To understand Vietnam’s present, you must look to the past, and that includes the tragic period of the Vietnam War, or the American War as it was called in Vietnam. The region surrounding Ho Chi Minh City sat at the heart of the conflict, and visitors to the southern city can still see the legacy of the war in many of its attractions.
One of Ho Chi Minh’s most popular Vietnam War tours is to the Cu Chi Tunnels -- a 120-mile network of underground passages built by the Viet Cong as a means of protection from air raids and for infiltration to the entire region surrounding the capital of South Vietnam (then called Saigon).
Located 20 miles (30 kilometers) from central Ho Chi Minh City, the tunnels once held hospitals, living quarters, schools and meeting halls, along with booby traps to prevent unwanted intruders from getting in. On a typical tour of the Cu Chi Tunnels from Ho Chi Minh City, visitors will learn about the hardships suffered by Vietnamese on both sides of the conflict while exploring the claustrophobic passageways.
Ho Chi Minh City tours are another popular way to learn about the Vietnam War, as many of the city’s top attractions played a role in the conflict. One of the city’s most recognizable buildings, the Reunification Palace, served as the site of the liberation of Saigon in 1975, bringing an end to the bloody conflict.
The War Remnants Museum, built in 1975 just after liberation, tells the story of the war through artifacts and explicit photos from the perspective of the Vietnamese, and the result is a sobering experience that every visitor to the country should have. On a Ho Chi Minh City Full-Day Tour, you’ll get to visit both the Reunification Palace and the War Remnants Museum, as well as several other historic buildings.