VietnamActivities & AttractionsBoat Tours Hosted by Locals in Vietnam

Boat Tours Hosted by Locals in Vietnam

It is obvious from the map that the whole east side of Vietnam connects to the sea. Vietnam’s geographic location also makes it a hub for many rivers flowing southward into the sea. With that in mind, there are plenty of opportunities to take a boat ride to get a different perspective of the country. Below are some options for boat tours in Vietnam, ranging from traditional to more luxurious experiences.

Boat Tours in Vietnam

Rustic Rowboat

A rowboat by the open water of the Mekong Delta

The traditional rowboat has been the most common transportation on the river and even the sea. It is typically handled by a local person using oars to propel it through the water. Unlike kayaks or canoes, rowboats require adequate skills to operate. Due to its smaller size and slower pace, choosing a rowboat for boat tours in Vietnam will give you a more personal experience, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the surroundings.

Price: US$ 40 – 90 per person, depending on the tour package.

Duration: 1 – 2 hours, depending on the tour package.

Where to take boat tours in Vietnam for rowboats

Rowboats ready to take on passengers in a narrow waterway in the Mekong Delta

Mekong Delta – Get a sense of life on the water in the Mekong Delta and experience its unique culture. Exploring this region’s narrow waterway will allow you to glimpse the famous floating market.

Rowboat tour through the Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex in Ninh Binh

Ninh Binh – Known as the “inland Ha Long Bay”, this region’s scenic karst mountain formations. A boat ride will take you through caves and allow you to appreciate the natural beauty of Vietnam’s countryside.

Hoi An – Just like a scene from Disney’s movie “Tangled”, you’ll get to travel down the main river of Hoi An and participate in the water lantern ceremony. Afterwards, you can go shopping at the many beautiful local shops, and sit down at the pavement to try some Vietnamese sweet soup.

Vietnamese desserts at Hoi An night market

Dragon Boat

A typical dragon boat will have a carved dragon head at the front, while the side of the hull is painted with dragon scales, and a wooden carved tail is donned at the back.

Historically, the decorative dragon boat was a transport vessel for Vietnamese royalties. Nowadays, it is used for small boat tours or as a ferry operated by locals. A small engine typically powers the boat through the water.

Price: US$ 10 – 20 per person.

Duration: 1 – 2 hours.

Where to take boat tours in Vietnam for dragon boats

Hue– The historic city of Hue is the perfect place to take a dragon boat tour, given its history with royalties. Float down the Perfume River to get a different perspective of the local life and its surroundings.

Basket Boat

The round basket boat is the most unique boat indigenous to Vietnam. The story goes that Vietnamese fishermen could not afford to pay the boat tax incurred by the French during the colonial period, so a circular woven “basket” was designed to function as one.

Because of its round shape, a basket boat requires skill to maneuver. You may even use your paddle to attempt steering the ship. But if you want to relax and enjoy the ride, a professional local captain will be onboard to ensure proper navigation.

Price: US$ 20 – 50 per person, depending on the tour package.

Duration: 2 hours, depending on the tour package.

Where to take boat tours in Vietnam for basket boats

Hoi An – The small scenic town of Hoi An is a good match for the basket boat. Take a calming basket boat ride through the canal that runs through Bay Mau Coconut Jungle is a great option for the summer.

Junk-Style Boat

Despite the name “junk,” these boats are known for their durability and versatility on the high seas. With large ruffled sails, they have an oriental aesthetic that can be traced back to Chinese ships in long-distance trades of goods in the past.

These days, junk-style boats are commonly seen as hotels on the water, allowing passengers to stay the night out in the open sea. This makes junk-style boat tours the most luxurious of all boat tours in Vietnam and will serve as a fantastic experience. Because these tours require a full day or more, you can expect a variety of activities as well as all meals included.

Price: US$ 80 – 300 per person.

Duration: Full day trip or 2 days and 1 night.

Where to take boat tours in Vietnam for the junk-style boat

Ha Long Bay – Junk-style boats are iconic next to the famous Ha Long Bay. Passengers can choose to have a full day trip out on the sea or stay the night for an extended trip. There is plenty to do around this region besides experiencing the wondrous beauty of the seascape. Longer and more luxurious trips are available here at Ha Long Bay if you’re interested.

Last Words for Boat Tours Hosted by Locals in Vietnam

When taking a trip to Vietnam, it is safe to say that water is a fun way to travel. Regardless of your choice of boat tours in Vietnam, any one of these options is guaranteed to give you a fresh perspective on the country. Even after experiencing the country on water, there is still plenty of culture, history, and natural wonders to warrant another exciting adventure in Vietnam!

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