Recommended activities in South Vietnam
South Vietnam has a lot to offer. The obvious starting point here is Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). But apart of Ho Chi Minh City, what else is there to see?
The Mekong Delta
The Mekong Delta is very different from the rest of Vietnam. This is an area of Vietnam excellent for cruising by boat or on bicycle. The Mekong cuts the land in several pieces.
Traveling in the Mekong on bicycle is a magnificent way to explore this unique part of the country where everyone to some extend is connected to the river. Cycling back lanes to Cai Be - Vinh Long and further to Tra Vinh - Can Tho and back to Ho Chi Minh City is an excellent loop to do. This tour is really for those who would want to sort out the countryside of rural Mekong Delta Vietnam.
If you are more interested in a cruise on the Mekong you can explore the delta by boat. The Mekong Cruise of 2 days/1 night starts in Ho Chi Minh City and goes directly to Cai Be. There you will board a boat for an overnight cruise. During the trip you will visit markets and view scenes and daily life of the villagers living at the Mekong river.
However, if you really want to go deep in the delta, try this: Ho Chi Minh City - Cai Be - Can Tho - Chau Doc. You can do this tour in 4 days/3 nights and you will virtually everything that is worth to explore in the Delta. Highly recommended.
Nha Trang and Dalat
North of Ho Chi Minh City there lies the little hill village Dalat. It's worth to explore it because of it's different culture, mild climate and you can play golf here.
Another option is to get out trekking in the green cool hills. This trekking of 8 hours is a great option to see the Tigers Cave Waterfall, Lengtro Village and the Phoenix Waterfall. You will hike back to Dalat via the Linh Phuoc Pagoda and the Dalat Railway Station.
Total trekking distance is 15 km, on hilly dirt paths.
Nha Trang is the next logical stop after Dalat. It's according to many local and foreigners alike the main beach attraction in south Vietnam.
Cao Dai, Cu Chi
A great day trip from Ho Chi Minh City is a visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels combined with the Cao Dai Temple, a unique religion based on several different other religions and philosophies.
Many attacks during the Vietnam war in south Vietnam were for quite some time a mystery to the Americans. They tried to set traps for the Vietcong but many failed by counter traps.
The Vietcong used a 40 km underground network of tunnels of which a small part is accessible for the public to learn about the Vietcong and their struggle against the aggressor: the USA.
I think the Cu Chi Tunnels are an essential visit to Vietnam to be able to understand the recent past of the country.
A visit to the Cao Dai Temple shows a whole different part of the rich Vietnamese culture. Both Cu Chi and Cao Dai can be done as a day trip from Ho Chi Minh city.
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More tours in Vietnam
Cu Chi Tunnels and Cao Dai Temple
A terrific day trip from Ho Chi Minh. You will learn two key elements of modern day Saigon: 1. a glimpse of the recent history and 2 a glimpse of a very Vietnamese religion. This is a day not to be missed:
The Mekong Delta
The Mekong Delta is usually skipped or only quickly done by travelers. There is still much to experience and certainly worth a visit.
South of Nha Trang in the southern central hills lies the little town Dalat, famous for it's scenery and mild climate. A not to missed area in Vietnam.