One of the most iconic geographical features of Ho Chi Minh City is the Saigon river, beginning in Cambodia as the Tonle Cham river, meandering through Saigon’s city core and finally ending near the Mekong Delta. A new Saigon river water bus service debuted last November and visitors are now able to traverse the calm waters of the Saigon river while catching a glimpse of the latest and greatest city developments along it’s riverbank.
Staying at a 5 star boutique hotel in Ho Chi Minh City such as Hotel Des Arts means guests are located just 1.5 km away from the station. We present to you a sample itinerary of how to spend a fruitful foodie day that incorporates this new attraction.
Before departing from the water bus station, be sure to visit Kem – Cafe 24 just across the street. One of the oldest cafe-cum-ice cream parlour in downtown Saigon, this quaint joint has been serving Vietnamese-style Affogato, coconut ice cream and strong Vietnamese coffee long before reunification.
The first water bus departs from Bach Dang station at 8.30 daily. Purchase a one-way ticket for just VND15,000. After catching views of Saigon Pearl, Landmark 81 and other high-rises mushrooming along the riverbank and alight at Binh An water bus station.
Walk approximately 1 km along Saigon Bridge Park, witnessing the daily lives of locals, to Big C Thao Dien, the centre of Thao Dien, District 2. Thao Dien is considered to be Saigon’s centre of expat lifestyle and entertainment.
Home to a growing northern-Vietnamese diaspora, be sure to sample some of their dishes locations;
Phở Bùi Gia (56 Xuân Thủy) which serves up one of the best bowls of northern Pho in Saigon.
Hải Hội Quán (51 Xuan Thuy) which offers a eerily authentic Bún Chả Hà Nội, the barbecued meatball and cold salad vermicelli dish that was made famous by president Barack Obama and late food explorer Anthony Bourdain.
We highly recommend ending the day at Boathouse Restaurant or The Deck Saigon for some splendid sunset views of the river. Remember to reserve in advance to avoid disappointment, especially on weekends.
Locations featured in article:
Kem – Cafe 24 – 24 Hồ Huấn Nghiệp, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh
Phở Bùi Gia – 56 Xuân Thủy, Thảo Điền, Quận 2
Hải Hội Quán – 51 Xuân Thủy, Thảo Điền, Quận 2
Boathouse Restaurant – 40 Lily, APSC Luxury Villa Compound,, 36 Thảo Điền Road, Thao Dien Ward, District #2, Thảo Điền, Quận 2
The Deck Saigon – 38 Nguyễn Ư Dĩ, Thảo Điền, Quận 2
Saigon Waterbus schedule: http://cdn.anvui.vn/uploadv2/web/32/3273/slide/2018/10/01/02/35/1538361342_lich-chay.jpg