Touring the city whilst riding pillion on a classic Vespa will give you a perspective of Saigon unlike anything you’ll see from a tour bus. You will visit much more of the city than you could possibly see on your own. The drivers/guides we use are longtime residents of Saigon and know exactly how to blend the ‘must-see’ sights whilst also managing to get you off the standard tourist trail. This half-day tour takes a unique look at familiar and not-so-familiar landmarks in modern-day Saigon.
On morning tours, get up early to head to Tao Dan Park to catch the ‘bird lovers club’ and enjoy a local coffee while your guide explains about the history and practice of keeping birds in Saigon. The next stop is the monument of Thich Quang Duc, a Vietnamese Mahayana Buddhist monk who burned himself to death on June 11, 1963 to protest against the persecution of Buddhists by South Vietnam’s Ngo Dinh Diem administration.
Then take a quick stop at the colourful Ho Thi Ky flower market, before riding to a funeral home to learn about Vietnamese funeral ceremonies & customs. Roll on through Cholon (China town) to Nhi Phu temple, where the roof is covered with tubular tiles lined with bas-relief mosaics made from broken ceramics, depicting the eight immortals of Taoism including apricot trees, orchids, bamboo and of course dragons and phoenix.
Continue with a short walk through the alley full of tailor’s supplies. Leaving China town, you drive through the tunnel to District Two, where you see downtown Saigon from a different perspective. Visit a local market before heading back to District One for a twin set of neighbouring landmarks: the Post Office followed by Cathedral of Notre Dame. Moving then to the remarkable Reunification Palace a stop at the historic Opera House allows for an opportunity to talk to your guide about the modern history of the city.
The final stop is an outside view of the Saigon City People’s Committee (formerly Hôtel de Ville) which is one of the most photographed buildings in Vietnam – notable for its gardens, ornate facade and elegant interior lit with crystal chandeliers.
Guests ride pillion behind experienced drivers and helmets are provided. The tour usually takes around 4 hours and can be organised either in the morning or afternoon.