|Fancy "toy": A private yacht on Sài Gòn River. Yachts are becoming the new luxury cars in HCM City. Photo nld.com.vn|
HCM CITY— Yachts are becoming the new "luxury cars" in HCM City. Well, almost.
Bùi Quốc Huy, who works in the garment industry and owns a luxury yacht, told Người Lao Động (The Labourer) newspaper that he had spent millions of dollars to buy it abroad.
He uses the vessel to discuss business with his clients and for working and family trips.
Mạnh Cường, the owner of a small yacht, says many wealthy people are tired of luxury cars and yachts are their new toys.
With the traffic jam on the streets worsening, waterways are a better travel option with their fresh air and calm, he said.
Many companies are also buying yachts to entertain their clients, and travel firms, realising which way the wind is blowing, have bought yachts to rent out and organise waterway tours.
Motorboats are becoming another popular option.
A man identified only as Thành, of District 2, often takes his motorboat on a spin on Sundays to sightsee with his family, saying his family finds it interesting.
Motorboats can also be hired at many places along the Sài Gòn River by the hour, day or trip.
Toàn, who operates one such business under the Thủ Thiêm Bridge in District 2, said a seven-seat vessel costs VNĐ 4 million (US$178) per hour.
Property developers are increasingly considering building piers for yachts and motorboats to increase their project value and attract customers.
Many housing projects, mainly in District 2, have got the green light to build them.
The SSG Group became the first company in the city to get a licence to build a modern marina, one that can accommodate 130 yachts and motorboats.
It will also be used as a wharf for people to embark and disembark when public boat services begin, according to the Department of Transportation.
The city has a criss-crossing river and canal system with around 975km that can be used for waterway transport. There are 106 routes already in use on around 700km.
A department official said the development of public and private waterway transport would be encouraged to ease the pressure on the overloaded road system and contribute to tourist development. VNS