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Independence Palace

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Independence Palace: Our most recommended tours and activities

Saigon: Private Half-Day Car Tour of Ho Chi Minh City

1. Saigon: Private Half-Day Car Tour of Ho Chi Minh City

Explore the fascinating city of Saigon, also known as Ho Chi Minh City, on this half-day tour. Travel in comfort in your private, air-conditioned car, and learn about the city's landmarks with your helpful guide. Meet your guide at your hotel, and head first to the Ban Thanh Market. Snap photos of the lively market's activities, or take the opportunity to buy kitchen equipment, souvenirs, garments, fruit, and many other foods. Next, pay a visit to the neo-Romanesque Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon, which dates from the 19th century. Keep an eye out for local couples taking their pre-wedding shots at this beautiful basilica, officially known as the Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of The Immaculate Conception. Admire the surprising architecture at your next stop, the Saigon Central Post Office. Hear how the building is often mistakenly attributed to Gustave Eiffel, even though it was designed by Alfred Foulhoux. Then, it's decision time. Choose between the War Remnants Museum to learn more about the American War in Vietnam, or the Reunification Palace. Also known as the Independence Palace, the latter site is a landmark of Saigon history and architecture, which once served as the home and workplace of the President of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Finally, end your tour at the Jade Emperor Pagoda. See the local worshippers in prayer for their careers, love, and fertility. Enjoy this taste of Taoist worship culture, before being dropped off back at your hotel.

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5 Must-See City Private Tour: German/English-Speaking Guide

2. 5 Must-See City Private Tour: German/English-Speaking Guide

At 8:30 AM, start your day with a convenient hotel pick-up that transfers you to your first destination: the War Remnants Museum. This museum presents an important but one-sided history of the appalling legacy of the decades of war that have ravaged Vietnam. At 9:30 AM, head to China Town to visit Binh Tay market. Its center is busy, crowded and messy with small aisles selling all manner of goods. This market sometimes disappoints tourists when compared to other markets in Ho Chi Minh as the products are not that varied, but the main draw to Cholon is not to shop but to enjoy the authentic Chinese atmosphere that has existed here for hundreds of years. At noon, you'll head to a local restaurant for lunch where you will be served delicious Pho (Vietnamese noodle soup). Spend the rest of the day visiting important landmarks. Start with the Reunification Palace, which was the residence and workplace of the President of South Vietnam until the end of the war in April 1975. Continue on to the Notre Dame Cathedral, the General Post Office, French colonial structures and a lacquer workshop. Finish your day with a convenient drop off to your hotel.

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Cu Chi Tunnels and Saigon City Private Tour

3. Cu Chi Tunnels and Saigon City Private Tour

Get picked up from Saigon by your guide. Drive to Cu Chi and enjoy the views of the agricultural and jungle scenery on the way. Arrive at Cu Chi and watch a short documentary film about Cu Chi during the war. Discover the incredible network of tunnels which were dug out by hand. Crawl through the narrow tunnels. Learn about the history and weapons used during the war. Then taste the main dish eaten by locals during wartime, boiled tapioca with hot pandan tea. Head back to Saigon and visit the War Remnants Museum to learn more about the American war in Vietnam. Or take the option to stop at the Reunification Palace, a landmark in Saigon for its history and architecture values. Visit Notre Dame Cathedral and Saigon Central Post Office to admire the delicate French colonial architecture. Stop at the Jade Emperor (King of Heaven) Pagoda, a spiritual place where local Vietnamese and Chinese people pray for fertility and love. Visit the lively Ben Thanh Market, a must-see attraction in Saigon. Try some fresh seasonal fruits, and meet the friendly local sellers.

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Ho Chi Minh City Private Tour by Jeep

4. Ho Chi Minh City Private Tour by Jeep

Choose from a morning or afternoon departure to explore Ho Chi Minh City from the comfort of a Jeep. Visit the main monuments of the city once known as Saigon to get a better understanding of its history at sites such as the symbolic Reunification Palace. Hear stories about the Vietnam War and the Fall of Saigon, where a North Vietnamese Army tank crashed through the gates of what was at the time the residence of the President of the Republic of Vietnam. Continue to the War Remnants Museum, where weapons, photos, documents and other relics tell the story of Vietnam’s wars. Admire the Notre-Dame Cathedral and Old Post Office to get a feel for the typical architecture of Saigon. Venture down local streets such as Dong Khoi and Nguyen Hue before making your way to Ben Thanh Market, where your guide can help you barter for goods.

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Private Tours of Cu Chi, HCMC, Mekong Delta from Phu My Port

5. Private Tours of Cu Chi, HCMC, Mekong Delta from Phu My Port

Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon. With a guide accompanying you directly off the cruise ship pier you will make your way into the most populous metropolitan area in Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh City has everything from historic Pagodas to stunning skyscrapers making it one of the most intriguing destinations in all of Vietnam. Choose between three tours offered in Ho Chi Minh City for cruise ship passengers. Private Ho Chi Minh City Tour: Dive into the depths of Vietnamese history as you make your way to the Reunification Palace, which stands as the site where the Vietnam war ended. Make sure you bring your camera to capture the North Vietnamese tanks that crashed through the palaces gates back in 1975 and still serve as a reminder today. Once inside you will be able to explore the many rooms that appear to be untouched creating an atmosphere hard to find at other monuments. Make sure to take a look in the war command room which is littered with campaign maps and old communication equipment. Your panoramic city tour continues with photo stops at the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office. The historic cathedral is located at a picturesque corner in downtown Ho Chi Minh city and will leave you standing in amazement at its unique French Colonial design. Private Cu Chi Tunnels Tour: There isn't a better place to have an in-depth reflection on the Vietnam war than the Cu Chi Tunnels. Considered the most famous battlegrounds in the country, these tunnels represent the core of the guerrilla combat style used by the Viet Cong throughout the war. Serving as communication routes, food and weapon storage facilities, living quarters and hospitals, the Cu Chi Tunnels embody the lifeline of this region's Viet Cong. The tunnels still remain as a reminder of the traumatic past of this area. Private Mekong Delta Tour: The Mekong Delta lies immediately to the west of Ho Chi Minh City. It is also called the rice bowl of Vietnam as it pumps out more than a third of the country's annual food crop from just ten percent of its total land mass. The Delta region displays a variety of physical landscape, from vast paddy files in the south to hills in the north and west. It's a water world where boats, houses, and markets float upon the numerous rivers, canals, and streams that crisscross the landscape like arteries.  

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Ho Chi Minh: Half-day City Tour

6. Ho Chi Minh: Half-day City Tour

Ho Chi Minh City is the largest, busiest and most exciting city in Vietnam. It is filled with intrigue and culture and is a cultural melting pot. There's so much to discover here. Founded over 300 years, today Ho Chi Minh remains a fascinating place to visit. Choose from a shared or private tour and visit some of the most interesting sights that Ho Chi Minh City has to offer. Such as: • The War Remnants Museum, an intriguing exhibition that highlights the futility of the war. • The Reunification Palace, a beautifully preserved palace that was the residence of the President of the Republic of Vietnam during the 1960-1970s. • Notre Dame Cathedral, built in 1880. • The Old Post Office, built between 1886 – 1891. • Thien Hau Pagoda in Cho Lon, a Chinese style temple located on Nguyen Trai Street in Cho Lon (China Town). It is dedicated to Thien Hau, the Lady of the Sea, also known as 'Mazu' or 'Tian Hou' in Chinese. • The lacquerware factory, the last stop on the tour. Here you can observe the manufacture of traditional Vietnamese products

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Ho Chi Minh City: Privat Tour Highlights & Hidden Gems

7. Ho Chi Minh City: Privat Tour Highlights & Hidden Gems

See Ho Chi Minh City at its best from the eyes of a local in just 3 hours. Check out prime landmarks like the Saigon Opera House, Central Post Office, Independence Palace and hear unique insights that only a local would know. Uncover hidden gems and city secrets along the way that will show you an authentic side of the city with the help of a knowledgeable local guide. Fully experience the local flare with an included local treat to make your city tour a complete experience.

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Ho Chi Minh: City Highlights Small Group Cyclo Tour

8. Ho Chi Minh: City Highlights Small Group Cyclo Tour

Join a local expert guide and uncover hidden gems on this cyclo tour through Ho Chi Minh City. Check out some of the major Ho Chi Minh sights like the Opera House, the iconic General Post Office, and Notre Dame Cathedral, built by the French during the colonial era. See the Reunification Palace, previously referred to as the Presidential Palace, and the site of the official South Vietnamese surrender on April 30th, 1975. Visit the War Remnants Museum, originally opened in September 1975 which displays old military equipment and other items from the Vietnam War. Enjoy a traditional local Vietnamese lunch of Pho, or noodle soup – a must when you’re in Vietnam.

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Ho Chi Minh: Historical Private Scooter Tour

9. Ho Chi Minh: Historical Private Scooter Tour

After hotel pick-up, try Vietnamese coconut coffee while discussing program itinerary with your guide. After this, arrive at the War Remnants Museum to learn about the history of the American War. From there, continue the tour by visiting the Independence Palace and Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica. Here, you can learn more about the different and vast history of Vietnam. Next, stop at the Central Post Office which is a captivating French colonial building. Then, it’s time to have a lovely lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch, explore the beautiful and famous Ben Thanh market. Finally, visit the Artinus 3D Art Museum where you will explore art in 3D and take wonderful pictures together with the team. At the end of the tour you will be dropped off at your hotel by your biker guide.

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Ho Chi Minh City: Private Tour from Hiep Phuoc Port

10. Ho Chi Minh City: Private Tour from Hiep Phuoc Port

After venturing to the city from the port, you can immerse yourself in local Vietnamese culture with a traditional "cyclo" ride through the narrow, colorful streets of Ho Chi Minh. As you make your way through this bustling hub, you will experience the daily life of the locals as they haggle at the countless markets dotted throughout the city. You will also witness vendors selling colorful materials, fresh fruit and vegetables, and of course, the famed Vietnamese street food! Following the sounds, sights and scents of Ho Chi Minh’s streets, you will begin to explore the Chinese-influenced Thien Hau Temple. Ho Chi Minh's temples offer an essential insight into the beliefs and customs of the Vietnamese, and this beautiful temple is no exception. This National Architectural Heritage Site, apart from housing beautiful art pieces and antiquities, gives an important insight into Vietnamese folk religions for locals and tourists alike. Next up, prepare for the emotional impact of the War Remnants Museum. Offering a rare insight into the civilian impact of the Vietnamese-American war, the multi-layered displays are hard-hitting, but an absolute must-see. The Requiem Gallery is the gem of this museum, where you can see historic photos taken by famed international war photographers such as Tim Page or Larry Burrows. Your next stop is the Independence Palace, an important landmark which acts as a fascinating time capsule. The site of the end of the Vietnam War, Independence Palace houses secret rooms, a war bunker, and even the original tanks that were used to seize the palace itself. After the Independence Palace, you will be invited for a tasty and simple local lunch of either Pho or Banh Mi. This delicious break will then be followed by a famous Vietnamese-style coffee. Following lunch, you can enjoy a walking tour of all of Ho Chi Minh's most important sites. The Notre-Dame cathedral and Central Post Office are stunning architectural feats in the center of the city. From the Post Office, your guide will show you the historic CIA headquarters and tell you the story of the last U.S Helicopter flying out of Saigon in 1975. You will stroll leisurely along Dong Khoi street to visit the very beautiful Opera House and City Hall, before making your final, optional stop at the Level 23 rooftop bar where you can have a drink and unwind. You can sip your drink and take in incredible city views, before your guide drops you back to port with plenty of time for your departure.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Independence Palace

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What people are saying about Independence Palace

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 315 reviews

It was a great tour, with a very friendly and knowledgable guide. We were lucky because we were the only two people booked for the day. That meant that we could stay as long or as short as we wanted at any particular sight. The hour-long cyclo bike ride through Chinatown and the Ho Thi Ky flower market was a great start. It's amazing how the cyclo drivers can maneuver around the rest of the crazy Saigon traffic! Next was a visit to the oldest Buddhist temple in Saigon. Watching the monks chant before eating their meal was a surreal experience. Every stop on the tour was an interesting part of the day. The guide answered every question that we had. This tour is a great value and definitely worth the money!

Great tour! Covers some of the main attractions in the city and then takes you over to the tunnels. Lunch was in a nice place too!

It was very informative, eye opening and educational. The spots you went to varied and you could try good street food too.

We had a nice day with Ms. Trum. She explained everything well and answered all questions. Her English was also good.

Fantastic trip with Vincent the excellent tour guide and a very polite driver