Things to do in
Southern Vietnam

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Our most recommended things to do in Southern Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City: Cao Dai Temple & Black Lady Mountain Tour

1. Ho Chi Minh City: Cao Dai Temple & Black Lady Mountain Tour

Choose from a shared or private experience and, following an early morning pickup from your accommodation in Ho Chi Minh City, head towards the Vietnamese-Cambodian border and reach Tay Ninh Province. From there, take a cable car ride up to the Black Lady Mountain. Once on top, marvel at the panoramic views of the beautiful region. Black Lady Mountain consists of three major mountains covering an area of 24 kilometers and reaching an altitude of 986 meters. The beautiful temples and caves that are used to house Buddhist monks and nuns remain largely undisturbed. Proceed to Cao Dai Holy Temple which houses administrative offices, residences for officials, adepts and a hospital for traditional Vietnamese herbal medicine that attracts people from all over the south for treatments. The temple is home to the Cao Dai movement known for mixing ideas from different religions including Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and Christianity. Learn about the importance of Cao Daism figures including historic figures such as Sun Yat-Sen, Victor Hugo, and Nguyen Binh Khiem.

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2-Day All Inclusive, Flexible Package: Cu Chi & Mekong Delta

2. 2-Day All Inclusive, Flexible Package: Cu Chi & Mekong Delta

For most travelers, Ho Chi Minh City, still known as Saigon by locals, is primarily the gateway to the Mekong Delta and the nearby Cu Chi Tunnels. From the heartbreaking War Remnants Museum to luxe shopping strips, gourmet restaurants and delectable street stalls, HCMC is a taste of all that Vietnam has to offer.  Day 1 consists of a Cu Chi Tunnels Tour, a water puppet show and dinner on a cruise. At 8:00 AM on the first day, you will be picked up from your hotel in Ho Chi Minh City to start the Cu Chi Tunnels Tour. Enjoy 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. 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 historical Ho Chi Minh City tour with a greater understanding of the local impacts of the conflicts of the 20th century. At 2:30 PM, arrive back to Ho Chi Minh City and enjoy some free time for lunch. At 6:00 PM, you will be picked up again to transfer to the water puppet theater. Water-puppetry is an ancient puppet tradition and an important part of Vietnamese culture. In water-puppetry, puppets are played on the surface of a pool of water, while a Vietnamese orchestra of professional musicians, accompanied by an array of talented singers, provide background music for the performance. Enjoy watching the puppet show and learning more about Vietnamese rural life and folklore. Many of the programs, especially those involving the tales of day-to-day living, often have a humorous twist. After the show, head to Saigon River to board a boat for a cruise. Take the time to admire the lights of Saigon city from the river. Dinner will then be served on the cruise, which you can enjoy while listening to the selection of relaxing music. At 9:00 PM, you will be taken back to your hotel. On day 2, enjoy a tour of Mekong Delta and explore Ho Chi Minh City's street food by motorbike. Start the day at 8:00 AM where your tour guide will pick you up from your hotel before heading to My Tho city by bus. Enjoy the scenery and green rice paddies during the 1.5-hour bus ride. Along the way, visit Vinh Trang pagoda, the biggest pagoda in Mekong Delta. Continue to My Tho, where you will take a boat trip along the Mekong River, during the trip you can see fish cages and floating houses on the river. The boat takes you to a small canal, escaping the hustle and bustle of the town. Disembark at a coconut island in Ben Tre and enjoy a walk around the village. Stop at a local family home to enjoy tropical fruit, taste the honey tea and honey wine and listen to Vietnamese traditional music performed by the villagers. Check out the coconut candy shop and learn how to make candy, and see handicrafts made from the coconuts. Take your time snapping photos and enjoy the natural scenery before heading to the local restaurant. Lunch is set with special Vietnamese food and you can enjoy your lunch outside under the shade of the trees. After lunch, enjoy time to relax, walk around the village, or perhaps go for a short bike ride. Then, travel back to Saigon and arrive around 4:30 PM. In the evening, you will be collected from your hotel to start the local street food tour. Eat your way through Saigon, aka Ho Chi Minh City, the way locals do. Indulge in the dishes that have made Southern Vietnamese cuisine famous such as xa xui (Cantonese barbecued pork), chao muc (squid soup) and bo la lot (barbecued minced beef). Mingle with locals over Saigonese coffee, experience Saigon’s history and multi-culturalism through its food. Explore hidden alleys and go off the beaten track to see Saigon in a way few tourists do.

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Cu Chi Tunnels Luxury Speed Boat Half Day Tour

3. Cu Chi Tunnels Luxury Speed Boat Half Day Tour

Cruise along the Saigon River for 1 hour until you reach the Cu Chi tunnels. Discover the landscapes along the banks and the busy streets of Saigon as you speed through the water.  Spend time exploring the maze of tunnels with countless trap doors, storage facilities, weapons factories, field hospitals, command centers, kitchens, and more. Enjoy the most popular food during war days at Cu Chi tunnels – the cassava.  On the way back, choose to travel home via speedboat or bus and be dropped off at either the War Remnants Museum, Ben Thanh Market or your hotel in Districts 1, 3, or 4.

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From Ho Chi Minh: Mekong Delta Private Day Tour

4. From Ho Chi Minh: Mekong Delta Private Day Tour

After being picked up from your hotel at 8:00 AM by your private car and tour guide, drive for 2-hours out of Saigon to the port. Take a leisurely cruise on the Tien River to see 4 islets which are represented as four mythical animals in Southeast Asia: Dragon, Kirin, Tortoise, and Phoenix. Visit a honey bee farm and taste a delicious honey tea with lemon known for its health properties. If you are feeling adventurous, take the opportunity to stop at a local python farm. Continue to a coconut candy workshop to see how the delicious candies are made by hand. Next, listen to some Don Ca Tai Tu, a genre of traditional folk music. Relax on a rowing boat cruise as you journey through a mangrove palm canal. Continue the trip with a horse-drawn carriage ride through the village to experience the way locals traveled in the 19th-century. Finally, head to the Vinh Trang Pagoda in My Tho Town. This ancient building is considered to be the biggest and oldest pagoda in southern Vietnam and was influenced by Asian and Western architecture and culture. End the tour at around 5:00 PM where you will be returned to Saigon.

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Private Tour to Long Tan Former Australian Military Base

5. Private Tour to Long Tan Former Australian Military Base

Arrive in Long Tan, deeply etched into ANZAC folklore. Find out how, in the late afternoon of August 18, 1966, D Company, despite being heavily outnumbered, fought off a large Viet Cong assault of regimental strength during a grueling three-hour battle. The first stop on your half-day tour is the former site of Australia's Nui Dat Task Force Base (Nui Dat SAS Hill). The occupation of Nui Dat required the removal of all inhabitants from within a 4-kilometer radius of the base, therefore the people of Long Tan and Long Phuoc villages were forcibly resettled. Little remains of this military camp today except for the columns of the main gate. The former runway is now a street in the local village, and the old helipad is now a soccer field. Afterward, drive past the location of Horseshoe FSB to the Discourtesy Rubber Plantation. Access to Horseshoe FSB is not permitted due to the continued presence of landmines, but don't miss out on learning about this area. Visit the Long Tan Cross Memorial, a focal point for remembrance, before continuing on to the Long Phuoc Tunnels. Like other tunnels systems found in Vietnam, the Long Phuoc Tunnels included meeting areas, first aid stations, and fighting pits. At around 1:00 PM, start the journey back to Ho Chi Minh city.

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Vietnam: eSim with Unlimited Mobile Data

6. Vietnam: eSim with Unlimited Mobile Data

Stay connected with your friends and family on your trip to Vietnam with an eSIM data package. Get unlimited data for 3, 7, 15, or 30 days.  Avoid having to switch out physical SIM cards during your trip with a convenient eSIM card (check to make sure your device is compatible). Post pictures, look up attractions, and find transportation easily with a fast 4G connection. With unlimited data, you won't have to worry about topping up your account or losing connectivity. Take the hassle out of finding a phone plan for your trip to Vietnam by pre-booking an eSIM card for your device.

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From Ho Chi Minh City: Full-Day Long Tan Battlefield

7. From Ho Chi Minh City: Full-Day Long Tan Battlefield

On this full-day tour from Ho Chi Minh you will visit the only Australian military base from the Vietnam War. At 8:00 AM you depart for a 2-hour drive to Ba Ria Vung Tau to visit the former 1st Australian Task Force at Nui Dat. The battle at Long Tan is the most famous battle fought by the Australian army during the Vietnam War. Visit the fully functional air base in a prime location for military strategy. See the evidence of a failed operation with many toxic leftovers after more than 3 decades. In a somber moment, you will visit the Australian Memorial established at Long Tan for the 17 Australian infantrymen and 1 APC crewman killed in action during the Battle of Long Tan on 18 August 1966. At 12:00 PM you will enjoy a seafood lunch near the beach before heading back to Ho Chi Minh City.

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From Ho Chi Minh: Private Mekong Delta Tour and Bike Trip

8. From Ho Chi Minh: Private Mekong Delta Tour and Bike Trip

After being picked up at 8 AM from your hotel, drive for 2 hours out of Saigon to the port. Take a leisurely cruise on the Tien River to see 4 islets which are represented as four mythical animals in Southeast Asia: Dragon, Kirin, Tortoise, and Phoenix.  Visit a honey bee farm and taste delicious honey tea with lemon known for its health properties and walk through the orchard gardens to taste some seasonal tropical fruits. Stop at a coconut candy workshop to see how the delicious candies are made by hand and listen to some Don Ca Tai Tu, a genre of traditional folk music. Relax on the rowing boat going as you journey through a mangrove palm canal, and continue the trip with a horse-drawn carriage ride through the village to experience the way locals traveled in the 19th century.  Return to the mainland and drive directly to Ben Tre province, known as the coconut kingdom of Vietnam. Pick up the bicycles and ride through the countryside which is unreachable by car. Peddle through a local market, tropical fruit gardens, and mangrove palm scenery for about 7-10 km of cycling. Head to a coconut farm and see how coconuts are harvested. Enjoy a home-grown lunch just as the locals do. The tour will end at around 6 PM where you will be returned to Saigon.

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Ho Chi Minh: Ben Duoc Tunnels and Paintball Shooting

9. Ho Chi Minh: Ben Duoc Tunnels and Paintball Shooting

Following pickup from you hotel in District 1, you will head to the Cu Chi Province. You will travel past the Tan Binh District before arriving to Cu Chi, with a rest stop at a lacquer factory included along the way. The factory is a workplace of disabled people who were victims of Agent Orange Toxic used during the war. Whilst there you can see how they work and witness the beauty of the final products created by them. You will also have the opportunity to purchase their products to help them sustain themselves. Following the factory you will reach the Ben Duoc Tunnels. The tunnels' system is so complex that it stunned many military advisors from all over the world. It is a hidden gem which is today mainly used for educational purposes for Vietnamese students and foreigners alike. It has been recognized by the Ministry of Culture as a National Cultural and Historical Relic as of April 29, 1979. In addition to the historic monuments which serve the propaganda and education of the traditional revolution, when visiting the Cu Chi Tunnels you can visit a simulated area of Cu Chi where you can discover the architecture of the houses. This will provide you with an insight into the lives of the army and the people of Cu Chi between 1961-1972.

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Frequently asked questions about Southern Vietnam

What top attractions are a must-see in Southern Vietnam?

The must-see attractions in Southern Vietnam are:

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What people are saying about Southern Vietnam

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 52 reviews

Excellent in every respect. Ethan the guide was great and everything went According to plan from the pickup to the boat ride, tunnels and lunch. Ethan passed on masses of knowledge and was a great guide. If you only do one trip out of Saigon, do this one with Kim Travel.

Nim was the perfect guide, very knowledgeable and speaking very good English. took the speed boat on the way up and the bus on the return. speed boat took us around 1h20 and the bus around 1h30 to get back

I was picked up on time. A small pleasant group and a nice boat trip. Our excursion manager HI was very personable, competent and made sure that nobody was lost.

Great day out, awesome boat trip to the tunnels. Boat trip was about 1:20 and bus trip return was 2hrs

Excellent day with an grear young guide. Shooting the AK47 is a must!