Vietnam Family Holiday 2018

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Vietnam is a Southeast Asian country on the South China Sea known for its beaches, rivers, Buddhist pagodas and bustling cities. Hanoi, the capital, pays homage to the nation’s iconic Communist-era leader, Ho Chi Minh, via a huge marble mausoleum. Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) has French colonial landmarks, plus Vietnamese War history museums and the Củ Chi tunnels, used by Viet Cong soldiers.
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Ho Chi Minh City (commonly known as Saigon) is a city in southern Vietnam famous for the pivotal role it played in the Vietnam War. It's also known for its French colonial landmarks, including Notre-Dame Cathedral, made entirely of materials imported from France, and the 19th-century Central Post Office. Food stalls line the city’s streets, especially around bustling Bến Thành Market.
Stoker is a step back in time to the art of cooking with meat with fire. Our open kitchen features a wood-fired oven and custom made ‘dueling’ wood-fired grill. However before our meat is introduced to the grill the Stoker team has carefully finished them in the in-house smoker or dry-ageing room to ensure maximum flavor and finish. Stoker is set in a warm and endearing country club atmosphere as our patron Fox Stoker would have fancied and the dining experience is complimented by a classic list of cocktails and fine wines. More than a grill, more than a steakhouse, Stoker is a unique fixture on Vietnam’s dining scene for those that like meats well prepared and expertly cooked.
Located just south of The Independence Palace, Tao Dan Park is one of Ho Chi Minh City’s largest and most serene parks known for the more than 1,000 large and mature trees that populate the space. The park is home to unique plant sculptures of various animals like dragons and tigers and replicas of Nha Trang's Cham Tower and Hung King Temple. The street Truong Dinh bisects the park, and on the northeast side of the street, you can find a modern sculpture garden. Many locals visit the park early in the morning to walk or practice tai chi, and the nearby Tao Dan Cafe is known as the “bird café” for the groups of birdkeepers who congregate here to show off their cages of songbirds. At the northern corner of the park, you can see the historic building of the former Cercle Sportif, a colonial-era French sporting club that is now the Worker’s Club, with a swimming pool and tennis courts.
The Reunification Palace is an important site of political and cultural significance, built by the French in 1868 to mark the newly established colony of Indochina. In 1945, it briefly became the headquarters for the Japanese after their defeat of the French. In 1962, two Vietnamese rebel pilots bombed the palace - the president survived but the palace did not. He commissioned a new one to be built.It was renamed Independence Palace and the design became a Modernist icon.In 1975 the palace was the symbolic site of the triumphant liberation of Saigon. Vietnam was then reunified since then the building has been known as Reunification Palace.Today it is a working government building as well as having areas open to the public. Tour the private quarters, the president's former office and the War Command Room. You get a real sense of what happened here andits importance in Vietnamese history.
The Gothic twin bell towers of this classic cathedral stretch high into the skyline, marking this as a destination for those looking to escape the buzz of Ho Chi Minh and find some quiet contemplation. Saigon Notre-Dame’s striking red façade and towering stone archways were constructed with materials imported from France in the 1800s. But its unique architecture is not the only draw to this iconic city landmark. In 2005, visitors reported seeing tears flow from the eyes of a statue of the Virgin Mary here, making it a destination for Catholics on religious pilgrimage.
Few major cities count the post office among their top tourist attractions, but the classic interior of Saigon Central Post Office continues to be a favorite destination among travelers visiting Ho Chi Minh City for the first time. Completed in 1891, the design of this architectural landmark mimics an old world European railway station with mile-high ceilings, a larger-than-life portrait of Ho Chi Minh and a centrally located clock face. These rich details are what manage to draw even the travelers who arrive with plans to purchase stamps or mail postcards, to pause and soak up the brilliant interior, which includes hand-painted maps of the old city.
East meets west at this stunning example of French Colonial architecture in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City. The gleaming white municipal theater, which is home the Ho Chi Minh City Ballet and Symphony Orchestra, was built in 1897. Its well-lit façade casts a brilliant glow on nearby city streets. Visitors can file into the 1,800 seat theater to catch regular dress rehearsals, or buy a ticket for one of the weekly cultural shows the theater is known for. On weekends, free public performances take place on the opera house steps and the nearby park offers travelers a perfect spot to stop and enjoy the music.
Acknowledged as “One of the Best Bars Of South East Asia” voted by the Newsweek Magazine in 1996, one of “1000 places to see before you die” listed by Patricia Schultz – the American Travel Writer. Overlooking the very heart of the city, the Rooftop Garden is the place that the memories still remain, of which it recalls the world to its past famous calling “Five O’clock Follies”, where international correspondents covered the Vietnam war, U.S officers and GIs had their drinking niche during the 60s.
With an endless series of accomplishments under his belt, Australia-born Vietnamese celebrity chef Luke Nguyen has made quite the name for himself over his culinary career. At only 23, Luke realised his dreams by opening his first restaurant, the critically acclaimed Red Lantern in 2002. Luke is also the man behind the much-loved Fat Noodle, an Asian noodle bar concept at The Star in Pyrmont Sydney as well as in Brisbane.
The Cu Chi Tunnels are a network of underground passageways that run to more than 120 miles 200 kilometers in total length in this area alone. Work by the Viet Cong commenced in 1948 as a means of shelter from the French air attacks during the Indochina conflict. The network provided vital access and strategic control over the large rural area surrounding Ho Chi Minh City over the following two decades the tunnels became a complex underground city including hospitals, defenses and living quarters. This meant despite all the bombings in the area many of the local people could still continue to live underground. In its prime and at its most impressive the Cu Chi Tunnels stretched from the southern Vietnamese capital all the way to the Cambodian border to the west, and in places was dug to 3 stories deep. Much of the original tunnel system was destroyed in bombing raids during the 1970s but existing parts have been restored and opened.

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