The beautiful land of Southern Vietnam has long been a haunted destination for travelers from different parts of the world. The South has many things to offer, from the dynamic metropolis to the rustic countryside. Among several appealing tourist attractions, Ho Chi Minh City (better known as Saigon) and Ca Mau are the two must-stop places for Southern Vietnam group tours. While Saigon presents the reconciliation between the traditional and modern vibes, Ca Mau enables travelers to get off the beaten track to enjoy the tranquility of the countryside. Let’s see what to do during your 2-day trip to the South.
Day 1 – A historical and cultural tour to Saigon
After arriving in Saigon in the morning, it’s time to take a tour to the famous historical relics around this city. The city of Saigon played a significant part in the Vietnam War, where occurred several battles between Viet Cong and American troops. On 30th April 1975, Viet Cong army took over the headquarter of South Vietnam government which is now the Independence Palace and marked the reunification of the whole country. The historical relics have been well preserved and become must-stop places for Saigon tours.
The Independence Palace
In the city center, the famous historical and cultural destinations are located quite close to others. Therefore, you can easily navigate your routes, from the Independence Palace, the Central Post Office, The Notre Dame Cathedral, to Ho Chi Minh Museum and Ben Thanh Market. Additional to visiting the relics, trying the specialties such as “bun bo Nam Bo”, “hu tieu”, “banh canh”, “banh mi Saigon” to the famous snacks like “banh trang tron” and “bo bia” is one of the top things to do in southern Vietnam. You can easily find the food stalls and eateries that sell these stuff, yet it is better to reach the traditional market such as Ben Thanh Market, Ho Thi Ky Market, or Cholon to get the authentic taste. Especially, a visit to Cholon in District 5 will also offer a deeper approach to the life of the Chinese-Vietnamese people living in the Chinatown.
Inside Cu Chi Tunnels
In the afternoon, head your way to Cu Chi Tunnels – the worldwide famous historical relics that history buffs should never miss when they travel to Vietnam. Cu Chi Tunnels is said to be the greatest works of the Vietnamese army and citizens as the home and the hiding place during the Vietnam War. The Vietnamese started to dig this tunnel networks in 1954, while they were fighting against the French colonizers. Later on, during the war against the American troops and the democratic government in the South, the tunnels were expanded, stretching more than 250 kilometers from Saigon outskirts to the Cambodian border. Visiting the tunnels, you will see how the Vietnamese people lived and fought in the past.
The modern side of Saigon
Coming back to the city center in the evening, you can stroll around the streets to go shopping and enjoy the dynamic urban vibes.
Day 2 – A tour to the countryside of Ca Mau
Cape Ca Mau
You can take a night bus from Saigon which takes around 6 hours to reach Ca Mau, where locates the Cape of Ca Mau – the South Pole of Vietnam. Cape Ca Mau is the location of Vietnam GPS coordinates 0001 (Km 0 milestone). The famous landmark in this site depicts a windy ship that is stretching out to the sea. A national flag is hung on the top of the ship. Due to the great accretion, the land in Cape Ca Mau expands tens of meters towards the sea. This is the only place where people can watch both the sunrise and the sunset. That’s why Ca Mau is a must-see for Southern Vietnam group tours.
Ca Mau is also home to the evergreen mangrove forest – a typical feature of Southwestern delta. Remain intact from human activities, the mangrove forest provides the natural habitat to various species of fish and birds. Especially, U Minh Forest in Ca Mau Province, which is adjacent to the Gulf of Thailand, is renowned as a rare and abundant forest, providing rooms for over 250 species of plants and birds.
Catching fish on the river
Visiting Ca Mau, not only will travelers get the chance to go aboard the wooden boat to come across the small canals in the forest to see the jaw-dropping landscapes, you can also approach the hamlets of the locals to observe their daily life. You will be able to enjoy the fresh air of the countryside while watching the beautiful scenery, listen to the stories of the farmers, and sample the rustic dishes with them. The peace and quietness of the countryside will ease your mind and release all your stress and fatigue.
If you are wondering where to go in Southern Vietnam, consider the two destinations above. The picturesque beauty of the southern land will never let you down.