Take a Cruise Along the Thu Bon River in Hoi An Vietnam

The Thu Bon River was created from water that ran down the Ngoc Linh Mountain, which is in the Duy Xuyen District of Hoi An in Vietnam.  This river was used as a military boundary during the war, but now it serves as a boom to the tourism industry in Hoi An.

While many people will ride in a boat up and down the river, the Thu Bon River is also the backdrop for many of the festivals and other events that are held within the city.  Of course, back many years ago, this river served a different purpose, and that was an incredible part of the trade industry.

Thu Bon River in hoi an

Simply walking along the shoreline of Thu Bon River will have you seeing many of the popular attractions within Hoi An.  While walking along it once will give you a wonderful idea of how the area is, it is recommended that you spend time there at different times of the day for the best experience.

Thu Bon River in Hoi An Ancient Town

Walking along the shoreline is fantastic, but you might want to consider seeing the Thu Bon River from a different perspective, which would be a boat ride.  There are many different tours available to choose from or you can simply hop onto one of the local’s boats, because they are always offering short rides to tourists.

Street view with traditional boats

If you do choose to experience Thu Bon River from a boat on the water, we recommend the sunset cruise.  Those cruises are available every day of the week and most leave around four o’clock in the afternoon.  The entire length of the cruise is four hours and most cruise operators will pick you up and drop you off at your hotel.

You may also choose to walk down to the Bach Dang dock, or whichever dock you are leaving from.  Once you are on board, you can sit back and relax, while listening to the history and other information being shared by your tour guide.  The boat will expertly weave around fishing boats, and their fishing nets that are carefully and strategically hung in the water.

Most tours will end up over at Bay Mau Coconut Village, which is where there is a coconut tree grove.  This is one of the best places to watch the sun set, so make sure you have your camera and you are ready when the sun starts to lower in the nighttime sky.

You can also choose to include a bike tour with your river cruise, so that you can see numerous attractions from both the land and the water.  These trips normally begin at three in the afternoon and you start by riding a bike around the countryside.  As you pass by quaint towns, you will see quite a few paddies and waterways, but nothing will prepare you for the beauty that you will see when you finally arrive over at Tra Que Vegetable Village.  When you are finished seeing where all the organic vegetables of the region come from, you will be ready to make your way down to the banks of Thu Bon River.

This type of tour will include a barbecue dinner, but pay close attention to the sky, so you do not miss those picture-perfect opportunities!  Once darkness has completely crept in, you will glide down the river under the shining light of the moon until you arrive back at the dock.  You will be more than ready to head back to your hotel at that point, because the water and excitement will have made you exhausted.

Relax By the Thu Bon River - hoi an city of lanterns

One of the best times to be at Thu Bon River is during the Lantern Festival, which is held every month.  Once you see this river filled with floating lighted paper lanterns, you will agree that you have never seen anything quite so beautiful.  In fact, it is best to plan your entire trip to Hoi An around these festivals, because they are that amazing!

There is no bad time to see, and ride along, Thu Bon River, but as we mentioned above, the Lantern Festivals are usually the top choice of times to visit by tourists.  This is an extraordinary time each month and once you have experienced one of these festivals, no event in the future will ever come close to being that wonderful.

Thu Bon River

When you are planning your trip to Hoi An, you must make sure that some time on Thu Bon River is on your itinerary.  Whether it is a quick walk along the shoreline or a four-hour cruise, you will thoroughly enjoy the time that you have near the water.  In fact, you may enjoy it so much that you decide to spend more time than you planned on the riverbanks, as you watch the locals go about their daily lives.

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