Category: Vietnam Cities

Hanoi

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Vietnam’s capital city, Hanoi is a city of numerous captivating faces. The traditional commercial bustle, street markets, chaotic traffic and fascinating shophouse architecture of the Old Quarter contrast dramatically with the quiet lakes, historic temples, shady city parks and regal architecture of the French colonial districts.

Hanoi’s 1,000 year history has lent the city this fascinating blend of influences and styles – it’s one of TUI’s favourite cities! Join us to explore the shady gardens of the Temple of Literature, Hanoi’s ancient university, with its colourful Confucian temple. Visit the vast Ba Dinh Square, Hanoi’s political centre, and see Ho Chi Minh lying in state in his imposing Mausoleum. Also visit his simple house on stilts, and the historical displays of the Hio Chi Minh Museum. Enter the gloomy confines of the infamous Hanoi Hilton, the city prison built by the French and later used by the North Vietnamese to house American fighter pilots shot down over the north.

This historical city is perfect to explore at leisure and on foot. Walk the banks of picturesque Hoan Kiem Lake, the city’s heart, where hundreds of Hanoians gather each dawn for exercises and many more later in the day for strolling, reading, playing cards and visiting nearby cafes and ice cream parlours. Soak up the Old Quarter buzz, then escape to the relative tranquillity of the wide avenues and shady sidewalks of the colonial quarters.

Hanoi’s more European flavour is evident in the city’s many refined eateries, from fine Vietnamese cuisine in restored, classic French villas to the many cafes, both Western and Vietnamese styles, that line streets throughout the city. Eating is now one of the highlights of a Hanoi stay, with an ever increasing array of choices from the local street stalls specialising in Hanoi delicacies such as bun cha (grilled pork noodles) and pho (noodle soup) to European style cafes and restaurants serving fine international cuisine in stylish surrounds.

Shopping is also a highlight for many a TUI visitor to Hanoi – the combined streets of Hang Gai and Hang Bong offer fine art galleries, tribal handicrafts, intricate embroidery, lacquerware, quality tailored silks, modern international fashions and much more. A perfect way to end or begin any Vietnam journey.

Cu Chi Tunnels

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Just 70 kilometres northwest of Saigon lies one of the most fascinating historical sights of Vietnam’s recent conflicts. The beginnings of the Cu Chi tunnels date back to Vietnam’s struggle for independence from the French, but it was not until the American War that the tunnel network was widely expanded to cover a total distance of some 250 kilometres.

A small part of this network has been restored and opened to visitors to cast a fascinating light on the lives of the Cu Chi guerrillas and their hideouts. Join TUI for a visit to Cu Chi where we’ll take you underground to experience a glimmer of the conditions in which these people lived and fought. If climbing through the tunnels holds no appeal, try sipping green tea and munching on some cassava – a guerrilla staple – in an underground. Many artefacts and recreations are also on display to give visitors an idea of the conditions, suffering and determination of the local people in their conflicts.

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

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One of Asia’s most vibrant and welcoming cities, Saigon (as it is still popularly known) is a cultural melting pot with something to offer every traveller. Join TUI to discover the many faces of this city – our home in South East Asia.

District 1 is the best place to start with its many historic French-built landmarks – the Opera House, Notre Dame Cathedral, and Hotel de Ville to name but a few. We visit the remarkable Cu Chi Tunnels where the Viet Cong hid during the Vietnam-American War, the former Presidential Palace, and the sobering War Remnants Museum. We’ll introduce you to the enormous variety of exotic local produce at the sprawling Binh Tay Market in Cholon, the city’s bustling Chinatown, and nearby the colourful Thien Hau Pagoda. Visiting Saigon while it passes through a remarkable and rapid phase of transformation will fascinate and delight. Above all, experiencing the heartfelt warmth and humour for which the Saigonese are renowned will stay with you long after you’ve departed for home.

In recent years Ho Chi Minh City has transformed into a city offering visitors a fantastic abundance of shopping, dining and nightlife. Explore the many new shops and boutiques of a rejuvenated Dong Khoi Street – the famous Rue Catinat of the French elite in the colonial era – where fine silks and tailored clothes, hilltribe crafts, Vietnamese antiques, ceramics and embroideries vie for the attention of visitors. Or take a browse through nearby streets and the central Ben Thanh Markets for imitation designer labels and modern fashions, jewellery, CDs, luggage, and an array of local products – all amazingly cheap. Finish the day with a Vietnamese feast at one of our favourite restaurants, or perhaps try one of the city’s delectable French or Western eateries. There’s a gastronomic treat awaiting every taste bud and every budget. And if you’re in the mood for a boogie, party on at a city bar or nightclub – Metropolis, Monaco, or the infamous Apocalypse Now are a must.