Thu Bon River, Hoi An – a Historical and Cultural Treasure

The Thu Bon River, located in Hoi An town, Quang Nam province, is often referred to as the “mother river” because it creates rich alluvial soil layers and provides abundant fish for local fishermen. It also leaves magnificent imprints on Quang Nam’s culture, notably in the Ancient Town of Hoi An and the My Son Sanctuary.


Location: Quang Nam Province

I. Overview of Thu Bon River

Hoian-Overview of Thu Bon River
Overview of Thu Bon River ( Collection)

With a watershed area of over 10.3 km2, the Thu Bon River originates from Ngoc Linh Mountain, which stands at 2598 meters (Kon Tum). One branch of this river flows into the sea at Cua Dai Beach, Hoi An, while the other branch converges with the Vinh Dien River, which then flows into the Han River.

Hoian8-Thu-Bon-River-SunsetHowever, historically, it was merely a small, tranquil river meandering through rocky rapids in the southwestern region of Quang Nam. Thanks to the contributions of the Tien River in Tien Phuoc and the Tranh River in Tra My, the flow of the Thu Bon River swells.

II. What is the Best Time to Visit Thu Bon River?


What is the Best Time to Visit Thu Bon River?

The Thu Bon River seems to exude its most enchanting beauty at dusk. In the twilight glow, the river resembles an oil painting adorned with trees, and riverside houses. It’s time to take a boat ride to admire the sunset and immerse yourself in the romantic atmosphere of the Thu Bon River.

III. Highlights of the Thu Bon River

1. Flow

Highlights of Thu Bon River
Highlights of Thu Bon River

Considered the powerful flow of Quang Nam – Da Nang, the Thu Bon River winds its way through rugged mountains in western Quang Nam and pours into lush green fields. Along its course, the river has left many marks on the local landscape.

As it reaches the area of Tien Phuoc, it cascades down Thac Ca (Ca Waterfall), creating a prominent silver belt against the green backdrop of the forest. After departing from the Tra Linh region, the river flows between two towering mountains like a wall named Hon Kem Da Dung. At the foot of Hon Kem mountain, many ancient inscriptions are still preserved on white columns dating back to the Champa period.

Upon reaching Giao Thuy, the Thu Bon River merges with a branch of the Vu Gia River, flowing southward. The flow then splits and passes through Cho Cui, Cau Lau before merging once again to head towards Cua Dai.

2. Cultural Significance

The Culture
The Culture

Visiting the Thu Bon River is akin to exploring a region steeped in rich cultural heritage. Here, you can easily feel the bustling atmosphere of buyers and sellers at the market, while the ancient villages embody a rustic beauty. Thus, modernity and simplicity have become closely intertwined.

On this picturesque river, traditional products from craft villages like the Nong Son Incense Village, Thanh Ha Pottery Village, and Tam Tang Silk Village are transported through Hoi An port to showcase to friends around the world.

IV. What to See and Do on the Thu Bon River?

1. Boat Sightseeing

Hoian5 Thu Bon River Boat

This is the most popular way to fully appreciate the scenery as well as the daily life of the local residents along the riverbanks. Departing from Nguyen Hang or Bach Dang ports, you can rent a boat and embark on a lively journey.

A day spent boating on the Thu Bon River will help visitors understand why this place is a convergence of people, waterways, and culture. The romantic beauty of lush coconut groves, the radiant faces of fishermen, the bright smiles of children, the bustling noise from markets and shops… all can be captured into a magnificent picture to cherish as a memory.

2. Explore Traditional Craft Villages

Traditional Craft Villages
Traditional Craft Villages

Besides boating, a tour to the villages along the river is also fantastic. For a small fee (from 100,000 to 150,000 VND), you can witness skilled artisans showcasing their talents and learn how they create their products. For instance, you can delve deeper into strawberry nurseries, silkworm breeding, and pottery making techniques.

Some famous villages that can be included in your itinerary:

► Kim Bong Carpentry Village
Address: Rural Road, Trung Ha, Cam Kim Commune, Hoi An, Quang Nam

► Thanh Ha Pottery Village
Address: Pham Phan, Thanh Ha, Hoi An, Quang Nam

► Tra Que Vegetable Village
Address: Tra Que, Cam Ha, Hoi An, Quang Nam

► Phuoc Kieu Bronze Casting Village
Address: Dien Phuong, Dien Ban, Quang Nam

► Ma Chau Silk Village
Address: Nam Phuoc Town, Duy Xuyen District, Quang Nam

3. Listen to historical stories related to the Thu Bon River

Listen to Historical Stories Related to Thu Bon River
Listen to Historical Stories Related to Thu Bon River (Source: expedia)

During the two resistance wars against the French and the Americans, the Thu Bon River witnessed countless fierce battles, burying the youth and lives of many patriotic soldiers. The courageous spirit of the Vietnamese people is deeply ingrained in the stories passed down to this day.

Whenever visiting this legendary river, travelers will hear stories from the elderly about local heroes and heroines. One of the prominent tales you might hear is about Le Thi Tich and Le Thi Nghe, two heroic Vietnamese mothers who sacrificed their own children to save soldiers during the bloody war.

4. Immerse Yourself in Local Festivals

Hoian4 Thu Bon River Festival

On the 12th day of the lunar calendar, riverside residents hold the Thu Bon River Goddess Festival to honor the nurturing presence of the “Mother River.” This occasion is also a time to pray for peace and abundant harvest, attracting many tourists to participate.

On the 14th day of every lunar month, the Thu Bon River transforms into a sea of flowers with various lotus lanterns illuminating Hoi An. You can light a candle and place it in a lotus flower, then set it afloat on the river to carry your wishes. This experience is truly fascinating and indescribable.

V. How to Get to the Thu Bon River?

Hoian3 Thu Bon River Get to

Because the Thu Bon River is not far from Hoi An Ancient Town, you can conveniently visit the Thu Bon River while exploring Hoi An. You can travel by train or plane to Da Nang, then choose one of the following options to reach Hoi An Ancient Town:

By tourist bus: It will cost you approximately $4.30 to $7.00 per person. The travel time is only about 1 hour.
By Grab (motorbike or car): $7 to $13 per person.
By taxi: $16 to $35 per person.

VI. Additional Tips

Hoian2 Thu Bon River Extra Tips

  • You can also ride a bicycle or walk along the riverbank in the early morning and evening to admire the sunrise and sunset. It’s advisable not to wear short skirts while enjoying the journey.
  • The Thu Bon River is vibrant with photo opportunities awaiting your exploration, offering memorable journeys. Whether day or night, it holds great allure for travel enthusiasts.

VII. Here are some more suggestions for destinations in Hoi An:

After you’ve explored the enchanting Thu Bon River, don’t miss out on countless other incredible destinations in Hoi An such as:

  1. Hoi An Ancient Town: Wander through the well-preserved streets of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, marveling at the blend of Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, and European architecture. Don’t miss the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge and the Phuc Kien Assembly Hall.
  2. An Bang Beach: Just a short drive from the town center, this beautiful beach offers a perfect spot to relax, swim, and enjoy fresh seafood at the beachside restaurants.
  3. Tra Que Vegetable Village: Experience local agricultural practices by visiting this traditional farming village. You can participate in farming activities and enjoy a meal made from freshly harvested produce.
  4. Cua Dai Beach: Another stunning beach near Hoi An, Cua Dai is ideal for sunbathing, swimming, and enjoying water sports.
  5. My Son Sanctuary: A day trip to this ancient Cham civilization site, located about an hour from Hoi An, offers a fascinating glimpse into Vietnam’s history and architecture. The Hindu temple complex is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  6. Hoi An Night Market: Visit the night market to shop for local handicrafts, souvenirs, and enjoy street food. The colorful lanterns create a magical atmosphere.
  7. Thanh Ha Pottery Village: Discover the traditional art of pottery making in this village, where you can watch artisans at work and even try your hand at creating your own piece.
  8. Kim Bong Carpentry Village: Take a boat ride to this village known for its skilled woodworkers and carpenters. You can observe traditional boat building and furniture making techniques.
  9. Hoi An Museum of History and Culture: Learn about the town’s rich history through various exhibits, including ancient artifacts, traditional costumes, and historical photographs.
  10. Cam Thanh Coconut Village: Explore the water coconut palm forest by basket boat, where you can enjoy the serene natural beauty and learn about the local fishing culture.

These destinations in and around Hoi An offer a diverse range of experiences, from cultural and historical exploration to relaxation and adventure, ensuring a memorable visit.

To optimize your vacation in Vietnam, it’s crucial to plan strategically and book early. Amidst the myriad of travel companies, Discover Vietnam Tours stands out for its seamless coordination via email and WhatsApp. They handle everything from airport transfers and accommodation to guided tours, drivers, and suitable activities.

With their expertise, Discover Vietnam Tours can tailor a program to your schedule and preferences, ensuring a perfect cross-country itinerary. Let Discover Vietnam Tours elevate your travel experience, ensuring unforgettable memories in this captivating country.