The Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Department Tuesday launched a boat tour of the Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe Canal in and around the downtown area.
The three-hour tour, offered by the Saigon Boat Company, covers a total distance of 4.5 km (2.8 miles) and takes visitors from a pier near Thi Nghe Bridge to Le Van Sy Bridge and back.
Thi Nghe Bridge is situated near Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens at 2 Nguyen Binh Khiem Street in District 1. Le Van Sy Bridge is located near Nguyen Van Troi Market on Le Van Sy Street in District 3.
The tourist boats also dock by a boat to see performances of don ca tai tu, a traditional southern music genre, and modern music.
Tourists also learn about the history of the city, especially the canals.
Tickets cost VND220,000 per person for row boats with six passengers, and VND110,000 for cruise boats with a capacity of 20. The former boats are rowed by Vietnamese women in ao dai, the traditional tunic.
A snack is served during the 4.5-kilometer trip through districts 1, 3, Binh Thanh and Phu Nhuan.
Tickets are sold at the two terminals near Thi Nghe Bridge and Le Van Sy Bridge.
Nguyen Thi Hong, the city deputy mayor, hailed the canal tour as an effort to improve tourism products to attract locals and foreigners.
“This is a new model that the city's government should expand, based on privatizing the service. The city will also invest in improving destinations along the canals. The main aim is to give the city’s tourism a facelift.”
The Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe Canal runs for around eight kilometers through seven districts.
After years of being badly polluted, it was cleaned up last year through a World Bank-funded city renovation project.