Float to another place, minutes from the
the gators: Cruising tourists enjoy passing views along the
Sai Gon River.
to fantasy island: Visitors stop off to enjoy the riverside
scenery and cultural attractions of the Mekong Delta region. —
a Sai Gon River boat tour
take a boat trip, you can go to Bach Dang Wharf at 10B Ton Duc
Thang Street in front of Me Linh Square. The boat runs from 7am
to 11pm, and travellers can enjoy a Vietnamese coffee in the
bonsai garden and imagine the wharf’s storied past, and the
wonderful journey ahead.
run from US$30 for two people, plus $10 per person extra, with
prices rising depending on the number of people and trip
distance. Every Sunday, there is a special discount tour that
runs for $16 per person, including transportation, drinks,
fruits, lunch and tourist insurance. Departing at 9am, tourists
can travel to Binh Quoi Tourism Village in 30 minutes, under the
Sai Gon Bridge and to the Thanh Canh Wild Animals Garden, where
visitors can rest and have lunch. Next up on the tour is Lai
Thieu fruit garden, which is about a 2 hour trip. On the trip
back, the boat passes by the Lai Thieu pottery market, and
visits the Go Vap Floating Temple, and finally returns to the
wharf around 3pm.
Plying theSai Gon
River by boat, you can get a more peaceful perspective on the culture of
southern Viet Nam. Vo Le Hong escapes the urban bustle and experiences
HCM City from the water.
Sai Gon is far more beautiful from the river. Tourists can
traverse the city at a leisurely pace, allowing for the chance to admire the
surrounding scenery in one of the city’s many small motorised boats or skiffs.
HCM City’s rich skyline of modern buildings and ancient
structures flows by as you gently glide over the river water, providing a unique
perspective, one that is impossible to gather from land.
A young tourist said it was the first time he made his way
through the city by skiff – calling it a great view – with the small boat
taking on the appearance of a lance slicing through the calm waters, gently
jumping over the waves.
The Binh Quoi Tourist Village has thatched huts that serve
Vietnamese cuisine beside a small wooden pier that runs out into a pond near a
water wheel. One of the best parts of the boat trip is the fact that you can
breathe the fresh air of the countryside, minutes after your departure and take
in the rural and romantic riverine environment. The tour also includes a visit
to the commemorative house of Viet Nam’s most famous anti-war musician, Trinh
The Floating Temple is an ancient Chinese structure that was
established more than 100 years ago located in the middle of the river. It is
also called Linh Mieu (Holy Temple), replete with ornate antique architecture.
Legend has it that this Floating Temple began when a fisherman netted a statue
by mistake. To compensate, he made a thatch hut effigy in the river to house and
worship the statue. It is said that the fisherman became very wealthy after the
gesture, thus a lot of people travel there to worship in the hope that some of
the wealth may rub off on them.
Further on the trip takes you to the famous Tunnels of Cu Chi
where you can visit spine-chilling war vestiges from the American War. You can
dress in the attire of a Vietnamese soldier from that time, wearing ao ba ba (Vietnamese
style blouse) and khan ran (black and white checquered shawl), and even
buy the famous infantry footwear – dep lop (tire sandals). You can test
your mettle by doing as the soldiers did, crawling through a 30m or 100m stretch
of lighted tunnel. The underground tunnels, by the way, have been widened for
westerners to pass through!
You can also see where the liberation fighters lived and worked,
and their standard wartime fare of boiled sweet potatoes with pepper and salt.
Ben Tre, Vinh Long and Can Tho are also on the itinerary if you
should so choose, with travelling by boat a great way to come into close contact
with the true values and lifestyle of the Cuu Long (Mekong) river delta.
One tourist even said he had travelled to some of the
destinations by car and by motorbike, but travelling there by small boat was far
Motorbikes and cars can give you a false sense of time and
distance, but by boat, time comes slow and steady and images and environments
that pass provide a more measured sense of distance, the tourist said.
"Travelling by skiff on the Sai Gon River left a lasting
impression on me," he said, "especially after taking in the green of
the rural area, in contrast with life in the city." — VNS