Jul 11, 2018
One lovely afternoon, I decided to travel by water bus in order to enjoy the fresh atmosphere of the river and let my mind relax after a long day at work. It was the most exciting experience that I have ever had during my stay in Ho Chi Minh City. The Saigon water bus operates around Saigon’s many waterways. The first-ever water bus service in Saigon launched on November 25th, 2017 to serve local people and tourists. My route No. 1 is 11km in length stretching from Bach Dang Harbor in District 1 and it passes through District 2 and Binh Thanh before terminating at Linh Dong ferry terminal in Thu Duc District.
Five buses run on weekdays. There are 5 stations with another 7 under construction. Total transfer time from the first station to the final station is 30 minutes. At each station, the boats have 3 minutes for dropping off and picking up passengers. There are 7 daily departure times during the week with 6 extra departures on Saturdays and Sundays. The water bus schedule is shown below.
When arriving at the station, there was a ticket counter inside a beautiful glass office making it totally see-through. I bought a return ticket costing VND 15,000 (USD 0.67) for a one way journey. It is the same price for tourists as well as locals and the same price applies to every route. For example:
In order to reach the station in District 1, it is easy to walk from Ben Thanh Market in about 15 minutes (or 10 minutes by taxi) to Bach Dang Harbor where Bach Dang ticket station is located. And it’s about 15 minutes walk from either Notre Dame Cathedral or Central Post Office going by way of Dong Khoi Street.
If you are not able to find Bach Dang Harbor, this is how to ask for directions in Vietnamese: “Bến Bạch Đằng”. In every water bus, there is a life jacket/vest for each passenger,so you do not need to worry about safety.
While I was waiting for my water bus, there was a café at the station where I ordered fresh peach tea and drank it in the spacious and open area at the front. It is an ideal place to enjoy refreshments while watch the water buses arriving and leaving the pier.
These are the station addresses:
Photo by: Trang Thai