Highlights: See Saigon’s highlights on this revealing half-day city tour. Learn about Vietnam’s cultural past from older Saigonese residents and follow up by exploring some colonial buildings and hidden corners that exemplify the local culture and the city’s colorful heritage.
This tour begins at 08:30 or 13:00 and starts with a visit to the iconic Saigon Central Post Office built between 1886 and 1891. Based on the design of French architect Foulhoux, it has a unique vaulted ceiling with wrought-iron beams and columns reminiscent of industrial architecture,
which is now considered a symbol of Saigon and one of its most famous landmarks. Stop for a chat with Mr Duong (if he is available), who enjoys local notoriety for his professional love letter-writing skills.
Walk along Dong Khoi street, formerly rue Catinat, and pay a visit to Gia Long Palace – Ho Chi Minh City Museum to admire its beautiful architecture and learn about the history of the city through the ages. Continue to Le Loi Street to meet a local artisan who specialises in traditional engravings.
Next, stroll through the old central market before arriving at the city’s oldest colonial-era apartment, built in 1886, and see what the young creative Vietnamese are up to in their funky boutiques and coffee shops. Sit down at one of the stylish cafés and chat with a local resident who moved here in 1975.
· Optional (combined with half-day program): Enjoy a unique dining experience at NOIR; lunch in the dark before returning to the ship
Noir - Dining in the Dark: Of the five senses, sight dominates. Take away sight, and our other senses emerge to interpret the world from another perspective. Smell becomes more subtle. Taste becomes more acute. Hearing becomes more sensitive. Touch becomes more delicate. We invite you to experience a culinary journey through taste, smell, touch and sound. This is not simply dining, but rather a uniquely mind-altering experience where smell, taste, touch and hearing unite to bring you a completely new journey of the senses.