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Until fairly recently, Cho Lon was its own city, long inhabited by người Hoa (ethnic Chinese) who carved out an economic hub along the banks of the Saigon River over 200 years ago.

Due to its economic prowess, the neighborhood is home to stately colonial and modernist architecture, particularly those of the shophouse variety. On this tour, we will walk the streets of Cho Lon to gaze upon these architectural gems.

While we will focus on the neighborhood's buildings, we will also engage with some of its human history with a stop at one of the city's oldest coffee shops where the family has been roasting for over 70 years.

The tour is rounded out with a stop at the University of Medicine - a modernist masterpiece before ending at Thien Hau Pagoda, one of Saigon's oldest buildings.

Upgrade Your Experience: Indulge in a One-Hour Coffee Conversation with Architect Mel Schenck @590 USD/group

If you'd like to gain profound insights and a deeper understanding of Vietnamese modernist architecture, following your tour, join us for a one-hour coffee conversation with architect Mel Schenck - the renowned author of 'Southern Vietnamese Modernist Architecture'.  During the engaging session, Mr.Schenck will delve deeper into the captivating world of modernist architecture in Southern Vietnam while sharing his impressive collection of documents and photos that exemplify modernist architectural marvels throughout the region.

Please note that this upgraded experience is subject to Mr.Mel Schenck's availability and you must book it at least 2 weeks before your tour date. The meeting will be arranged according to your tour schedule as below:
- Following the morning tour: from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
- Following the afternoon tour: from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.


Important Information

Minor program changes are sometimes necessary, depending on road- and weather conditions

Included in the Prices are: 

  • English-speaking guide
  • Private car with AC
  • Pick up/drop off in downtown Saigon (either D1 or D3) or at Urbanist office (95 Pasteur, D1)
  • Entrance fee
  • Insurance
  • VAT

Not Included in the Prices are:

  • Other food and beverage in addition to the above
  • Services not mentioned in our Itinerary
  • Expenditure of a personal nature such as drinks, souvenirs, laundry, tipping, etc
  • Tips (at the eateries/drivers)
  • Additional water/beer/soft drinks. Clients are encouraged to bring their own bottles of water
  • Surcharge applied for having other language speaking guide such as Spanish - French - Chinese
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