Monday, March 3, 2008
Vung Tau was known as Cap Saint-Jacques under French occupation. It is just 125 km southeast of Ho Chi Minh City. Once this seaside resort was a popular beach destination for French and American service man. Vung Ttau is one of the popular seaside resorts of Vietnam with sandy beaches, transparent warm blue water all the year round. Vung Tau offers a good relaxation trip on prime beach caressed by the cool breeze from transparent warm blue waters.
Posted by snow at 9:01 AM
Cai Be - Vinh Long
This trip provides an overview of this typical Vietnam. On the way you stop for photos at Tan An - a town is surrounded by rice fields. Up on arriving in Cai Be, we will take a motorized boat to visit Cai Be Floating Market. Here you can see the local people buying and selling on their boat. After that you will see the process of coconut candy production and popcorn (or pop-rice) making by local people, visit An Binh islet, and go to Vinh Sang for lunch. At here you will enjoy elegent "Southern Vietnamese folk music", observe wild animals such as: bears, gibbons, pythons... even you can ride ostriches or fishing crocodile... etc.
Morever, you can join in the local people's daily activites: trap fish, go fishing on the Co Chien river, you will walk through the fruit garden... After enjoying your trip on the Mekong river we take the bus come back to Sai Gon.
Posted by snow at 7:50 AM
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.
Posted by snow at 7:48 AM
Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, is the largest and busiest city in Vietnam with a population of 7 million people. Much of the daily life takes place on the streets, which are lined with shops, stalls and vendors with their wares spread out on the footpath. Don't miss the bustling Ben Thanh Market - a fantastic place for bargains of every kind! There are several interesting sights in HCMC. The War Remnants Museum has a wealth of images from the wars, the most moving being a gallery entitled 'Requiem' which is dedicated to Vietnamese and foreign journalists and photographers who perished during the French and American conflicts. The Reunification Palace was the former residence of the President of South Vietnam until April 30, 1975 when the North Vietnamese tanks came crashing through the front gates, bringing the U.S.-Vietnam War to a dramatic end. Close to the palace some of the best examples of French colonial architecture are represented in the forms of Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office. Notre Dame Cathedral was built between 1877 and 1883 and the stone used to create it was exported in its entirety from France. Next to the cathedral stands the Central Post Office , finished in 1891. It is another fine example of French architecture and is Vietnam 's largest post office. For all its French colonial history though, Ho Chi Minh City is by far and away Vietnam's most modern city. It has numerous shopping malls, cinemas, discotheques and a bewildering number of bars.
Cu Chi tunnels. This network of tunnels, which stretched for over 200km, became legendary during the 1960s. The Cu Chi tunnels played a vital part in the U.S.-Vietnam War in that they allowed the Viet Cong to control a large rural area only 30 to 40 km from Saigon. At its height, the tunnel system stretched from Saigon to the Cambodian border. The network, parts of which were several levels deep, included innumerable trap doors, specifically constructed living areas, storage facilities, weapons factories, field hospitals, command centres and kitchens. Today the remaining tunnels have become a major tourist attraction giving the visitor a unique experience and feel of what underground life during the war must have been like. The tunnels have been widened for our benefit (otherwise we would not be able to enter them!) For those interested there's even the opportunity to fire off rounds from an AK47 or MK16 at the nearby rifle range.
Posted by snow at 7:46 AM
Saigon, as the city is still frequently referred to, is Vietnam's largest city with a population in excess of 6 million. It is a fast-paced city full of contrasts as street vendors selling fruit and vegetables can be seen next to glitzy western-style bars and boutiques. Saigon's history is only 300 years old, less than a third that of the capital, Hanoi. In 1859, the city was captured by the French and became the capital of Cochinchina. From 1956 until its dramatic demise in April 1975, Saigon was the capital of the US-backed Republic of Vietnam.
Today Ho Chi Minh City is very much the heart of Vietnamese business and entrepreneurs. The city's skyline is rapidly changing, reflecting the sharp influx of foreign trade within the last decade. And yet the city still retains its connections to the past, particularly in Cholon, the city's Chinatown. Here dozens of elegant temples and pagodas can be seen. The French left their mark here – as the city has many street cafes and patisseries where fresh croissants can be enjoyed with a cup of coffee.
• The Reunification Palace: This is one of the most important buildings in the city. Here on April 30, 1975, what the Vietnamese refer to as the ‘American War' officially ended when tank number 843 of the North Vietnamese Army crashed through the gates of what was, at the time, the residence of the President of the Republic of Vietnam .
• War Remnants Museum : Formerly known as the Museum of American War Crimes, this is a poignant display of the futility of war. Some of the black and white photography in the ‘Requiem' exhibit is particularly touching, dedicated to both foreign and Vietnamese journalists and photographers who perished during the conflict. The exhibit includes the last shots these photographers had taken before their deaths. The courtyard outside contains the spoils of war, namely rusting jets, tanks and cannons captured from the American military machine.
• Notre Dame Cathedral and Old Post Office : Built between 1877 and 1883 this is one of the best examples of classical French colonial architecture. Remarkably every stone used in its creation was shipped from France to Vietnam. Her two 40m towers, topped with iron spires dominate the city's skyline. The Old Post Office is another example of French colonial architecture and is also the country's largest post office.
• Giac Lam Pagoda: This is HCMC's oldest pagoda, dating back to 1744 and one of the finest in Vietnam. Inside, 98 pillars and 113 statues and myriad mini-Buddhas vie for your attention. Don't miss the amazing Tree of Wandering Souls where people pray for their sick relatives by writing the names of their loved ones on slips of paper and then attaching them to the tree.
• Cholon, including the Thien Hau Pagoda: Cholon actually means Big Market – a claim that is well justified as Vietnam's largest market, the Binh Tay, is located here. The district is home to the city's 400,000 Chinese and has many beautiful temples and pagodas.
• Ben Thanh Market: This bustling and well-organized market is very popular with tourists, primarily due to its central location. It has a wide selection of goods ranging from fake Nike shoes to beautiful silk Ao Dais.
Posted by snow at 7:42 AM