Touring Ho Chi Minh City by waterbus has become a top choice for local parents looking to shed some daily stress and strengthen their family bond.
Spending a day exploring a neighborhood aboard a waterbus has been popular in Western countries for quite some time, but it was not until the end of 2017 that Vietnam finally introduced its own boat tours to Ho Chi Minh City.
Families in the crowded southern metropolis, many of whom find it difficult to carve out vacation time from their busy work schedules, are opting to become tourists in their own city by gliding through its network of canals.
Launched in November 2017, Ho Chi Minh City's10.8-kilometer-long river bus route connects Bach Dang Port in District 1 with Linh Dong Ward in the outlying district of Thu Duc, running along the Saigon River and Thanh Da Canal.
For a short city tour on a river bus, most families choose to travel from Bach Dang to Binh Quoi Terminal in Thanh Da Peninsula, Binh Thanh District, where their children can get to know what the countryside is like.
Dang Hoang Nguyen and his wife Nguyen Thanh Trang, along with their children, recently spent a weekend discovering interesting places they had never seen in the city they call home.
According to Trang, the goal of the trip was to enrich their children’s knowledge about Vietnamese historical attractions and expose their children to life apart from smartphones, games, and YouTube videos.
“I think it is the least we can do for our children,” she said.
Tue Minh and Thao My, another family, said their days out are an opportunity for them to try out different cuisines in each part of the city and strengthen their family bond.
“We have been trying our best to give our children the most memorable summer vacation despite our busy work schedules,” said Minh.
|Parents and children take part in prawn fishing activity on a water bus tour in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Kim Anh / Tuoi Tre|
Prawn fishing is another top activity for homegrown tourists, especially children.
And the price tag of just VND100,000-110,000 (US$4.3-4.7) per hour makes it an affordable option for the whole family.
“The key secret to catch prawns is patience and gentleness,” said eighth-grader Phan Anh Kiet.
Meanwhile, eight-year-old Nguyen Thanh Toan refused to give up his effort, even after hours of catching nothing.
“It is not about catching prawns, it is about learning patience,” said Nguyen Thanh Tung, Toan’s father.