River cruising along the Mekong will continue to take off, as more river cruise lines launch new ships. Companies like CroisiEurope, Avalon Waterways, Aqua Expeditions, APT, Haimark Travel and Scenic now have ships in the area. From Ho Chi Minh City, travellers can visit the Cu Chi Tunnels, the underground network used by the Viet Cong during the war. Guides offer background information before demonstrating how they hid from the American army. At the end of the tour there is a gun range, where travellers can trial weapons that were used during the war. Other popular Ho Chi Minh City attractions include the Notre Dame Cathedral, which showcases the European influences in Vietnam, and the National Museum of Vietnamese History featuring prehistoric artifacts and Han tombs. Nha Trang is a popular tourist destination famous for its beach. However, for those looking for something a little more cultural there’s the Stone Church, which stands 12 metres high and is influenced by Western architecture. Cruisers can also explore the Cho Dam Market for local foods and outfits.
PLACES TO STAY
Ho Chi Minh City has a number of four and four-and-a-half star hotels including big names such as the Pullman Saigon Centre, Sofitel Saigon Plaza and InterContinental Asiana Saigon. To spend a night like royalty, there is the castle-like Caravelle Saigon (formerly the Caravelle Hotel), a four-and-a-half star property with free high-speed internet, a pool, restaurant, fitness centre, hot tub and its own casino area.