Ho Chi Minh City With Xuan

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#1
2 Posts
Joined Jul 2017
We are a group of four adults on the Seven Seas Voyager in December 2017. It is our first time in South East Asia. We are arriving in Ho Chi Minh City on December 11th and departing on December 12th at 4 P.M. So, we have a free full day and a half day. Some people on this forum who visited this city before suggested Xuan Le, a private tour guide in Ho Chi Minh City. Anybody else use this person before? Also suggestions for what to do these two days? Any helpful comments are very appreciated.
#2
New Orleans
155 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
To BenjiHill: My suggestion to you if you have the 2 days would be to do the Ho Chi Minh city tour and on the half day go to parts of the city that you can do on your own like the Reunification Palace which marks the location of the end of the Vietnam War when the North Vietnamese Army conquered this South Vietnamese government complex. It is an interesting place to see. Also if you like shopping- Ho Chi Minh has wonderful shops throughout the city.

My husband and I also recently had a fabulous city tour with Xuan.

He picked us at the port with a great driver in a new, very comfortable large van.
We had booked the all-day Ho Chi Minh City Tour.

We saw all the sites including Chinatown, the Thien Hau Temple, a fabulous Rickshaw ride through the local markets, Alleyways through the city, War Remnants Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, Post Office, City Hall, CIA Building that the Huey Uh1 helicopter was last helicopter to leave at Fall of Saigon, Ho Chi Minh Square, all the famous hotels used during the war, and new areas of the city with Villas and the contrast of poor stilt houses on water. We were also lucky to have been there for Vietnamese New Year when the city had beautiful lights.

Xuan is knowledgeable, passionate, enthusiastic, charming, attentive, loving, engaging, fun and a true pleasure to be with. We were fascinated by his kindness!

He was able to explain everything to us in a very meaningful way. His English is excellent!
We had such a great understanding of the people, culture and history because of him. We also learned about his life growing up in Vietnam. My husband and I asked many questions and he was happy to answer all of them.

Touring with Xuan will be one of the highlights of your travel experience! He planned a perfect itinerary and was very accommodating to special requests we wanted to do. Xuan took about 60 pictures of us during the tour and emailed them to me afterwards. He also took us to a wonderful and delicious place for lunch.

You can reach him from his website and he responds very quickly.
http://www.tourwithxuan.com/

We have traveled all over the world and have used private guides and Xuan is absolutely one of the best guides we have ever had.
It will be a day you will never forget!
#3
1 Posts
Joined Jul 2017
In HCMC, you can do Cu Chi tunnels tour (by speedboat), Saigon city tour, XO Foodie tour (An evening) and Mekong Delta (one day trip or overnight). OR maybe visiting Cao Dai temples in Tay Ninh.
#4
New Orleans
155 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
To: BenjiHill

I wanted to add more detail of the Trishaw Ride we had when taking our private tour with Xuan. Each person has their own Trishaw with the driver.

The ride lasted about 45 minutes. We started at the famous temple and rode through many tiny streets, alleys and markets where the locals were selling their fish, birds, roosters, fabric and textiles.

Also we saw the tropical fruit street and the fresh markets where we saw people selling fresh meat, fish, vegetables and spices.

It was a fascinating way to see the daily local life in Ho Chi Minh City. We were riding among thousands of motor scooters.

Xuan was on a scooter in front of us taking photos and videos that he sent to us afterwards.

The Trishaw Ride to us was one of the highlights of the tour!

You can email him at
[email protected]

I also had a bad link for his website in my review on this thread- It should be
http://www.tourwithxuan.com

You can also go straight to his cruise tours with this link:
http://www.tourwithxuan.com/shore-excursions.html
#5
2 Posts
Joined Jul 2017
Thanks for the great information. I have booked a tour with Xuan Le in December 2017. He has been helpful in planning the itinerary with me. We will visit Mekong Delta for a day and do a half day city tour. We have also included the recommended trishaw ride. Can't wait to visit Vietnam end of this year!
#8
New Orleans
155 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
To: Sondang 1992

The free walking tour you recommend has no reviews on Trip Advisor. Also when you do a free tour you never know who the guide will be or if they are even licensed.

By using Xuan as a guide in Ho Chi Minh you will know the guide in advance- and as I said in my
previous posts Xuan was the Highlight of our trip to Vietnam and he has fabulous reviews on Trip Advisor.
So there has to be a reason for all the great reviews he receives from his clients.
#9
1 Posts
Joined Nov 2017
Ho Ching Minh with Xuan.
We were a group of 9 Canadians who booked privately with him. He picked us up from the pier and took us on an unforgettable journey through the city. He was absolutely amazing, helpful and very entertaining. He was professional and knowledgeable and gave us a tour none of us will ever forget. I highly recommend him.👍👌
Cheryl
#10
New Cumberland,PA, USA
30,167 Posts
Joined May 2000
I first went to Saigon in 1970 (during the war) and my favorite area was in Chinatown. We have been back twice in recent years and still love the entire Chinatown experience. Some folks will say its not for the faint of heart, it is total chaos, etc etc. But it is real (not a tourist attraction) and certainly eye opening. Just make sure to protect your valuables and keep your group together (its easy to get separated in the crowds). The browsing is really interesting and some folks actually do buy things .

Hank
#11
Hubbard, OH USA
6,458 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
We spent our day with Xuan and had an excellent time. Our day was the best excursion for our Asia trip. Following is a review if our day:

This is the best private excursion we have done! Yesterday, we visited Ho Chi Minh City and booked a private excursion with Xuan, contact him here:
www.tourwithxuan.com. We arrived at our meeting point 10 minutes early and Xuan was eagerly awaiting for us. He had a private driver in a newer SUV for our party of 4. Our first stop was a local market. We had the opportunity of walking through the narrow alleyways. It was a great experience to see many fresh produce there. Then, we visited Thien Hau Temple before taking the trishaw ride around the city. Our next stop was to enjoy Vietnamese coffee on a floating boat called "The Coffee Ship". Then, it was time to enjoy some local cuisine for lunch. After lunch, we visited the War Remnants Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, General Post Office, the former CIA headquarters, City Hall, Rex Hotel, and the Opera House. It was truly a great day to see the interesting sites in the city. We had such an amazing day. We were able to see many sights most Westerners would never get to see. Xuan is very personable, knowledgeable, and speaks excellent English. He is very passionate about his country and his love for sharing his knowledge is through his excursions"



Book with Xuan and you will not be disappointed!!
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Debbie -- 427 nights of sailing!
Spending my kids inheritance 1 cruise at a time
Working on my "bucket list" 1 port at a time!

UPCOMING CRUISES:

RC Anthem (9 nights 8-23-18 to Canada)
Celebrity Solstice (12 nights 1-31-19 OZ to NZ)
RC Explorer (14 nights 2-15-19 South Pacific)

PAST CRUISE HISTORY: (49 cruises completed!)
Celebrity-Infinity (Carnaval in Rio! 1-31-16), Solstice (OZ & NZ 1-27-15), Millennium (Western) 2-6-12, Eclipse 1-26-13 (Southern 14 nites), Equinox (Mardi Gras 2-20-17), Millennium (Asia 11-12-17), Silhouette (1-26-18), Eclipse (2-4-18) (93 nights sailed)
HAL Ryndam (Hawaii & Tahiti 30 day) 1-4-09, Westerdam (Eastern) 10-29-06 (37 nights sailed)
RCCL - Mariner (Asia 11-6-17), Serenade (Southern 2-3-17), Oasis (Western 9-10-16) Serenade (Southern 2-15-16), Rhapsody (Queensland 2-17-15), Legend (Southern 2-3-14) Legend (Eastern 1-24-14), Independence (Western 2-10-13), Explorer (Bermuda 10-28-12) Serenade (Southern) 1-28-12 Allure (Western) 10-9-11, Oasis (Western) 10-1-11, Liberty (Western) 2-5-,11, Liberty (Western) 2-7-10, Navigator (Western) 1-30-10,Navigator (Western) 1-25-10, Jewel (Panama) 11-7-08, Enchantment (Western) 9-1-08, Radiance (Hawaii) 5-3-08, Enchantment (Western) 1-26-08 B2B, Enchantment (Western) 1-21-08 B2B, Mariner (Eastern) 9-2-07, Freedom (Western) 9-10-06, Empress (Western) 9-3-05, Navigator (Western) 5-14-05, Jewel (Eastern) 1-29-05, Majesty (Bahamas) 3-1-04, Explorer (Western) 5-10-03, (202 nights sailed)
Norwegian - Pearl (Southern) 3-2-07 Dawn (Repo) 11-1-09 NCL Pearl (Western) 10-10-10, Jewel (Western) 10-13-13 Dawn (Repo) 11-7-14, Dawn (repo) 10-30-15 (65 nights sailed)
Princess - Grand Princess (Southern) 2-11-12 Caribbean Princess (Eastern) 4-29-06 (14 nights sailed)
Carnival - Sensation (Western) 5-10-04, Holiday (Western) 4-19-04, Destiny (Southern) 4-6-03 (17 nights sailed)
#13
Hubbard, OH USA
6,458 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
Yes, US Citizens will need a Visa, which your ship SHOULD issue. You should contact your
cruiseline, and inquire with them to be sure. We were on Celebrity Millennium, and the ship did our Visa's. It was $6.00 pp, and was charged to our sea pass. I had contacted Celebrity before we sailed, to be sure.
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Debbie -- 427 nights of sailing!
Spending my kids inheritance 1 cruise at a time
Working on my "bucket list" 1 port at a time!

UPCOMING CRUISES:

RC Anthem (9 nights 8-23-18 to Canada)
Celebrity Solstice (12 nights 1-31-19 OZ to NZ)
RC Explorer (14 nights 2-15-19 South Pacific)

PAST CRUISE HISTORY: (49 cruises completed!)
Celebrity-Infinity (Carnaval in Rio! 1-31-16), Solstice (OZ & NZ 1-27-15), Millennium (Western) 2-6-12, Eclipse 1-26-13 (Southern 14 nites), Equinox (Mardi Gras 2-20-17), Millennium (Asia 11-12-17), Silhouette (1-26-18), Eclipse (2-4-18) (93 nights sailed)
HAL Ryndam (Hawaii & Tahiti 30 day) 1-4-09, Westerdam (Eastern) 10-29-06 (37 nights sailed)
RCCL - Mariner (Asia 11-6-17), Serenade (Southern 2-3-17), Oasis (Western 9-10-16) Serenade (Southern 2-15-16), Rhapsody (Queensland 2-17-15), Legend (Southern 2-3-14) Legend (Eastern 1-24-14), Independence (Western 2-10-13), Explorer (Bermuda 10-28-12) Serenade (Southern) 1-28-12 Allure (Western) 10-9-11, Oasis (Western) 10-1-11, Liberty (Western) 2-5-,11, Liberty (Western) 2-7-10, Navigator (Western) 1-30-10,Navigator (Western) 1-25-10, Jewel (Panama) 11-7-08, Enchantment (Western) 9-1-08, Radiance (Hawaii) 5-3-08, Enchantment (Western) 1-26-08 B2B, Enchantment (Western) 1-21-08 B2B, Mariner (Eastern) 9-2-07, Freedom (Western) 9-10-06, Empress (Western) 9-3-05, Navigator (Western) 5-14-05, Jewel (Eastern) 1-29-05, Majesty (Bahamas) 3-1-04, Explorer (Western) 5-10-03, (202 nights sailed)
Norwegian - Pearl (Southern) 3-2-07 Dawn (Repo) 11-1-09 NCL Pearl (Western) 10-10-10, Jewel (Western) 10-13-13 Dawn (Repo) 11-7-14, Dawn (repo) 10-30-15 (65 nights sailed)
Princess - Grand Princess (Southern) 2-11-12 Caribbean Princess (Eastern) 4-29-06 (14 nights sailed)
Carnival - Sensation (Western) 5-10-04, Holiday (Western) 4-19-04, Destiny (Southern) 4-6-03 (17 nights sailed)
#14
San Diego
11 Posts
Joined Apr 2015
Originally posted by debshomespun
Yes, US Citizens will need a Visa, which your ship SHOULD issue. You should contact your
cruiseline, and inquire with them to be sure. We were on Celebrity Millennium, and the ship did our Visa's. It was $6.00 pp, and was charged to our sea pass. I had contacted Celebrity before we sailed, to be sure.
@debshomespun - Thank you for your advice.
#15
1 Posts
Joined Dec 2017
We booked our tour with Xuan and were not disappointed It was the highlight of our Asia trip. We are in the tour business and know what it takes to make your tour the best and Xuan exceeded our expectations every turn.
On our visit to Ho Chi Minh City Xuan made sure we saw the city as a local. From the Thien Hau Temple to the amazing little coffee "ship" he was very passionate about his tour and the city. The lunch was one of the best we had on our trip, During our ride on the trishaw he took pics on a scooter as we rode the city. So much fun!
I highly recommend this tour to anyone who is on a cruise or just visiting the city. You see the city through Xuans eyes as a local. We will never forget our day in Ho Chi Minh City!
www.tourwithxuan.com.
#16
2 Posts
Joined Nov 2017
Unforgettable trip!!! We booked with Xuan for our tour of Ho Chi MInh City. We had stopped in a couple of other cities in Vietnam, but this was by far the best tour we took!! Xuan picked us up right at the pier, and had an amazing day planned for us! My only request was to see one of the old tunnels, and he made sure that was part of our day. He knew all of the best places to stop, and even allowed us plenty of time to shop and grab coffee! Xuan is incredibly kind, attentive, and so informative!! We would book with him again in a second!! If you are planning a trip to Ho Chi Minh you should MOST DEFINITELY book with Xuan for an unforgettable trip!! www.tourwithxuan.com
#17
UK
178 Posts
Joined May 2005
We contacted Xuan by email after seeing the reviews on here, and are so glad that we did. He already had a couple booked with him the day we wanted who were willing to share - so there were just four of us. Xuan explained where to meet him - at the gates to the port - and he was there waiting, with our names on a board. He had a mini-bus and driver waiting. There was free Wi-fi and water supplied.
Xuan is very enthusiatic and keen to give us information and it was important to him that he gave us the best day possible.
We went to places that a large tour would never be able to go. e.g. the van dropped off, and Xuan led us through a narrow street food market, and then a flower market - and the van would appear to pick us up again.
We did the famous, not to be missed "Trishaw" ride - and Xuan would keep appearing on the back of a motorbike, taking photos and videos of us. In fact he took well over 100 photos of us during the day, and has sent us the link so that we can download them - such a bonus!
He treated us to coffee on the Coffee Ship - an experience in itself. He was able to take us up the former CIA building, which is not open to the public, as well as seeing many other magnificent buildings (Post Office, Opera House, City Hall etc), and gave us time to spend in the War Remnants Museum. Xuan took us a lovely restaurant for lunch, which we never could have found on our own.
All in all, an excellent day, with personal attention, and we would highly recommend Tour with Xuan to anyone. (He even gave us all a hug as we said goodbye). Do not hesitate to contact him on [email protected]
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Mariner of the Seas - Thailand & Vietnam - February 2018
Legend of the Seas - New Zealand - January 2017
Costa Serena - Dubai, Oman, United Arab Emirates - January 2015
Coral Princess - Panama Canal - January 2014
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#18
LaCenter, Wa
112 Posts
Joined Jul 2016
We just returned from the Millennium and did a full day in HCMC with Xuan! What a treat. He was such fun, energetic and very passionate about his city and people, which I loved. We had a few special requests and he was so kind to accommodate us. We had done a rickshaw ride in Hanoi so we chose not to do it in HCMC and giving us more time at the Museum and Reunification Palace. It definitely is a fun thing to do! I would highly recommend Xuan for anyone touring HCMC. We went to a local restaurant and had him order for us and it was incredible! We will be going back and hope to spend more time touring with Xuan again.
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Terri

Celebrity Reflection - Western Mediterranean - Sept 2019 / Celebrity Eclipse - Scandinavia & Russia - August 2018 / Celebrity Millennium - SE Asia - Feb 2018
Celebrity Infinity - Alaska - Sept 2017 / RCCL Liberty of the Seas - Caribbean - May 2017
Celebrity Reflection - Italy/Greece/Turkey - October 2016 / Windstar - Greece/Turkey - Sept 2001 Princess Dawn - Caribbean - May 2001 / NCL Leeward - Bahamas 1999
Celebrity Century - Caribbean 1995 / Russian Ship - Caribbean - 1994
RCCL Majesty of the Seas - Caribbean 1992
Cunard Countess - Caribbean 1985 / NCL Southward - Caribbean 1975




#19
Lymington
3 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Hi, We did the City tour with Xuan and another couple from our ship, in February. We had a marvellous day - Xuan picked us up in a smart minivan along with a supply of cold water and cool wipes all day. On the journey into the City he explained the culture and life of the Vietnamese people. Once in the City we stopped at many sites where we got out of the vehicle and Xuan led us through the streets and the minibus picked us up at another stop - very well organised.
The market we visited was memorable - no tourists around - and the trishaw ride through the roads amass with scooters and mopeds and down the small back streets was amazing (although I did shut my eyes a couple of times!). We also had a coffee on a floating coffee shop, and a delightful lunch in a smart restaurant full of local people.
I would highly recommend a tour with Xuan as doing it on your own you would miss a lot of the hidden sights and he took us to many places most tourists wouldn't visit.