3D2N Ho Chi Minh - Cu Chi - My tho

Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Overview

Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) is Vietnam at its most dizzying: a high-octane city of commerce and culture that has driven the country forward with its pulsating energy. A chaotic whirl, the city breathes life and vitality into all who settle here, and visitors cannot help but be hauled along for the ride. From the finest of hotels to the cheapest of guesthouses, the classiest of restaurants to the tastiest of street stalls, the choicest of boutiques to the scrum of the markets, HCMC is a city of energy and discovery. Wander through timeless alleys to incense-infused temples before negotiating chic designer malls beneath sleek 21st-century skyscrapers. The ghosts of the past live on in buildings that one generation ago witnessed a city in turmoil, but now the real beauty of the former Saigon’s urban collage is the seamless blending of these two worlds into one exciting mass. Chu Chi Tunnels are part of a massive war museum that offers a sneak-peek at the underground life of Vietnamese soldiers back in 1948. Located 70km northwest of Ho Chi Minh City, the historical site comprises more than 120km of underground tunnels with several trapdoors, living areas, kitchens, storage facilities, armoury, hospitals, and command centres. After the end of the war against French invaders, Chu Chi Tunnels were also utilised and expanded during the American War by incorporating effective air filtration systems, which helped Vietnamese soldiers survive the Chu Chi carpet-bombing by the Americans. As they were built so deep underground, military tanks could pass overhead without causing any damage to the tunnels. Today, it is one of Ho Chi Minh’s most iconic attractions where visitors can enjoy activities such as following the claustrophobia-inducing routes of the underground army, firing an M16 assault rifle, as well sampling meals that the underground soldiers had to live with years ago. The tunnels have been coated with cement and widened so it is not quite the harrowing experience it would have been all those years ago, plus there are emergency exit points every ten metres for safety. Still, during the 100 metres of tunnel you get a sense of what it would have been like during the war. Gateway to the Mekong Delta, My Tho is the capital of Tien Giang province and an important market town – although for the famous floating markets, you’ll need to continue on to Can Tho. My Tho\'s proximity to HCMC means it\'s a popular day-trip destination for a taste of river life – a flotilla of boats tour the local islands and their cottage industries daily, though many bypass the town itself. The riverfront makes for a pleasant stroll and the town, including the lively market (Ð Trung Trac), is easily explored on foot. My Tho was founded in the 1680s by Chinese refugees fleeing Taiwan after the fall of the Southern Ming dynasty. The economy is based on tourism, fishing and the cultivation of rice, coconuts, bananas, mangoes, longans and citrus fruit.

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