Luxury Saigon Tours

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Luxury Saigon tours take you through the heart and soul of today's Vietnam. Despite the modern hustle and bustle, however, this largest of Vietnam's cities is as ancient as it is enervating. Saigon was renamed Ho Chi Ming City in honor of the influential Communist leader born in 1890 as Nguyen Sinh Cung, a member of Vietnam's last royal family. The city's history and sights are, as you will see during luxury Saigon tours, a peculiar mix of the old and the new. Among the city's notable attractions are the Binh Soup Shop, Giac Lam Pagoda, and the Cu Chi Tunnels.

Luxury Saigon Tours: Myth and Fact

During the French colonial period, Ho Chi Minh City--whose streets you will walk during luxury Saigon tours--was a major port with villas and tree-lined boulevards. Vietnam's history before then is part legend and part fact. The legend portion centers on Long Quan, who made peace with the Chinese by marrying Au Co, an immortal, who bore him 100 sons. Au Co and Long Quan's eldest son remained in the coastal lowlands and founded the Hung dynasty.

Eighteen generations of Hung kings are said to have ruled until the last was overthrown in 258 BC. The city of Hue (World Heritage List 1993), home to the last of Vietnam emperors, first appears in records about this time as the new kingdom of Nam Viet's capital. Fact arrives in earnest about 939 AD, with Ngo Quyen, the Vietnamese commander who defeated the Chinese a second time, re-establishing independence for Vietnam.

About 200 years later, Ly Thai To founded the Ly dynasty and made Hanoi, in the heart of the Red River delta, the capital. The Ly dynasty gave way to the Tran, which reigned from about 1225 to 1440. Tran Hung Do, who commanded the Vietnamese forces during these wars, is still venerated as a national hero.

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