Like mystic offering incense, the river gathers the fragrance of a medicinal plant (Grass leaved Sweet flag Rhizome) abundant along its course. Flowing tranquilly past the tombs of the Nguyen emperors and the citadel, it journeys through humbler regions before finally reaching the Tam Giang Lagoon, the largest lagoon in South-East Asia. Cruising on the river through the city and countryside of Hue, offers the traveler a unique perspective and experience of Vietnam’s old imperial city and the lives of its people; an especially beautiful and peaceful experience at the break of dawn… a wonderful way to begin a perfect morning.
Pick up at hotel transfer to board a dragon-boat at Le Loi Boulevard (Toa Kham Boat Station) across the street just before dawn. Warmed with coffee, we cruise downstream as the rising sun silhouettes the eastern bank of the river and reflects off the rippling water. As dawn breaks we observe the tranquil pace of life on the river and along its banks, passing temples, churches, old ornate tombs, community markets, boat anchorages, women washing clothes and boats loaded with river sand, farm produce or livestock.
Shortly after passing Hen Islet an elongated sandbank, we arrive at the humble, “off the beaten track” village of Thuan Hoa, named for the harmonious nature of its inhabitants. Here our bicycles are unloaded and we begin an exploratory and spontaneous “peddle-ramble”. A paved pathway stretches all along the riverbank with tracks meandering through the village and fields. The villagers are friendly and there is a lot to photograph in the street side markets, besides trying traditional snacks. Buffaloes wade in the shallows with ducks, market bound pigs caged in bamboo await transport in a boat; try the village version of a baguette sandwich (Banh Mi)… We cycle distance of about 3 km or an hour upstream till the edge of village to rendezvous with our dragon-boat, reload our bicycles and cruise back to port at Le Loi Boulevard where the sunrise cruise ends.
PRICE PER PERSON: $39.00USD
Inclusion: Dragon-boat, bicycles, English speaking guide, hot coffee, cookies, fruit, water on board
Exclusion: Personal expenses, tips and gratuities.