Ho Chi Minh City is the biggest city in Vietnam which divided in to several districts. While in Vietnam, I stayed in Pham Ngu Lao Street: the famous backpacker area in HCMC that located in District 1. Just like usual backpacker area, Pham Ngu Lao Street not only offering numbers and various kinds of hostels, but also many tourism agents with competitive rates in each other.
The most well-known tourism agent is Sinh Tourist who has many branches in the entire Vietnam. Well, they lil’ more expensive compared to another tourism agent, but I heard that they could give better service to the tourist, such as on time schedule and meals service. If you want to use this agent, you have to book earlier because many tourist who interest to use this agent.
Anyway, I came late to Sinh Tourist and all tour packages for that day were fully booked. Then, I used another travel agent and took one day tour to the must-things to see in Ho Chi Minh City: Cao Dai Temple and the famous war remnant during Vietnam War against Unite States, Cu Chi Tunnel. From the tour guide, I knew how to pronounce those two places’ name correctly. “C” is read as “K” just like in “cook” and “ch” is read just like in “cheerful”, so I guess now you know how to pronounce both places correctly.
Cao Dai Temple
First destination was Cao Dai Temple that takes 2 hours from HCMC. Cao Dai Temple is a worship place for Caodaism—beliefs that trust and combine all teachings from all religion, such as Taoism, Cofusianism, Christiatn, Budhism, and Islam. Based on the language, Cao Dai itself means the highest God’s abode. It often mentioned as the harmonic symbol between one to another religion. So don’t get confuse if you found many “God figures” put up side by side on this temple. This belief attracts many tourists to visit Cao Dai Temple, beside its unique and colorful temple’s architecture.
Tourist can enter the temple without paying any ticket or retribution fee. Besides that, there is no prohibition in taking photos, except capturing the Caodaism people itself.
Cu Chi Tunnel
It has to be notice that fares on tourism package to Cu Chi Tunnel don’t include the entry ticket. Normally, the ticket price is VND 75 000, but because that was still on Lunar New Year holiday, so I had to pay VND 80 000.
Cu Chi Tunnel is 200 km length underground tunnel in ants-nest-like construction. Besides it used for war and hide, that tunnel was also used to stay for some people during Vietnam War. It was not only full of trapped to US soldiers, but this tunnel was also equipped with bedroom, kitchen, and meeting room. Air circulation system was also smartly engineered inside this tunnel. It can be told that Cu Chi Tunnel is the revolutionary symbol of Viet Cong heroism during Vietnam War against United States, so it’s a pride for Vietnamese people.
inside the tunnel
Before started the adventure, I watched the short history movie about Cu Chi Tunnel first. After that, tourists was introduced to kinds of trapped and weapons. And finally, moment that I’ve waited for so long was come: feel the sensation inside dark, tiny, and curvy tunnel. Size of the underground tunnel was made based on Vietnamese’ body size who small just like usual Asian people, so the US soldier couldn’t go inside.
For those who had claustrophobia is not recommended to enter the tunnel. Going along the 100 meters tunnel could cause different and unique adrenaline. It feels so tired, hot, fear, but you must be so curious to go until finish. Well, don’t ever leave HCMC before visited Cu Chi Tunnel! J
That one-day tour was started from 9 am, and I got back to HCMC at 7 pm. Actually, you can reach every tourism objects by using public transportation without taking tourism package, but usually that famous tourism objects in HCMC were far enough from one to another. For timesaving, you better take tourism package.