As of 2021, Saigon is home to almost 9 million people. Over the past few years, it has established itself as a premier tourist destination. Yet, traveling around the too often congested, motorbike-filled streets is not for everyone. The good news is there is another way to explore the city: the Saigon Water Bus. Although it opened back in 2017, many still aren’t aware of how great it is. If you’re living in District 2, here is everything you need to know about the Water Bus from Thao Dien.
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When did it open?
In 2017, Saigon was introduced to its newest form of transportation: the Saigon Water Bus. Thanks to a private company called Daily Company Ltd, the city received five water taxis. Although the initial launch date was delayed by a few months, since Saigon Water Bus has been opened and running, locals and tourists have enjoyed it for years now.
What does it look like?
You cannot miss the Saigon Water Bus. There are five boats in total, and each one looks like a traditional yellow school bus. There are a total of 80 seats per boat, and each seat has a life jacket underneath.
Also, to make the experience more enjoyable, the boats are equipped with air conditioning. The service signs are displayed in Vietnamese and English.
Where does it stop?
If you plan to take the Water Bus from Thao Dien, the closest station is the Binh An Station. It is a 2-minute drive or 6-minute walk from Saigon River Tunnel Park. You will recognize it when you see it thanks to the big “W” that sits above its bright yellow rectangular entrance.
From there, you have a couple of options on where to go. For example, let’s say you are interested in checking out some of the city’s French colonial architecture, such as the infamous Saigon Opera House.
To do so, you get on at the Binh An Station and take a 15-minute ride to the Bach Dang Station on Ton Duc Thang Street. From there, it’s another 2-minute drive or 6-minute walk, and you’ve arrived at the Opera House.
Another option is traveling north and visiting the other three stops: Thanh Da, Hiep Binh Chanh, and Linh Dong. (Note: Only 5 out of 12 stations are operating right now). This route is perfect if you want to mix it up and stop by less visited places such as the Binh Quoi Tourist Villages or Vinh Dung Temple.
The entire route from Bach Dang to Linh Dong is 10.8 kilometers. If you plan to travel the whole way non-stop, it will take you roughly 50 minutes. Each stop is 15 minutes apart.
How much does it cost?
If you are considering traveling from District 1, the Saigon Water Bus from Thao Dien offers an inexpensive solution. 15,000 vnd is the flat rate whether you travel the entire route or only one stop. Tickets are available at kiosks at all the stations. Also, if you are a Vietnamese citizen over the age of 70 or a child under 1 meter in height, you get to travel for free!
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Why ride the Saigon Water Bus from Thao Dien?
The Thao Dien community offers a lot. It has excellent international schools, a vibrant art scene, and restaurants serving food from all over the world. Plus, there are many places to swim, exercise for free, or visit if you love nature.
That being said, it’s worth it to get out every once and a while to explore. The city of Saigon as a whole has a lot to offer too. The Saigon Water Bus provides an inexpensive and convenient way to view the city’s beauty through a refreshing lens. Make a point to experience this new perspective and see for yourself how much Saigon has to offer.
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