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Ho Chi Minh
The Mekong delta
The Central Highlands
Vung Tau
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Cham Holysee of Myson
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Ha Noi

HO CHI MINH
 

After 1975, the government of Ha Noi renamed Sai Gon to Ho Chi Minh City. But the people never quite gotten accustomed to the new name and thus still prefer the old name, Sai Gon. In official publications, however, only Ho Chi Minh City is used.

With a population of over seven million, Sai Gon is the economic center of Viet Nam. It is also a commercial trading hub between China, Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, and other foreign countries. The city is bustling, with colorful free-markets and activities. The city was filled with the incessant rattling of cars, motobikes, and tri-cycles. However, this free-spirited city with tree shaded streets, old colonial architecture and gentle charms, still retains its small warm town feel. Sai Gon is also very active at night with music halls open and restaurants stay open all night long.

Sai Gon with its street markets, sidewalk cafes, sleek new pubs, pagodas and museums it is impossible to get bored in Ho Chi Minh City.

The Historical Museum

Is a huge collection of historical objects relating to the development of Viet Nam history? Situated within the famous botanical garden aged more than 100 years, it keeps the most information and objects of some civilizations in the Mekong Delta such as Oc Eo (Funan)… Botanical gardens and zoo open daily. Researchers can get special permits to stay inside its great library for study. Live water puppet shows can be enjoyed in here.

War Museum

That is a big collection of weapons and information on the modern wars in Viet Nam. It presents the war crimes caused to the Vietnamese people. Visitors can see the model of the most terrible prison and the most lethal weapons used by foreign armies in Viet Nam. A notorious guillotine is also on display.

China Town - Cho Lon

Cho Lon or China town over here is a bustling town for more than 5 million Chinese inhabitants. China town was set up by the end of 18th century when the Minh dynasty in China was overthrown. Many Chinese faithful to the Minh ran to Viet Nam for help, peace and business and were permitted by the Nguyen Lords. China town has many shops and family factories. The most interesting place is Binh Tay market built by one Chinese businessman, always crowded as a wholesale market. Walking into the Soai Kinh Lam material market is very interesting. Father Tam's Catholic Church for Chinese is historical as the first president of the south Ngo Dinh Diem and his brother hid themselves to avoid the coup-detat in 1963. China town never sleeps with all interesting activities. Most merchandize can be purchased at wholesale price in China town.

 
 

THE CU CHI TUNNELS

 

The Cu Chi tunnels, which were more than 250 km long and three levels deep, were important for the Viet Cong victory over the Americans as they allowed the Viet Cong to control a large rural area around Sai Gon. Today the remaining tunnels have become a major tourist attraction giving the visitor a unique experience of what underground life in the American war was like.

The district of Cu Chi was the most bombed shelled, gassed, defoliated, and generally devastated area in the history of warfare. It was declared a "free fire zone" which meant that artillery fire fell on it at night, and that bomber pilots were encouraged to drop unused explosives and napalm on the area before returning to base. In essence, anything that moved was considered a target and blown away.

While U.S. forces relied on artillery support from fixed "Fire Bases," the Vietnamese used their tunnel system to move their artillery around, making it difficult for the U.S. troops to locate them. In one tunnel complex in Cu Chi the U.S. found two 105 field pieces in perfect working condition. They would be stripped down outside, taken into the tunnels and assembled during the day for maintenance, stripped again, and then taken back through the tunnels to be reassembled in a new location outside and used the next night.

These are only a few of the stories of the tunnels of Cu Chi. Today the tunnels still stand, proof that the determination of the people - and not technology - can determine who wins a war.

MEKONG DELTA

The Mekong Delta is the southernmost region of Viet Nam. Mekong delta is not only the biggest rice basket but also the biggest fruit gardens of Viet Nam. Food here tastes different from other places. Beside the common food, the local dishes also comprise snakes, tortoises, bats, eels, etc.

Because the plains are periodically flooded by the rising Mekong River, traditional transportation is by boat along a vast network of canals. A cruise along these canals with their floating markets always proves to be a fascinating experience for all visitors. The city of Can Tho is a capital of the Mekong Delta. Other provinces are included: My Tho, Ben Tre, Vinh Long, Dong Thap, Tra Vinh, Soc Trang, An Giang, Bac Lieu, Ca Mau, Kien Giang with Ha Tien & Phu Quoc.

Just walk idly in My Tho or Vinh Long or Can Tho and discover the daily life of the Vietnamese on the river and arroyos, taste the sweet and fresh coconut juice and smell the particular fragrance of the rice paddies. Further down to Soc Trang, the mysterious Khmer culture is hidden behind the gates of Hinayana temples. The Mekong River with its intertwining branches will lead you from one surprise to another. The hospitality of the people is the most impressing. They welcome you like relatives coming home.

Visit the Mekong Delta to understand why it is called the rice stock of Viet Nam, why a sampan tied to a coconut tree can evoke nostalgia. There you will find the simplest people, who would not care much about the luxury life of the city.

 
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