Fishing in Saigon
What we say:
Recently I was driving to a friend’s house on my motorbike when I caught something out of the corner of my eye that nearly made me lock the brakes: a fishing pond! I come from a family of fishermen and, since I have fishing in my veins, it was something I had to investigate. I had wanted to fish ever since the fishing part of my recent snorkelling tour produced nothing in the excitement department and this looked like a good spot to try my luck and skill. I parked my bike and headed to the counter to figure out how things worked.
Set up was simple. At the front counter 30,000 VND gets you a bamboo fishing pole, a bag of bait, and a spot to fish at one of the numerous huts that line the bank of the pond. More advanced rods and reels are available for an extra 30,000 VND but they require a 100,000 VND deposit.
Once you get to your hut, grab a chair, ball the bait onto your hook, put hook in the water, and play the waiting game. Here you will be angling for a large variety of fish, with the possibility of catching some fish over 15kg. While you wait for your prey to strike you can order a drink, or food, from the large restaurant in the back.
There are plenty of fish in the pond and they constantly remind you that they’re not on your hook by surfacing nearby. When one finally does take your bait, you fight them onto your platform where an employee will help you unhook the fish.
From here you have two options: release the fish back into the pond so it can swim another day, or have the restaurant cook it for you, in which case you are charged per kilo of whatever fish species you caught. Being a super manly fisherman I decided on the latter and, in very quick fashion, my fish was served to me grilled to perfection and served with vegetables and fish sauce.
The fishing was a quiet, relaxing activity and now I can say that I caught a fish in Vietnam, which sounds pretty cool.
Getting to the pond can be a bit of an adventure though. From District 1, head out of town on Nguyen Huu Tho until you hit Nguyen Van Linh in District 7. Take a right and follow the road until you hit Quoc Lo 50. Turn left and take the what is supposed to be a highway until you see a sign for the Thanh Long football complex; the pond is just past the stadium under the arch. It was a long drive, about 45 minutes, from downtown, but it was totally worth it.
Plus, if we ever enter apocalyptical times, I now know it is possible to catch a fish with a hook and line tied to a bamboo pole and I that I can do it!Last updated: 18th September, 2014
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