Guidebook Take to the river

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Take to the river

“Watch the city lights at sunset while sipping a Tom Collins from the deck of a traditional 19th-century dragon boat,” recommends Traveller. “Though it's true the Saigon River has serious pollution issues, a Bonsai dinner cruise is still a unique experience.” A boat cruise is “an excellent way to see the different neighborhoods of Ho Chi Minh City while taking in the impressive skyline,” says Lonely Planet.

Or you can take the Saigon Waterbus. Start your trip at the Bach Dang Pier, and within seconds you “leave the glitz of the downtown and move along more industrialised sections of the river, lined with rusty barges, factories and shanties dangling over the murky, polluted water,” says Matthew Pike at The Culture Trip. “Around the first corner you’ll come to one of the more amazing urban sights in all of Southeast Asia: Vinhomes Central Park. It’s an ambitious new development that features Landmark 81, the tallest building in Vietnam. You’ll have to strain your neck to look all the way into the sky to get a good look at this awesome wall of buildings.” after that, the route cuts through the Thanh Da Canal to skip “a big, looping section of the Saigon River” and ends in District 9, north of the city.

Must-do list
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