Bonsai River Cruise: Wine & Dine Down Ho Chi Minh City's Saigon River

by - December 05, 2018

Give me a stunning 2-story boat, a glass of vino, an endless 5-star buffet, a sparkling nighttime view of Ho Chi Minh City, beautifully crafted traditional Vietnamese entertainment and tell me not fall in love with Bonsai Cruise!

Ho Chi Minh City, my tropical home-away-from-home, is such a charming little huge place. The culture is fascinating! Just the way the classic French architecture compliments the sleek skyscrapers while merging together the many ornate temples throughout the city, makes me love every second of life here. Of course when the sun sets, the city is crawling with rooftop bars to choose from, but if you want a unique perspective of Saigon by night, the place to be is on the water! 

I've lived here for nearly a year and I can honestly say that wining and dining my way down the Saigon River with the re-opening of Bonsai Cruise was truly a night for the books. I mean, I love a good cruise, but they really blew me out of the water with such a fantastic evening (see what I did there)!

Arriving in style, we were excited to have a classy little night out in Saigon, a change from our usual plastic-table-and-chair-meal where we wear shorts and flip flops. Were we in for a treat! Greeting us at the pier was the two story, open air, beautifully crafted Bonsai cruise ship. We were excited! Obviously.

As we were escorted to our seats, the welcome drinks arrived within seconds. We ordered some Cabernet to accompany a little walk around the boat, admiring the view, before setting sail to soak in more of Ho Chi Minh City's riverside attractions. 

The Food...

Our two hour river cruise combined authentic and very delicious Vietnamese food with genuine hospitality and sparkling Saigon River views. Do you need more? There was certainly no shortage of high-end, traditional Vietnamese dishes and slow-cooked, hand-selected, fresh from the grill drool worthy options to choose from. All of which were arranged and prepared live before our eyes on interactive buffet stations.

I do love a buffet, but a tasteful, classy buffet where ingredients are locally sourced and organic makes all the difference. From the build your own pho bar to the lamb curry beautifully concocted specifically for you, this was my paradise. I'm talking, sushi, fresh spring rolls, a gorgeous cheese platter, crab claw herb salad, steamed dumplings, stuffed tofu bites, char grilled chicken skewers, clams in cream sauce and this is just the start... 

Photo by: @bonsaicruise
One more thing, the desert bar included mini pancakes. I repeat, mini pancakes.

The Entertainment...

While taking an evening cruise down the Saigon River might be the main draw, there’s nothing about the radiant Ho Chi Minh City or its shimmering river water that is exclusive to any one dining experience. However, the stunning onboard entertainment really made the night spectacular and set it apart from any other dining experience I've had in this city!

From the moment we stepped onboard our ears were lit with live music, watching traditional Vietnamese dances, laughing at the frantic magician pulling coins from people's ears, to applauding the incredible man playing Despacito on the Vietnamese Bamboo Flute (best day of my life? yes). There was no shortage of entertainment. We were having a ball watching the range of talent, we almost forgot to get desert.... almost.

Photo by: @bonsaicruise
Photo by: @bonsaicruise

The Verdict...

After living in Ho Chi Minh City for nearly a year, I can honestly say that wining and dining my way down the Saigon River with Bonsai Cruise has easily become one my favourite experiences in the city that I love. The views you get drifting down the river are unbeatable and definitely something a sky bar will never get you. The food? Heavenly. The entertainment? Exceptional. The experience? It undeniably sets Bonsai Cruise apart. I just can't wait for someone to come visit me here so I can have an excuse to do it all over again! 

Lastly, one thing I really appreciate about Bonsai Cruise is that since their re-launch they've upheld an environmentally friendly cruise operation where they use ethical and local sourcing to deliver their exceptional product. A+, this is so important for the future of Saigon and I'm so happy to see companies getting on board (see what I did there) with a greener future!

Essential Information

Company Bonsai Legacy Cruise at and @BonsaiCruise 

Pick-Up & Drop-Off Point: Nha Rong Port (Saigon Port), 5 Nguyen Tat Thanh Street, District 4, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Cost: Dinner cruises start at $47 USD  and all-inclusive dinner cruises start at $67 USD

What to Bring: Come hungry and don't forget your camera!

If you have any questions you can also find me on Instagram at @AlyshiaTurchyn! I'd love to help plan your river cruise experience!

Looking for a place to stay in Ho Chi Minh City? Checkout all your accommodation options here!

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