Located in Hoi An town, Quang Nam Province, Thu Bon River is often called the “Mother River” as it brings about rich layers of alluvial soil and bestows an abundance of fish on local fishermen. It also makes glorious imprints on Quang Nam culture, which is featured by Hoi An Ancient Town and My Son Sanctuary.
- Location: Quang Nam Province
I. Overview of Thu Bon River
With a basin area of over 10.3 square kilometers, Thu Bon River has its origin in the 2598-meter-high Ngoc Linh Mountain (Kon Tum). One branch of this river pours into the sea at Cua Dai beach, Hoi An while the other branch joins with Vinh Dien River to flow into Han River.
However, in history, it is just a small river flowing silently through the rocky rapids in the southwest region of Quang Nam. Thanks to the contribution of Tien River in Tien Phuoc and Tranh River in Tra My, Thu Bon River’s flow has surged up.
II. What is the Best Time to Visit Thu Bon River?
Thu Bon River seems to exude its most enchanting beauty at sunset time. In the twilight, the river looks like an oil painting splashed with trees and houses on the riverbank. It’s time for you to take a sunset boat ride to indulge yourself in the dreamy atmosphere of Thu Bon River.
III. Highlights of Thu Bon River
1. The Flow
Considered as a vigorous flow of Quang Nam – Da Nang, Thu Bon River winds through jagged mountains in the Western Quang Nam and pours into fertile fields. On its way, the river has left numerous marks on local areas.
When reaching the Tien Phuoc area, it sends itself into Ca Waterfall (Thac Ca), creating a conspicuous silver belt on the forest’s green shirt. After making its farewell to Tra Linh area, the river glides between two wall-like mountains named Hon Kem Da Dung. At the foot of Hon Kem Mountain, there are still many ancient characters carved in white pillars which date back to Chiem Thanh Kingdom
On arrival at Giao Thuy, Thu Bon River conjoins a branch of Vu Gia River to flow together towards the south. The flow then separates and goes through Cho Cui, Cau Lau before merging with each other once again to head to Cua Dai.
2. The Culture
Visiting Thu Bon River would be tantamount to discovering a spot of wide culture. Here you can easily feel the bustling atmosphere of buyers and sellers trading at markets, but old villages are the manifestation of rustic beauty. As a result, the modern and idyllic features have become closely intertwined.
Right on this charming river, traditional products from Nong Son Incense Making Village, Thanh Ha Pottery Village and Tam Tang Cloth Weaving Village are transferred through Hoi An Port to be introduced to worldwide friends.
IV. What to See and Do on Thu Bon River?
1. Go for a Sightseeing Boat Ride
This is the most ubiquitous way to fully contemplate the landscape as well as daily lives of local residents on the riverbank. Setting off at Nguyen Hang or Bach Dang port, you can hire a boat and embark on a lively journey.
A one-day boat ride on Thu Bon River will help visitors understand why it is the meeting place of people, water and culture. Romantic beauty of green coconut trees, blissful faces of fishermen, shining smiles of children, noises from markets and shophouses,… can all be captured into an amazing photo for remembrance.
2. Visit Traditional Craft Villages
Apart from boat sailing, a tour to villages along the river is also fantastic. For a small sum (from 100,000 VND to 150,000 VND), you can witness how skilful and talented artists create their products. For example, you are likely to have a deeper understanding of mulberry cultivation – silk weaving nursery and learn the pottery-making method.
Some well-known villages that can be included in your itinerary:
► Kim Bong Carpentry Village
Address: Nong Thon Street, 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 Province
► Ma Chau Silk Village
Address: Nam Phuoc Town, Duy Xuyen District, Quang Nam Province
3. Listen to Historical Stories Related to Thu Bon River
During the two wars against the French and the American, Thu Bon River saw myriads of fierce battles, as well as burying the youth and lives of countless patriotic soldiers. The courage of Vietnamese people remains engraved in the stories that have been handed down until today.
Whenever visiting this legendary river, travellers will be told about local heroes and heroines by senior citizens. One of the striking stories that you would hear is about Le Thi Tich and Le Thi Nghe – two Vietnamese heroic mothers who have sacrificed their children to save soldiers in the bloody war times.
4. Immerse Yourself in Local Festivals
On the 12th of Lunar February, residents living on the riverside will celebrate Thu Bon Goddess Festival in honour of the protection of “Mother River”. It is also an occasion to pray for safety and bumper harvests, which attracts many travellers to take part in.
On the 14th day of every lunar month, Thu Bon River is transformed into a kaleidoscope with a variety of paper lotus lanterns lit everywhere in Hoi An. You can light up a candle and put it inside a lotus, then set it afloat on the river to carry your wishes along. The experience is, indeed, exciting beyond words.
V. How to Get to Thu Bon River?
As Thu Bon River is not far from Hoi An Ancient Town, so you can conveniently visit Thu Bon River while discovering Hoi An. You can go by train or plane to get to Da Nang, then opt for any of the following vehicles to reach Hoi An Ancient Town:
- By tourist bus: It will cost you from $4.30 to $7.00/person. The travel time is about 1 hour only.
- By Grab (motorbike or car): $7 – $13/person.
- By taxi: $16 – $35/person.
VI. Extra Tips
- You can take a bike ride or walk along the river in the early morning and afternoon for sunrise and sunset gazing.
- It is advisable not to wear short skirts while enjoying the journey.
The dazzling Thu Bon River with photo opportunities is waiting for you to splash out on memorable journeys. Regardless of daytime or nightime, it will hold great appeal for those with wanderlust.