HCMC hosts first river festival


HCMC’s Inaugural River Festival: A Riveting Celebration of Culture and Heritage

Ever heard of a city celebrating its waterways with as much pomp and glory as it celebrates its festivals? Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City’s (HCMC) first-ever river festival! Spanning three days, this festival offers a fusion of cultural enrichment, entertainment, and a profound connection with the city’s storied waterways.

What’s the Buzz about the River Festival?

Imagine strolling by the serene waterways of HCMC, where the whispering waves tell tales of ancient traditions, and the gentle breeze carries the melodies of yesteryears. That’s the essence of the HCMC river festival. But why now, and why at all? Let’s dive deeper.

Why the River Festival? Unraveling its Goals

The festival is not just a three-day extravaganza. It’s a mission:

  • Preserving the City’s Rich Tapestry: The festival stands as a testament to HCMC’s commitment to preserve its culture and history.
  • An Economic and Touristic Catalyst: It’s a genius move! Utilizing waterways to bolster tourism and the economy is akin to turning an untapped reservoir into a goldmine.
  • Brand Building: Ever dreamt of HCMC as a hub of riverside cultural richness? This festival is a step in that direction!

Reliving History at the Opening Ceremony

Chairman Phan Van Mai didn’t miss a beat in highlighting the rivers’ crucial role spanning over 300 years in shaping Saigon, Cho Lon, Gia Dinh, and eventually HCMC. Think about it: the markets, wharves, and traditional crafts that sprouted along these rivers created a unique identity, setting the region apart. Don’t you feel that nostalgic tug?

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Dive into the Festival’s Vibrant Offerings

  • Tantalize Your Taste Buds: Walk along Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe Canal or Binh Dong Wharf, and treat yourself to local cuisine and fresh fruits. Ever tasted the region’s specialties? Now’s your chance!
  • Cultural Time-travel: River boat tours, art displays in the twilight, and activities that whisk you back in time – it’s like living through the city’s golden days.
  • Splash of Excitement at Bach Dang Wharf: From traditional boat races that see participation from across regions to folk games and adrenaline-pumping watersports, there’s never a dull moment here!

The Crown Jewel: Saigon – Tales of the River

A spectacular real-scene art performance awaits you on the Saigon River. Imagine blending traditional stage elements with futuristic sound and light? Nearly 700 performers, aided by 3D technology, high-powered lasers, and a captivating water music system, promise an experience like no other!

Concluding Thoughts

The HCMC river festival is more than an event; it’s a soulful journey that intertwines history, culture, and modernity. As the waters of the Saigon River reflect the shimmering lights of the festival, one can’t help but think: isn’t it amazing how waterways, often overlooked, can be the very lifelines of a city’s heritage?


  1. What is the primary aim of the HCMC river festival?
    • It aims to celebrate and preserve the city’s culture, boost the economy, and promote tourism.
  2. Where can one experience the local cuisine during the festival?
    • At stalls along the Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe Canal and Binh Dong Wharf.
  3. What special performance is scheduled on the Saigon River?
    • “Saigon – Tales of the River,” a grand real-scene art performance.
  4. How does the festival contribute to HCMC’s brand building?
    • By positioning HCMC as a culturally rich riverside urban area.
  5. Are there any traditional games held during the festival?
    • Yes, at the Bach Dang Wharf, you can witness traditional boat races and folk games.
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