An overseas trip is a great opportunity to take a break from the pressures and routines of everyday life; to relax and experience a new, and depending on your destination, quite different, culture. Long haul destinations such as Vietnam are increasingly popular, with many American tourists choosing to visit and explore the one-time capital, Ho Chi Minh City.
Traveling in a country where everything from the language and transport system to the money and food is completely unknown can be stressful, which is why so many visitors to Vietnam choose to book organized bus tours rather than trying to organize everything on their own. This is a good way to save time and energy, and guarantees you get to see the major attractions, but unless you choose wisely it would be very easy to never have the chance to experience something of the real Vietnam.
Of course, the famous landmarks and tourist attractions are worth a visit, but if you want to see the hidden gems too, or get a glimpse of authentic Vietnamese culture through its street life, food, history, nightlife and scenery you need to book a private Ho Chi Minh City tour, where insiders with local knowledge can show you the real Vietnam.
Tempt Your Taste Buds
Ho Chi Minh is a food lovers delight, although much of the local cuisine may well be unfamiliar. One way to eat your fill from a wide range of delicious and authentic dishes is to take a daytime or the evening motorbike food tour, where your guide can explain more about each item, and make sure you eat well, yet safely.
Avoid the Crowds
As worthwhile as the main attractions are, you can guarantee sharing the visit with plenty of other tourists, which makes it even nicer when you get to visit equally interesting areas which are way off the traditional visitor’s route. This kind of tour relies on local Vietnamese knowledge rather than a guide book.
Experience Rural Life
Ho Chi Minh City is constantly buzzing with people, traffic and noise, yet not too far away is the peaceful countryside and the iconic Mekong Delta. Make sure to book a hands-on private tour that gives you the chance to sail down the river, do some Vietnamese cooking and visit a few villages where Vietnamese artisans produce quality goods which make great souvenirs.
The Must-See Tunnels
The infamous Cu Chi tunnels are on most visitors’ itinerary, but for a better experience choose a tour which explores the less popular Ben Duoc tunnels. They are a little further away from Ho Chi Minh but consequently are much less crowded.
How you choose to organize your vacation comes down to your personal preferences, so while hard core travelers may feel able to strike out on their own, many tourists find organized events are more convenient and manageable. Private tours offer something between the two, combining a structured experience along with access to parts of the culture which usually remain off limits to visitors.