Formerly known as Saigon, Vietnam’s largest city is an excellent starting point for Mekong River excursions and day trips to Cu Chi Tunnels and Cao Dai Temple. Stop at the Saigon Opera House to catch a Soul of Vietnam performance and relive historic moments by visiting the Reunification Palace and War Remnants Museum. Shop at Ben Thanh Market and Saigon Square for cheap souvenirs and great gifts to bring home (how about an ao dai and leaf hat?). Get a lift at the grand Notre Dame Cathedral and Giac Lam Pagoda or perk up with Vietnamese coffee by the roadside. Sit down to a steaming bowl of pho noodles, spring rolls and banh mi, Vietnam’s very own baguette. Tet, the Vietnamese New Year, is a great time for flower displays and fireworks. Get away from the crowded avenues and find peace at Mui Ne’s sand dunes and Phu Quoc’s beaches. If you’re short on time, a water puppet show is a unique way to cap your stay.