The Pearl of the Far East
Saigon is located in the south eastern region of Vietnam and was renamed Ho Chi Minh City in celebration of the reunification of north and south following the end of the Vietnam War. Named after the communist revolutionary leader acknowledged for uniting the country.
The flights from Auckland to Saigon take over 13 hours and 40 minutes, depending on the airline and transit points chosen. Contact your local Global Travel Network Agent to find the best possible airfares and suggestions to design your ideal holiday.
Saigon was invaded by the French in 1859 and they named the capital Cochinchina not long after, the remnants of the French occupation is evident in the city’s French Colonial architecture. It was later the capital of the Republic of Vietnam from 1956 – 1975, commonly known as South Vietnam, it was then overthrown by North Vietnamese forces.
Saigon is famous for its pork rolls and pho (traditional Vietnamese noodle soup) found at shops and stalls. Pho is healthy due to its high levels of protein and its nutritious ingredients. Vietnamese food is delicious and has 2 universal elements, rice and fish sauce. Regular rice is common, as well as rice noodles, rice paper wrappers, rice porridge, fried rice, sticky rice, puffed rice snacks and rice wine. Well known historic landmarks include, the Ben Thanh Market, Ho Chi Minh City Hall, Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon, Independence Palace and the Municipal Theatre. Saigon has more motorbikes than any other city in the world, with locals carrying multiple passengers and sometimes unusual and strange cargo on their motorbikes.
The War Remnants Museum provides evidence of the brutality of the Vietnam War, attracting over half a million visitors each year. Former military vehicles such as Bell UH-1 Iroquois, nicknamed “Huey” which is a utility military helicopter that was first used in combat operations during the Vietnam war where about 7,000 were deployed, attack bombers and a M48 Patton tank rest in the front yard. Inside there is a disturbing range of text and photographic exhibits that convey the horror that occurred in the recent past.