I book a couple of day tours in Saigon. Logistically it just seemed easier to do so then plan my own transportation to all the different sites. There is a travel agency in the lobby of my hotel’s sister hotel. I book my tours through them. The first tour I book is a Ho Chi Minh City day tour. It is a 1/2 day tour with an optional Cu Chi tunnels afternoon tour (another post about that).
Not loving my tour companions for today’s day tour. They show up 30 min late because their breakfast is more important than the rest of the tour and now we are still waiting to leave for them to finish their cigarettes. Eventually they get in the van and we head to our first destination.
Independence Palace, or Reunification Palace
First stop is the Independence Palace. This headquarters of the South Vietnamese almost seems frozen in time.
We are given a tour of the underground bunker. The original maps and charts are still in place from the war. You can see how they kept track of troops and casualties.
After the reunification palace we stopped by an old temple Taoist temple
Jade Emperor Pagoda (Ngoc Hoang Pagoda)
Temple for a Taoist god built in early 1900’s.
War Remnants museum
Next we stop at the very powerful War Remnants Museum.
A thorough museum on the vietnam war but from a south vietnamese perspective.
*TRIGGER WARNING* There is a very hard to see photo exhibit on the affects of agent orange on the population. One would have to be a monster to come out of there without tears in their eyes. Out of respect I did not take photos of that section. Only the piece of art below.
We complete the morning tour with a visit to the historic post office and the Notre Dame Cathedral.
The Notre Dame Cathedral
Historic Central Post Office
Part two of my day tour includes a visit to the Cu chi tunnels. I’ll post about that later.