While most popular activities in Nha Trang involve water, another way to enjoy a day and learn Vietnam culture and domesticity of the local people is by embarking on some river boat riding in Nha Trang. The Nha Trang Song Cai (Mother River) is a vast river of Vietnam that flows through the province of Khanh Hoa and Dak Lak. It has a basin area of about 1900 square kilometers. This scenic river tour is a great way to escape the bustling downtown centre. Cruising along the countryside lets you witness the daily local life of the fishermen on the riverbank and watch the changing topography of Nha Trang while snapping some photos.
There are two types of Nha Trang Song Cai Boat Ride – day tour and night tour. The river boat riding in Nha Trang consists of a 7 kilometer boat ride with a few interesting things to see along the way. It usually starts at 9 am and returns at 4 pm. The boat ride itself is very romantic and filled with poetic inspirations as the windy river makes you mesmerized with the continuously changing scenery and landscapes of the countryside. Looking from the boat, you can see coconut palms, water buffaloes, rice paddies, vegetable gardens and orchards.
The river tour isn’t only limited to boat riding because you’ll stop by some interesting places along your journey. You’ll visit the terracotta towers of Cham Ponagar temple and take up-close shots of the ancient structure. Quench your thirst with coconut juice as you visit the coconut village and have your snack at the fish cake frying house with its specialty cha ca and sugar cane juice. Next stop is an ancient house where you can visit a typical Vietnamese family country house and see the ancestors’ shrine. Other stopovers may include sedge mat-weaving house, the pottery house, horse carriage, boat building factory, bamboo basket making house, incense sticks and if possible, the Thab Ba Hot Spring Centre for the famous mud bath.
While cruising the river heading to Xom Bong Bridge, you can see the series of fishing villages with the numerous floating red and blue fishing boats. From the riverboat, you can leisurely visit the Cu Lao Fish Market, the place where fishermen gather early in the morning to trade their catch, which are then distributed in all markets in the city.
If you wish to have river tour by night, you can enjoy the sounds and sights of the river life while watching the sunset from the boat cruise. The tour starts at 5pm to 9pm. You will still follow the same itinerary from the day trip.
Now, to find a boat, you can directly visit the Ha Ra Bridge and ask for a tour. You can also book on a tourist office in Tran Phu Street. River boat riding in Nha Trang usually costs from $10 to $15 per person, including meals and bus transfer. It is also possible to tour around with a fisherman on his motor boat or small fishing boat.