Travel the Saigon River from the South China Sea to Ho Chi Minh CityA trip up the river to Ho Chi Minh city had never been on my bucket list. Growing up on the cusp of the Vietnam War, I was curious and mildy annoyed about the country that inhabited our tv screen night after night in dreary black and white. But when the lush deltas created by the tributaries along the river started unfolding outside the window of the boat, I was riveted. For hours I scanned the horizon with binoculars, peered into the junkets floating down stream, strained into the jungle, looking for scenes from the past. All the news we tried to turn our heads away from came back during the five hour journey. Even as we approached the cosmopolitan Ho Chi Minh City and the river filled with detritus of old car parts and floating other worldly vegetation, even as we traveled from the past to the future under the Phu My Bridge, the journey seemed important. If you are a member of the Baby Boomer generation this is a trip for you. And don't forget to bring the soundtrack to Apocalypse Now.
See Ho Chi Minh City from the water on a private charter or boat tour. This is very much a working river, and along with the great views you’ll also get a sense of daily life in Vietnam. If you have time for a longer excursion, head along the river to the Cu Chi Tunnels or to the Mekong Delta. Another option is sunset dinner and drinks at one of the city’s many floating restaurants.