Hoi An is always a must-visit destination for travellers when coming to Vietnam. This trading city with bustling activities from the 15th to the 19th century has a varied culture and heritage. But Hoi An still has a great natural treasure from the sea to the river, including the Thu Bon River. Once upon a time, its quietness meant the death for all the commercial activities in Hoi An, now this river is a real tourist attraction. Follow us along this mythical river and discover the hidden treasures along its banks.
A river full of history
Thu Bon River originates from Truong Son mountain range at over 2,500 m altitudes, on Ngoc Linh Mountain, Nam Tra My District, Quang Nam Province. During its journey, the river has deposited silt, helping this land become fertile, and had also shaped the geographical and history of this region in Vietnam. It had contributed to the emergence of cultural sites such as My Son Sanctuary and Hoi An ancient town, two sites classified cultural heritage of humanity by UNESCO. Thu Bon River has flowed through the years, witnessing many events on both of its sides, till this day, it continues to flow, continue to build up alluvium and fulfil its role in the natural life cycle.
Boat trips on the Thu Bon River
Thu Bon River is one of the nicest waterways in Vietnam, you can do many types of trips on this river, from half a day to a whole day. A boat trip on this river can help you discover the villages of artisans and enjoy the breathtaking scene of sunset over the river and the sea. A half-day trip allows you to come to Thanh Ha village, a village that specialized for centuries in the production of high-quality pottery and ceramics, or Kim Bong village, a carpentry village highly renowned for its admirable wood carvings, the fruit of a tradition century-old craftsmanship.
You can also have the opportunity to observe the daily life of locals on the banks of the river and try the fishing technique or the bamboo boat driving technique, a typical boat in Hoi An. At the end of the trip, you can choose to go to Cua Dai estuary, an ideal place for watching sunset and enjoying fresh seafood. This place has a full range of services to cater to your needs, from the hotel to the cuisine. You can swim as much as you want, then sit on the sandy beach to eat seafood dishes made by street vendors, what a great way to enjoy life!
Travellers may choose to go to My Son sanctuary by boat, a unique experience that can’t be missed. You can admire the natural beauty along the way, learn about the unique Champa culture, then return to the charming Hoi An or continue discovering beautiful small villages hidden on the banks of Thu Bon river. Along this trip, you can admire the magnificent landscape with coconut palms perched on both banks and the life of the fishermen. Then you can go to the unobtrusive beach Ha My and Bay Mau coconut forest in which lies Cam Thanh, a fishing village where time seems to have frozen for the eternity.
Another very interesting and romantic option is to have a dinner cruise on the river. From the boat, you have a very splendour view of the whole Hoi An ancient town, rows of beautiful old houses with richly decorated interiors, lit by lanterns. This dinner, accompanied by a group of traditional music, will make you discover the fabulous gastronomy of Hoi An, creative, original and so tasty! A travel experience that will leave an unforgettable memory to your stay in Hoi An.
The river with ten thousand lotus lanterns
On the 14th day of each lunar month, the entire Hoi An turns off its lights and bans motorized vehicles in the old quarter. From 19h to 21h, the city is lit in the light of lanterns. A magical show that you must see.
This is an opportunity for the Vietnamese to honour their ancestors by burning counterfeit banknotes and votive papers. On this occasion, paper lotuses with a candle inside are sold. After making a wish, you must place the floating lotus on the Thu Bon River and let it sail in the hope that the wish will come true. The river is then sparkling with tens of thousands of lotus lanterns, carrying the wishes of people to the sea.