HCMC keens on developing waterway tourism

From the beginning of the year to the present, more than 262,000 international tourists visited HCMC, up 100 percent compared to the same period last year. While the number of domestic travelers was over two million, presenting a year-on-year increase of 108 percent. A wide range of different tourist products is launched, including waterway tours.
HCMC keens on developing waterway tourism ảnh 1 A high-class sightseeing boat tour in HCMC (Photo: SGGP)

The dining and sightseeing boat tour at night on the Saigon River is one of the highlight tourist products of the TSTtourist Company. The 2.5 hour-long trip costing VND2.5 million per person begins at the Bach Dang Wharf in District 1 and ends at Mui Den Do in District 7. The tour returning to the departure point will run through Thu Thiem Bridge 2 and Binh Loi Bridge in Binh Thanh District, said communications director of TSTtourist Nguyen Minh Man.

The new service gives a chance to visitors to enjoy the city’s beautiful attractions in the glow of the evening lights that are not less beautiful than other countries in the region, said visitor Nguyen Thai of District 3 in HCMC.

Tourists participating in the boat tour not only enjoy the views at night but also fruit gardens, performances of Cai Luong (southern traditional amateur music), a visit to the historical site of Ben Duoc Memorial Temple, and a trip traveling by bicycle or horse-drawn carriage in Cu Chi District.

In addition, people can choose a night waterbus trip on the Saigon River with reasonable prices and enjoy a community art show that is held every Saturday night.

Many travel companies, such as Saigontourist, Vietravel, Fiditour - Vietluxtour, and TSTtourist have operated and developed abundant waterway tourism products. However, it is not easy to keep visitors coming back to the trips again and again.

Vice General Director of Vietravel and Vice Chairwoman of the HCMC Tourism Association, Huynh Phan Phuong Hoang said that the company has launched different boat tours visiting the city’s typical attractions, running from HCMC to the coastal city of Vung Tau in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province or Phan Thiet in Binh Thuan Province, but they have not attracted visitors yet.

It needs to shorten the travel time of the boat trips and offer more activities on land, such as a cycling tour exploring fruit gardens, folk music performances, introduction of local dishes, and visits to tourist places of Cu Chi District and Binh Duong Province, Director of Ben Thanh Tourist Cao Van Tung added.

Ho Chi Minh City has a great potential for waterway tourism with about 1,000 km of rivers and canals running through historical sites and fruit gardens in the outskirt districts of Binh Chanh, Hoc Mon and Cu Chi. The Department of Tourism of HCMC has cooperated with districts across the city and tourist businesses to complete waterway tours, especially trips connecting with the only coastal district of the city of Can Gio, said Director of the Tourism Department Nguyen Thi Anh Hoa.

A large-scale project developing night tourism in Can Gio District worth tens of thousands of billions of Vietnamese Dong is expected to be carried out in the coming time. The district’s government is always willing to support businesses to invest in the locality.