See the iconic houses on stilts on the banks of the Saigon River and enjoy views of some of the city’s most famous buildings from a boat cruise. Explore the villages and canals of the Mekong Delta where migratory birds live among the thick mangroves.
The immense Saigon River flows 140 miles (230 kilometers) from southeast Cambodia all the way to the southern tip of Vietnam. Note how the scenery changes dramatically when it reaches the outskirts of Vietnam’s largest city, with skyscrapers replacing the mangroves and wooden huts.
The best way to see the Saigon River around the metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City is on a speedboat tour. These expeditions usually last several hours and include the help of a knowledgeable guide to give you the opportunity to learn about the importance of the river to the city. Get close to one of the busiest container ports in the world and enhance your vacation photos with spectacular sunset shots over the skyscrapers.
If you have more time, take a day trip upriver to the Mekong Delta. Here you will see traditional villages with wooden houses built on stilts. Fishermen glide across the water on colorful boats and use cormorants to help them fish. Children play in the murky water in front of their homes. On your way you will pass through the lush mangroves of the protected Can Gio Reserve. Saltwater crocodiles once lived here, but are now restricted to a protected area nearby.
Keep traveling upriver to visit the Củ Chi Tunnels north of the Mekong Delta. Approximately 155 miles (250 kilometers) of underground passageways were built during the Vietnam War and were used primarily to supply food and cover for injured Viet Cong soldiers. Learn about life as a guerrilla fighter on the banks of the Saigon River as you explore the areas open to the public.
Organize a boat tour along the Saigon River at Ho Chi Minh City Central Pier or at many hotels in the city. The excursion to Củ Chi Tunnels frequently includes a cycle ride inland.