A Fresh Perspective: River Tourism in Ho Chi Minh City


When one thinks of Ho Chi Minh City, bustling streets, vibrant markets, and historical landmarks often come to mind. However, this vibrant city has more to offer than meets the eye. Tourists and locals alike can now indulge in a leisurely pastime by exploring Ho Chi Minh City from a fresh perspective – the Saigon River. River tourism has become a popular activity, providing a unique and captivating way to view famous landmarks, enjoy scenic beauty, and experience the city’s charm from a different angle.

The Joys of River Tourism

Subheading: Embracing the River Experience

The Saigon River is a mesmerizing waterway that weaves through Ho Chi Minh City, and there are multiple ways to enjoy river tourism. From river bus journeys to luxurious cruises and adventurous paddleboarding, there is something for every traveler seeking a unique experience.

Exploring the River Bus Journey

Subheading: A Convenient and Scenic Ride

For a delightful and budget-friendly river experience, the river bus journey is the way to go. Introduced in 2017 as a means of public transportation between districts, river buses have become a favorite among both locals and tourists. The buses depart daily from several wharfs, providing passengers with an opportunity to enjoy the panoramic views of the Saigon River and capture breathtaking photographs along the way.

Subheading: Tips for a Pleasant Ride

To secure a window seat and avoid disappointment, it’s advisable to book tickets in advance, especially during peak hours. Visitors should respect others’ desire to enjoy the view and not linger at the front of the bus for extended periods. The river bus operates continuously along the Saigon River, offering a relatively quick sightseeing experience without anchoring in the middle. However, passengers should expect higher numbers of tourists during late afternoon hours and weekends.

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Luxurious River Cruises

Subheading: A Majestic Evening Affair

For those seeking a more indulgent and romantic river experience, the evening river cruises are an ideal choice. Setting sail from Saigon Port, these cruises offer breathtaking views of landmarks such as Nha Rong Wharf, Ben Nghe Port, Saigon Bridge, and the iconic Landmark 81 building. The cruises come with various amenities, including open decks for unobstructed views, dining areas, and entertainment options.

Subheading: The Perfect Evening Retreat

Passengers can opt for a dinner experience on the deck, accompanied by enchanting river views, art programs, music performances, and magic shows. Ticket prices vary depending on the type of yacht and dining preferences, making it accessible to a range of travelers. Travelers with higher budgets and a desire for privacy can even charter a small yacht for an exclusive experience.

High-Speed Adventure to Can Gio

Subheading: A Journey to the Outskirts

For those seeking an adventure beyond the city limits, the high-speed boat to Can Gio offers an exciting escape. Departing from Bach Dang Wharf, the boat takes passengers on a thrilling ride through various rivers, providing access to Tac Suat Wharf in Can Gio District. The journey is equipped with modern amenities, including air conditioning, large TVs, and Wi-Fi, ensuring a comfortable ride.

Subheading: A Gateway to Tranquility

Can Gio offers a serene and picturesque landscape, making it a perfect destination for those in search of tranquility. Passengers can continue their journey to Ganh Rai Cape and Ho May Park in Vung Tau beach city for an unforgettable experience.

Stand-Up Paddle Boarding

Subheading: Paddle Your Way Through the City

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For adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers, stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) on the Saigon River is a must-try activity. SUP tours cater to various fitness levels, from beginners to experienced paddlers. With picturesque locations in District 7, Thu Duc City, and Binh Thanh District, participants can embark on a unique journey through coconut creeks, enjoy cocktails on the river, and admire the scenic riverbanks.

Subheading: Tips for an Unforgettable Experience

First-time paddlers should seek guidance from SUP tour operators to select the most suitable route and schedule. To avoid the heat of the day, it’s best to schedule paddling sessions in the morning or late afternoon. The organizers provide the tide schedule to ensure safety during the activity.


Ho Chi Minh City’s river tourism offers a fresh and captivating perspective on this vibrant metropolis. Whether it’s a budget-friendly river bus ride, a luxurious evening cruise, an adventurous high-speed boat journey, or the serene thrill of stand-up paddleboarding, each experience promises unique memories and a newfound appreciation for the Saigon River’s charm. So, next time you visit Ho Chi Minh City, consider exploring this vibrant city from the tranquil waters of the Saigon River.


Q: How can I book tickets for river bus journeys and cruises? A: Tickets for river bus journeys can be booked online or purchased directly at the wharf. For evening cruises, booking through a tour operator or the cruise ship supplier is recommended.

Q: Are river buses suitable for all types of visitors? A: Yes, river buses are suitable for all types of visitors and offer a budget-friendly option for sightseeing.

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Q: Can I charter a small yacht for a private river cruise experience? A: Yes, passengers with a higher budget and a preference for privacy can charter a small yacht for an exclusive experience.

Q: Where can I enjoy stand-up paddleboarding on the Saigon River? A: Stand-up paddleboarding tours are available in District 7, Thu Duc City, and Binh Thanh District.

Q: What amenities are available on the high-speed boat to Can Gio? A: The high-speed boat is equipped with amenities such as air conditioning, large TVs, Wi-Fi, a fire alarm system, life jackets, and comfortable seating.