First thing this morning head to the famous Ho Chi Minh Complex. This massive compound is made up of the iconic Ba Dinh Square, the colonial-style Presidential Palace, and Uncle Ho’s House on Stilts, a simple wooden house surrounded by fruits trees and a fishpond, where the former leader chose to live. The centerpiece of this historic park however is the marble and granite Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, which attracts throngs of visitors every year who come to view the embalmed body of the former Vietminh leader. Behind the mausoleum is the Ho Chi Min Museum, made up of exhibitions documenting the life of Uncle Ho and the struggle of the Vietnamese people to secure their freedom.
Next visit the ancient One-Pillar Pagoda, a unique Buddhist temple that rises out of a lotus pond in a park behind the Ho Chi Min Complex. Dating back to the beginning of the 11th century, this iconic temple was constructed under the Ly Dynasty and today is one of the most popular attractions in the capital. Carry on to the Temple of Literature, an ancient complex made up of five courtyards with pavilions, halls and statues. This fascinating site is a wonderful example of traditional Vietnamese architecture, and was home to the country’s first national university.
Later it’s time for a leisurely tour of the city’s Old Quarter on board a traditional cyclo – a bicycle rickshaw combo. These 36 streets are lined with small artisan workshops, silk and jewelry traders, and quaint specialty restaurants. After your cyclo tour enjoy some free time to explore the shops and try some local cuisine before heading back to your hotel.