Vietnam Travel – Popular “Escapes” From Saigon

by Dwight Z.

Short Vietnam Tours Out Of Saigon

Cu Chi TunnelsPhotos –  This tour is tirelessly promoted by tour companies about Pham Ngu Lao, and be undertaken as a half-day excursion, or as a full-day along with a stop at Tay Ninh to visit the Holy See of the Cao Dai religion. Tours, and these include admission, might cost you 70,000 – 110,000VND, and are offered any day of the week. Cu Chi tunnels are approximately an hour & a half trip from Saigon center. You’ll find it well worth making the trip to discover these remarkable complexes so expertly dug by hand and put to use as command centers, hospitals and housing  during 1960’s conflict for survival. You can explore the portions of the tunnel complex rebuilt to accommodate tourists of all sizes.  There’s even a weapons range for travelers who need some target practice.

Can Gio Biosphere ReservePhotos – Is a virgin mangrove jungle 50 km south of Saigon, access to the park is close to Ca Cam Bridge.  The reserve borders on the South China Sea and has been cited as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO.

Dalat — Photos -Dalat is about 300 kilometers or 190 miles north of Saigon.  It located on the southern end of the Central Highlands.  It cool temperatures are a nice change from the lower elevations.  It is famous for its French Colonial style architecture.  There are a number French Cafe inspired restaurants and bakeries.  Be sure to catch the Crazy House and the Truc Lam Zen Buddhist Temple on Tuyen Lam Lake.

Mekong Delta Photos – Many tours are offered having an virtually limitless combination of itineraries. Pick from quick overnight outings, easygoing excursions taking several days, or even head for Phnom Phenh, Cambodia by boat and/or bus, which can have you actually over-nighting in an inexpensive family owned hotel in Chau Doc prior to crossing over the border into Cambodia. (cross-border package prices may include visa support, which should cost 360,000 – 530,000VND). If undertaking a two or three day Mekong Tour (well worth your time and money), expect to transfer from bus to bus, (or tour company to tour company) on your trip.  Be sure to inquire about road conditions – the has been a lot of road and bridge construction that can cause frustrating delays.

Tay NinhPhotos – 90 kilometers or 55 miles northwest of Saigon is the home of the Cao Dai Holy See  (5 km west of the center of town).  The temple is popular with travelers and offers many photographic opportunities.  Be sure to read signs regarding Cao Dai religious practices.area on the South China Sea

Mui Ne BeachPhotos– popular beach resort area on the South China Sea is about 4-6 hours away by “Open Tour” bus, the train takes about 5 hours but doesn’t take you to the beach – about 5 kilometers away by taxi.  The beach is about 10 kilometers long and the area offers many restaurants and hotels for those wanting to get away from HCMC for a few days.  Travelers enjoy swimming, wind surfing and relaxing at the local spa.

Vung Tau — Photos – Is located on a peninsula about 3 hours away from Saigon by bus – depending on traffic, or less by hydrofoil water taxi down the Saigon River.  The boat trip provides a great view of the new Thu Thiem Bridge.  Vung Tau has many hotels to chose from and a vast array of fresh sea food restaurants, where you can relax and enjoy a great meal.  Be sure to view the statue – Christ of Vung Tau – on one of Vung Tau’s mountain tops.

If these trips don’t appeal to you, be sure to check with your hotel staff or one of the tour agencies located through out the city.  They’ll find a “Get Away” for you!

Be sure to check Private Vietnam Tour Guide for Private Vietnam Land Tours and other guide/translator services

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