If you are in Sai Gon wondering what to do in the afternoon and you do not have much time for it, I recommend one of the attractions that are not widely known.
Although Sai Gon is located a good 80 km from the coast and there are no typical beaches here, we still have the chance to experience a bit of adventure on the water.
For over a year we have the opportunity to take a tram / water bus ride just a small boat. As he called, so he called. The point here is to actually see Sai Gon from the water side without spending a fortune on commercial cruises among the crowd of foreign tourists.
If you like exploring the nooks and crannies of cities and would also like to spend 2 hours in the company of the local community, it is the water tram or bus that will be the perfect solution.
I recommend such a journey with a clear conscience. I was maybe five or six times myself. Such a trip is an unforgettable experience we experience while sailing by boat along the Sai Gon River.
At the same time, it is probably the cheapest form of sightseeing, alone without any tension.
In peace, among local residents, contemplating the views that appear on the left and right sides of the river.
It is also an attraction that has a really great starting point. The start stop in the center of Sai Gon, in District 1, opposite one of the most famous hotels in the city of Liberty Central Riverside - you'll hit for sure.
The timetable starts in the morning at 08:00 and ends in the evening at 19.30.
The cruises have specific times when they leave. You should be at least 0.5 h before the scheduled departure, and tickets should be bought the day before or, for example, bought a few hours before the scheduled cruise and then go for a walk, e.g. around the main post office or City Hall. However, remember to come back to the marina 30 minutes before your scheduled departure.
At the marina we have a cafe, you can also drink something. There are very good cocktails and you can also eat a piece of cake. Waiting for boarding, you can spend time sitting on the coastal terrace, admiring the movement of ships on the river and watching the progress of the island's buildings vis a vis.
Of course, the time when you would like to go on such a ride depends on your day or weekend schedule, but I recommend a specific schedule thanks to which you will be able to experience three things:
- firstly, you will reach the next to last water bus station behind the sun, and halfway you will have the opportunity to admire and photograph a fantastic sunset over the Sai Gon River, with a bridge full of motorcyclists in the background and sun reflections on the water,
- secondly, near the penultimate stop you will have the opportunity to walk around the local housing estate, where there is a small market full of street food carts. With about 35 minutes you will be able to taste local dishes, deep-fried, served with salad on a small stool, at a small table. Like real Vietnamese. All this for less than 20-30 thousand dongs.
- and thirdly, on the way back, you will have a unique opportunity to see from the city at night. Beachfront restaurants and bars, beautifully lit with garlands of lights, full of people. Bustling and friendly. A great impression. You will also have the opportunity to photograph straight from the water the highest building in Sai Gon, Landmark 51, which is beautifully illuminated at full height in the evening. No less impressive is the panorama of skyscrapers when we reach the end / start stop. The panorama of downtown Sai Gon with the BITEXCO Tower (this is the one with a helicopter landing pad) but also hoteliers who rise above the standard buildings of downtown Sai Gon, you will remember for a long time.
The whole trip will take you about 2 to 2.5 hours and will cost you 30,000 VND per person both ways, plus consumption.
By the way, you have the unique opportunity to see the city from the water, eat local specialties at the local market and, on the way back, see several iconic Sai Gon buildings in all their glory. Illuminated with thousands of lights, impressive especially when reflected on the water surface. I will only say about the sunset that it is worth capturing on Instagram and Facebook. You will evaluate it yourself.
If I can suggest something, it is worth placing yourself at the beginning of the queue to reserve a seat on the bench which is at the stern of the tram. Of course, everyone has their seat inside so no problem, but of course, if you want to take good photos we have to go outside. And on the outside it is possible only at the stern where there is a bench over the entire width of the hull. People are generally nice and there is no problem to ask someone for a place for this moment when we take pictures. A good shot is worth asking for a place, I also highly recommend it.
And finally, what hours are the best so that these three, program points, are surely able to pass? It is best to start the tram from Bach Dang at 17.10 (17.20 on weekends) so as to catch the return tram from stop No. 10 H.B. Chanh at 18:25 which will give you the opportunity to end your visit on the water around 19:15 and allow for a 25 minute walk on "food street".
As Horace used to say, "carpe diem." So grab the day and take a water-bus ride on the Sai Gon River.