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HCM City tourism to go with the Sài Gòn River flow



WITH THE FLOW: HCM City sees waterway tourism as a way to revive the tourism industry. VNA/VNS Photo

Xuân Đăng 

Waterway tourism is one of the new products that HCM City is promoting in order to facilitate recovery of its tourism industry. 

Waterway tours are expected to provide new, attractive experiences to visitors, officials said.

The city tourism industry has already launched several river tours including: Bạch Đằng – District 7, Bạch Đằng – District 9, Bạch Đằng – Bình Quới, Bạch Đằng – Củ Chi, and Bạch Đằng – Cần Giờ District.

Last month, the city launched a cruise tour along the Sài Gòn River, allowing visitors panoramic views of both sides of the city as well as architectural features of a rapidly growing urban metropolis.

The new tour has the involvement of many companies looking to tap waterway tourism potential.

The three-hour tour departs from the marina at Lan Anh Villas in Thủ  Đức City and sails past major landmarks like the Nhà Rồng Wharf, the Bạch Đằng Wharf, Ba Son Port, Landmark 81, Việt Nam’s tallest building, and the Thủ Thiêm 2 Bridge.

The tour costs VNĐ5 million to VNĐ10 million (US$216-$432). Visitors are served cocktails, wine and pastries that they can enjoy while listening to live saxophone and violin performances.

NIGHTLIFE:  A couple takes a photograph on a water bus plying the Sài Gòn River in HCM City. Photo:

“Other river tours only offer a trip to enjoy the beauty of the city by waterways, but this one has very good food and beverages as well,” said Giang Bích Thuận, who enjoyed the new tour.

Each tour can accommodate 10 to 25 passengers. 

Adding to the cruise’s scenic delights and the cool breeze are a deluxe afternoon tea service, fine champagne and other treats.

According to the Saigon Yacht Club, Việt Nam has great potential to develop the yachting industry and can catch up with fast-growing markets like Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai in the near future.

SETTING SAIL: The yacht that cruises the Sài Gòn River. Photo: HCM City’s Department of Tourism

Nguyễn Thị Ánh Hoa, director of HCM City Department of Tourism, said one of their orientations was to develop a variety of city tours on the road, in the air, on the water, and on the metro.

“The tour to see HCM City from the Sài Gòn River in a yacht serves domestic and international tourists, especially the middle and high-class segments,” she said.

Nguyễn Minh Mẫn, director of Communications-Marketing of TST Tourist company, said that luxury yacht tours had great potential to attract customers because they are a new, high-class product. 

“People have wanted to cruise along the Sài Gòn River for a long time, so the introduction of luxury tours will meet this demand,” he added. 

Cao Văn Tùng, director of the Bến Thành Tourist company, felt that travel time on the river should be shortened and the focus be on customer experience. 

“Most tourists will not enjoy sitting for hours on the boat just to watch the cityscape, they will want to enjoy more unique experiences,” Tùng said.

Travel companies should connect waterway tours with regional attractions like Củ Chi District (HCM City) and Bình Dương City, he added. 

Luxury cruises are not aimed merely at renewing the city’s tourism products, but to expand the customer base, targeting the high-income segment in particular, according to Lê Trương Hiền Hòa, deputy director of the municipal tourism authority.

Besides the cruise along the Sài Gòn River, the city also has waterbus tours throughout the day and night. Passengers can buy tickets at its two stations or online for VNĐ15,000 ($0.65) one-way ticket.

Besides peaceful, scenic night view sightseeing and music performances, the water bus service also offers snacks to passengers purchasing package tours, said Nguyễn Kim Toàn, Thường Nhất Company’s director.

“In my opinion, the night bus is a memorable experience for people and an opportunity for many generations to access the culture and history of the city, in addition to a being a multi-functional means of public transport to reduce traffic pressure on roads.”

HCM City hopes to receive 25 million domestic and 3.5 million foreign tourists this year for revenues of VNĐ97.7 trillion. VNS 



Thua Thien-Hue’s cruise tourism picking up



The number of international cruise ships bringing thousands of tourists to Chan May port in the central province of Thua Thien – Hue began to pick up again after a long period being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thua Thien-Hue’s cruise tourism picking up hinh anh 1Chan May port (Photo:

Thua Thien-Hue – The number of international cruise ships bringing thousands of tourists to Chan May port in the central province of Thua Thien – Hue began to pick up again after a long period being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a survey by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), cruise tourism is a high-revenue form of tourism, with its revenue over 40% higher than other forms such as air or road travel. The UNWTO forecast that in 2023, cruise tourism will experience a strong recovery, and Thua Thien – Hue has many advantages to tap this type of tourism.

Thua Thien-Hue’s Chan May port has the capacity to accommodate ships with a tonnage of up to 70,000 DWT and tourist ships up to 225,000 GRT. This deep-water port has been selected by the Asia Cruise Association as one of the 46 stopovers in Southeast Asia for cruise ships and large tourist vessels.

Deputy General Director of Chan May Port JSC Nguyen Van Chuong said the port enjoys a special natural advantage with a 7 km-wide bay, a vast water surface area of up to 20, and mostly natural depths ranging from 9-14m, with minimal sedimentation. The port previously welcomed large cruise ships with considerable length and tonnage, capable of carrying over 6,200 passengers and crewmembers. A number of domestic and foreign partners have expressed interest in joint efforts to develop the Chan May port into a destination for big luxury liners in the central region.

Thua Thien-Hue’s cruise tourism picking up hinh anh 2Tourists land in Thua Thien-Hue via waterway (Photo: VNA)

Since 2018, the port has welcomed numerous luxury cruisers, including Royal Caribbean, Costa Cruises, Small Cruise, Princess Cruises, Ovation of the Seas, and Mary Queen 2, affirming its brand value on the global and regional tourism maps.

Permanent Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Binh revealed that the Aeon Mall Hue commercial centre project has a total capital of over 169 million USD, the largest-scale one in the central region. Operational in 2025, the project will contribute to diversifying shopping centres and services for both residents and tourists. Additionally, the province is preparing to attract investment in a large-scale shopping mall near Phu Bai International Airport./.


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Da Nang among 11 best places to go in Asia in 2024



The world-renowned travel magazine Condé Nast Traveller has announced the best destinations to visit around the world in 2024. In the list of Asian destinations, Da Nang was the only representative of Vietnam to make it to the top, alongside famous destinations such as Chinatown in Bangkok (Thailand), the Kathmandu Valley (Nepal), the Silk Road in Uzbekistan, Singapore, Mongolia, and Sri Lanka.


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Efforts made to preserve ancient houses in Trang An heritage area



Houses with traditional architecture play a particularly important role in the Trang An heritage area in Ninh Binh province. In addition to identifying and preserving the value of traditional housing architecture in the core heritage area, Ninh Binh authorities have also focused on promoting the value of the traditional village structure combined with tourism development.

Nguyen Huy Tuan’s house is one of a few ancient houses in Truong Son village in Truong Yen commune, Hoa Lu district, that retains the typical architecture of wooden houses found in the Red River Delta.

In the hundred-year-old house, many generations of Tuan’s family have lived together and preserved the cultural traditions of the land and the people of Vietnam’s ancient capital.

Truong Yen commune is home to 55 traditional houses with the typical architecture of three-room and five-room wooden houses. Most are made of elaborately and intricately carved ironwood. The traditional houses in Truong Yen are not simply a living space for a family, but also a place that fully reflect the values of sculpture, organised living spaces, and the art of dealing with nature. However, over time, these houses have deteriorated and are in need of preservation to promote their value and serve sustainable tourism development.

Figures from the Ninh Binh Department of Tourism show that in the core area of the Trang An heritage area are over 100 houses with typical traditional architecture built before 1945, mainly in Truong Yen and Ninh Xuan communes.

In mid-2023, Ninh Binh province issued a resolution to support the renovation and repair of houses with traditional architectural styles that are 50 years old or more in the core heritage area, and to support the construction of new houses in the area.

The province will introduce policies and mobilise resources to preserve and promote rural historical, architectural, and cultural values, thus supporting the renovation of and tourism development in the heritage area./.


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