Within easy day tripping distance lies Saigon’s most famous attraction: take a bow the Viet Cong Tunnels (www.diadaocuchi.com.vn). Also known as the Cu Chi Tunnels, this is where the Viet Cong guerrillas hid and fought in a labyrinth of 75-mile hand dug passages. Intrepid travellers can go underground and see how the Viet Cong miraculously managed to evade the US marines in 50cm wide tunnels. It’s not for the squeamish though: expect to see ingenious if barbaric weapons - think hidden pits filled with sharpened bamboo sticks - which the Viet Cong used to torture the enemy.
After visiting the Viet Cong Tunnels, chances are you’ll be in need of a stiff drink. And fortunately for you, dear reader, we have the perfect spot. Head to the 20th floor of the Saigon Grand (www.grandhotel.vn/dining.php ) where you can sip expertly made cocktails on the terrace for 100,000 dong. The number may sound enormous but it’s actually only £5 (and cheaper if you visit during happy hour, which runs from 3-5pm).Of course all that drinking will make you hungry, but the good news is that Ho Chi Minh City is without a doubt a foodie's paradise and it's hard, nay impossible, to go hungry. For local vibes, head to the downtown hawker centre, a ubiquitous part of the food landscape, and indulge in authentic Vietnamese flavours – step forward fresh spring rolls, squid pies, steaming plates of pho (pronounced “fuh”), banh cam (sesame balls) and che (delectable desserts) - for peanut prices.
TOP OF THE SHOPS
If there’s something Saigon citizens love more than food, it’s shopping. The southern Vietnamese city is truly a shopaholic’s paradise offering everything from colossal centres to colourful night markets. When it comes to the latter, TNT recommends checking out Ky Hoa Night Market - a photographer’s dream - over on Cao Thang Road, where wily vendors will happily test your conscience with knock-off designer goods and dirt cheap DVDs of brand new Hollywood blockbusters. Saigon is also a top spot to design your own wardrobe: having clothes custom made faster and a thousand times cheaper than on Saville Row, is a not to be missed experience.
Vietnam airlines (www.vietnamairlines.com) flies daily from London to Ho Chi Minh City.
Miss Saigon the anniversary performance is available now on DVD