On this Ho Chi Minh City city tour, you're actually going to head right out of the city and into the countryside. We'll journey 2.5 hours outside of HCMC, with the Tay Ninh district and Cao Dai temple as our destinations.
Before arriving, we'll stop in for a traditional home cooked lunch with a local family, where you'll get a real taste for local life and customs. After lunch, we'll arrive at Cao Dai temple in time for the noon ceremony, which provides insight into this interesting religion. Founded in Vietnam in the 1920s, Cao Daoism borrows elements from Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Taoism, and Confucianism and blends them together in an effort to make the perfect religion. Cao Dai means "high place or abode".
Following the Cao Dai ceremony, we'll make our way over to the legendary Cu Chi Tunnels. Built by local fighters during the Indochina conflict, the Cu Chi tunnels served as a base from which the Viet Cong could operate from close to the Southern Vietnamese capital.
The location of the tunnels was of significant strategic importance: they're at the end of the infamous Ho Chi Minh Trail, and within striking distance of the southern Vietnam capital. Initial construction started in 1948 when the Viet Minh required somewhere to hide from French air attacks, and by 1965, the tunnel complex was estimated to consist of 200 km of tunnels. It included, hospitals, schools, meeting rooms, kitchens, and sleeping quarters. Life was difficult for the inhabitants, and to protect against outside intruders, booby traps were laid throughout the complex.
Today, the Vietnamese government have preserved approximately 75 km of the Cu Chi tunnels as a memorial park, and in some areas the tunnels have been widened and low powered lights installed so that tourists can now fit through the complex.
Your local guide will take you on a fascinating tour of the Cu Chi tunnels, where you'll learn more about the conditions the people lived in, the hardships they faced, and the amazing ingenuity employed to maintain life in the tunnels. We walk past huge bomb craters - evidence of the heavy bombing campaigns in the region during the Indochina conflict, discover hidden entrances right beneath your feet, wander past tiny little chimneys in the ground that dispersed smoke from the underground kitchens, sample some of the simple cuisine that local fighters would have survived on, and have an opportunity to venture into the tunnels and explore the complex.
You'll end this Ho Chi Minh City city tour with a greater understanding of the temples and tunnels that dot the countryside beyond the main city.
Inclusions: Local English speaking guide, entrance fees as indicated, transportation as indicated, lunch.
Exclusions: Items of a personal nature, tips / gratuities for drivers or guide.
Dress standard: Dress standards are conservative throughout Asia, especially outside major cities. To respect this and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. This means clothing that covers your shoulders and knees. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in the predominantly hot Asian climate.
Your Trip: This trip is offered on a "join-in" basis. Maximum group size is 12.
Confirmation of booking: If you have your voucher, your booking is confirmed. We'll see you at your hotel for pick up. Please check your hotel details are correct on the voucher.
If your details are not correct, it is very important to please email us to confirm your correct pick up hotel using the contact details on the voucher. If you prefer you may also phone the change through to us during business hours.
Child Policy: Children must be between 6 and 11 years of age inclusive.