See the center of the backpacker area. Take a brief ride through the area and you’ll notice the contrast of old and new, Vietnamese and western. Pham Ngu Lao is the neighbourhood that never sleeps.
Visit Tao Dan park, a very popular morning stop for locals. Find the bird collector’s corner where every morning elderly men gather to showcase their birds housed in a expensive, bamboo cages. Also witness the serene displays of people doing Tai Chi. At this point we will try authentic Vietnamese coffee and have a tour briefing.
Moving on to District 3, visit The weapons storage cellar at 287/70 Nguyễn Đình Chiểu Street, where you find a historical relic on Saigon commandos’ feat of battle. Nearly three tons of weapons were kept in the cellar by Saigon Commandos to attack the Presidential Palace during the Tet Offensive in 1968. It is one among many valuable exhibits that tell of the brilliant feats of the Vietnamese people and army in their fight for national reunification that became true on April 30, 1975.
Next is the sweet fragrance of the local flower market in Ho Chi Minh City - Ho Thi Ky Flower market. Here you can get a glimpse of how people live in the intricate neighborhoods and small alleys.
District 5, or Cho Lon, is the Chinatown of Saigon where the majority of goods trading occurs in Saigon. Directly across the street is the Ông Bổn pagoda, a fine example of an old fashioned temple. After that, cross the Chinese herbal medicine street of Hải Thượng Lãng Ông. You’ll smell it before you even get there. The scent of ginseng lingers everywhere, among the many other odours I wouldn’t even dare to imagine.
The next stop is a ride to one of the best kept secrets in Saigon, a special Buddhist Pagoda with name Van Phat Pagoda. The surprise should not be spoiled, so you’ll just have to come see what makes it so spectacular.
Trip ends with a ride along the modern canal road reflecting the contrast of District 1 and District 4. At the end of the ride, a Vietnamese restaurant will serve some delicious food to finish off your Saigon experience.
Please note: For visiting the Tao Dan park, just for the morning trip.