Since the day we moved to Ho Chi Minh, I’m in search for adventures and things to discover in the city -while waiting for our next trip! There is one people kept recommending me : a cruise on Saigon River with Bonsai Cruise. So, ni une, ni deux, I booked a babysitter for N, and a dinner under the stars for us !
Who knew Ho Chi Minh could be romantic? The city isn’t known for its skyline, however, an evening cruising on its water with the breeze caressing your skin can be a beautiful way to end the day. The ship leaves from District 4 and cruises for 6 kms along the shores, passing by some of the gorgeous hotels from the colonial times and some beautiful modern skyscrapers, including the Bitexco tower -one of the highest towers in Saigon, with 264m.
Since rooftops and cool restaurants have become a standard, it was exciting to try something new for a change. The cruise includes a delicious local dinner in a luxury atmosphere, far away from the metropolis’s bustle. You’ll forget the traffic, you’ll forget the crowds, you’ll even forget the heat !
An evening on Saigon River -with Bonsai Cruise
We got to the pier with no expectations whatsoever -to be completely honest, I was worried about getting ourselves into a big tourist factory… Until a lady in a stunning traditional Vietnamese dress welcomed us at the entrance, and showed us the way to the boat. We passed by a couple of big boats, thinking “I hope it’s the last one on the back, the beautiful one all in wood!”. Lucky us, Bonsai Cruise isn’t the boat full of flashing multicolores neons nor the one with a big shark drawn on the hull.
An beautiful evening with Bonsai Cruise
No wonder why people kept talking about Bonsai Cruise and not any other company. It’s a whole different level here ! Of course, there’s the beauty of the boat -but not only that. The staff is highly professional, the atmosphere traditional, and the deck itself not too big, so it’s not crowded -it almost feels like a private boat.
We got welcomed with a fresh tea to cool us down, then once everyone was arrived, the drums started to official open the night. DAM DA-DA-DA-DAAAAM!
The buffet had some mouthwatering words on its signs such as “coconut milk”, “bbq grilled shrimps”, “lime and soy sauce” and “Thaï salad”. Everything looks so good, it was hard to choose. So we didn’t. We had a little bit of everything that took our fancy, to finish the evening completely full!
It was absolutely delicious, and on top of that, the views and the atmosphere made it all even better. During the whole evening, we’ve had the chance to see many different shows -from live music to dances and magic. Great rhythm but not too loud. Many but not too many. Just the right amount of cultural performances. Oh, and G ended up doing the dance/jump between bamboo sticks with the dancers -yes, they invite the guests to give a try to the Vietnamese traditions!
The night ended with fresh exotic fruits and miniature pana cotta, banane cake and tiramisu on the deck. Not bad, not bad.
a cruise on Saigon River with bonsai cruise : what you need to know
Itinerary : The boat leaves the ferry pier in District 4 at about 7pm, to come back around 9pm. It goes up north, along the beautiful Saigon River.
Prices : Bonsai Cruise offers different packages, with a dinner cruise starting from 47$. They also do events, such as wedding and private parties.
Food : I’m normally not big on all-you-can-eat buffet, but this one was incredibly tasty, with a lot of choice! The food is freshly homenade, presented in the form of East meets West.
Thank you Bonsai Cruise for hosting us. Our cruise was complimentary, but my opinion is my own -and as I said above, I was planning to book this experience on Saigon River. They just contacted me before I did !