Hoi An River Cruise: Guide to The Best Boat Tour in Hoi An

Hoi An River Cruise: Guide to The Best Boat Tour in Hoi An
Hoi An River Cruise: Guide to The Best Boat Tour in Hoi An

About Thu Bon River in Hoi An

Introduction about Thu Bon River

Thu Bon River (or Song Thu Bon) is the largest river in Hoi An, and the greater province Quang Nam. It’s nearly 200 km long, originating from the peak of Southern Annamite Range (at elevation of 2,6000 meters) and flowing into the sea by Cua Dai Estuary. Being one of a few rivers running in Vietnam’s territory only, this has a catchment area of 10,350km2 and plays an important role in local agriculture, fishing, waterway traffic and tourism. Hoi An is by its left bank, and near confluences of many waterways, giving it a prime location. Thanks to that, the town reached prosperity in international trading in many periods, from Champa, Viet to today.

Islands, estuaries, and related ecosystems of the Thu Bon River are within the Cu Lao Cham-Hoi An biosphere reserve designated by Unesco in 2009.

Thu Bon River Meaning

Thu Bon is popularly understood as “the Autumn” but according to historians, it has a different meaning. For them, its name in the language of the Chams is Sumut Drak, meaning “the large estuary”. Before 15th century, the people established a trade port by the river, called Champapura (or City of the Champa) and now, it’s Hoi An. In the religion, the river also represents the Ganges in India, because the Chams followed Hinduism at that time.

Fact: The stretch of Thu Bon River flowing in Hoi An, is named “Song Hoai” that means “the missing river”. Locals said that their ancestors were migrants from other places in the country or from China, so they always missed their hometown.

Islands and Riverside Villages

On the body of water of the Thu Bon river near Hoi An, there are many alluvial islands that were inhabited by Vietnamese at least from 14th century. The largest island is Cam Kim, famous for its peaceful countryside, lively craft and fishing villages. It’s popular for cyclists and cycling tours. To get to it, people can pass over new and old Cam Kim bridges, or more conveniently, get on a boat ferry. The most visited village here is Kim Bong where locals specialize in making wood works and boat building. The closest ones to the Old Town are An Hoi (the night market), Cam Nam, and the Hoi An Impression (theme park). All are walkable. Not far away from the town, Thanh Ha pottery village is accessible by boat, well-known for 400-years-old industry in producing unglazed porcelains. Getting there, and starting shaping your first clay works ever.

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Read also:

  • The Perfume River in Hue
  • Han River of Da Nang

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