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Purple DragonSaigon Side Trips

Do something fun with your extra time in Ho Chi Minh City

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city for one of these countryside adventures. These exclusive day trips from Saigon may be added onto either our Simply Saigon or Saigon Sizzle packages.


Cu Chi Tunnels & Cau Dai Cathedral

A morning drive takes you almost all the way to the Cambodian border, to the rustic hamlet of Tay Ninh and its bizarrely decorated Holy See of the Cau Dai religion. Witness the mid-day prayer service of colorfully-robed celebrants, which novelist Graham Greene likened to a scene from Disney's Fantasia. Winston Churchill is one of their saints! Lunch is included, then it's on to the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, part of the Vietcong's secretive subterranean system that once stretched from Cambodia to the outskirts of Saigon. Here, you will see the remnants of what was once an underground city that was instrumental in the fall of Saigon. If you are easily offended by decades-old anti-American propaganda, you can skip Cu Chi and head back to Saigon early for a swim.

A Day at Vung Tau Beach

Follow the Saigon River to the beach town of  Vung Tau, a popular place to cool off for youthful Saigonites escaping the city heat. You will have plenty of time to splash in the surf, enjoy the local seafood (a pile of snapping-fresh stir-fried crabs and cold beer costs about two dollars). Check out the city's historical and photogenic spots. This trip is available on weekends only during dry season.

Overnight Options

If you can spend two nights or more outside of Saigon, we suggest Dalat, Vietnam's "honeymoon capital" in the cool Central Highlands, or Phan Thiet/Mui Ne Beach, where the sun shines 363 days a year. These two great destinations can be combined as one four-night (or longer) side trip from Saigon.

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Side trips include: personal guide, personal guide, private car and drive. Does not include, meals or accommodation not specifically mentioned as being included, beverages, gratuities, features not specifically mentioned in the itinerary, items of a purely personal nature.