Authentic Saigon Through Locals’ Eyes

HCM 132-501
  • Explore local life in Xom Chieu market and China town
  • Delicious Pho lunch!
  • Travel through China town by rickshaw
  • See famed highlights such as the Reunification Palace, the Central Post Office, and Saigon Sky Deck
Program Overview
Country: Việt Nam
Depart: 11/18/2017 0800
Return: 11/18/2017 1715
Duration: Full-Day
Difficulty: Easy
Capacity: Min 15 / Max 70
Category: Global Studies Credit Eligible, INTERCONNECT Programs, Faculty-Led Programs

INTERCONNECT Opportunity Faculty-Led Program Global Studies Credit Eligible

Program Fee
$78 (early booking: $74)

Field Class Conflicts
  • LIFE 320 Ecology
  • PHIL 479 Topics in Comparative Religion
  • HIST 465 Pacific Wars – Korea & Vietnam
  • NRRT 270 Principles of Natural Resource Tourism
  • BUS 260 Social, Ethical, Regulatory Issues in Business (Sect 2)

This Faculty-Led Field Program will feature Dr. Sarah Jane Sloane.  Dr. Sloane is a Professor of English and the Director of the Creative Nonfiction Program at Colorado State University and was awarded a Distinguished Teaching Award at the University of Massachusetts and was nominated for an Alumni Teaching Award at CSU.

Spend the day exploring a different side of Ho Chi Minh City!

Leaving downtown Saigon behind, travel to District 4 – a superb place to observe Saigonese citizens going about their daily life. Xom Chieu market and its surroundings are the central hub of activity in this district; stroll around the marketplace and through the nearby streets and alleyways. This is the real Saigon, where few tourists care to venture; expect to receive a few curious stares and a bit of friendly banter from the locals along the way! Walking through the chaotic thoroughfares of District 4, arrive at Xom Chieu Church, an impressive Spanish-style church with an interesting cemetery.

Continue on to district 5, also known as China town or Cho Lon. Explore a Chinese temple typical in this area – On Lang temple (or Quan Am pagoda), and hear the history of Chinese migration to Việt Nam. While there, gain some insight into the merit of making a donation and lighting a coil of incense, or placing a pink donation slip inside the pagoda. After the temple visit, take pleasure in a slow cyclo ride through Cho Lon before travelling next to Cao Dai Temple. If the group is lucky, they may be able to get a glimpse of the temple’s noon service!

After a busy morning, sit down to a common Việt Namese lunch: a big bowl of Pho and spring rolls! Travel next to the Bitexco Financial Tower to get an unprecedented 360-degree view of Ho Chi Minh City from the Saigon Sky Deck, an observation platform 187 meters (614ft) above the city. Continue on to the Reunification Palace, an important city landmark that was assured its place in history on April 30th 1975, when the first North Việt Namese tanks rumbled past, signalling the Fall of Saigon and ultimately the end of the Việt Nam War. Leaving the palace and strolling through a green park, participants will have time for a photo stop at the Central Post Office, famed for its grand French colonial architecture. Wrap up the day with a cool drink or a Việt Namese coffee at a local coffee shop before heading back to port.


Meals Included


Special Note

  • Please note, this program NO LONGER includes the photo stop at the Notre Dame Cathedral as it is under renovation