A traditional boat race was organized in Ho Chi Minh City on Sunday to mark the forthcoming founding date of the Communist Party of Vietnam (February 3) and closed the same day, with awards presented to teams coming from different districts.
The competition took place in the Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe Canal, a once ‘dead’ waterway, with the participation of 381 rowers of 10 teams in five categories for men and women.
Lines of spectators shouted and cheered to encourage the rowers on Hoang Sa (Paracel) Street and Truong Sa (Spratly) Street along the banks spanning from the Dien Bien Phu Bridge to the Thi Nghe Bridge.
Many prizes and medals were awarded to the participating teams, with the championship given to the Binh Thanh District team thanks to their two gold medals and three silvers.
The traditional boat race was first held in 2014 to usher in the New Year of 2015, also in the Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe Canal, which used to be the filthiest in the city.
Thanks to a project to dredge up the canal launched in 1993, with such tasks as clearance and relocation of slum houses erected along the banks, Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe has been transformed into the most charming water passage curving along the metropolis.
In 2015, seeing high potential to develop tourism, Ho Chi Minh City’s Department of Tourism and Saigon Boat JSC started offering boat tours along the canal.
However, the canal is facing the threat of being defaced again due to tons of refuse being thrown into the water by mindless locals.
According to Phan Hoc Hai, in charge of the sanitary worker team under Ho Chi Minh City Urban Environment Co. Ltd., his team scoops up between seven and 13 metric tons of garbage released into the canal on a daily basis.