid of Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and Christianity. The Cao Dai Temple at Tay Ninh has been described as a Walt Disney fantasia of the East. The temple's exterior is decorated with multi-colored dragons of all shapes and sizes competing for space with a number of Buddhist symbols. Above the main entrance is the all-seeing holy eye, the symbol of the Cao Dai sect. The interior is just as engaging as statues of Jesus Christ, Buddha and the Hindu god, Brahma, stand side by side.

The trip to Tay Ninh is combined with a visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels. At its height, the tunnel system stretched over 250km. from Saigon to the Cambodian border and was three levels deep. The network included innumerable trap doors, specially constructed living areas, storage facilities, weapons factories, field hospitals, command centers and kitchens.

Today the remaining tunnels have become a major tourist attraction giving the visitor a unique experience and a feel of what underground life during the US – Vietnam War. Tour finishes at 6:00 pm at your hotel in Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 04: Depart Saigon
Transfer to Hanoi International Airport. (breakfast).
Meals: breakfast daily (2).

Cost per person, double occupancy from $380.

Our deluxe Vietnam tours are carefully designed to provide a unique experience in the destination, promote cultural understanding and exchange, flow smoothly from place to place, allow time for relaxation and exploration on your own, provide maximum value, and very importantly to be enjoyable. The itinerary can be modified to suit your tastes, time frame, budget, and special interests.
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