Rushing through central Vietnam from its source among the trickling streams and cinnamon trees of Ngoc Linh Mountain, Thu Bon River (Sông Thu Bồn) winds its way through Quang Nam province to Hoi An where it meets the South China Sea. Truly the lifeblood of the town, Thu Bon gives Hoi An its unique traditions and history of ship merchants, sailors and pirates.
Today, 1 or 2-hour boat rides along the river are a popular trip when in Hoi An. Whether you’d like to head out on a bamboo boat with a local fisherman to learn local fishing techniques, or would prefer a short cruise in a modern boat to Cua Dai Beach, there are plenty of options for getting out on the water.
By traditional sampan or luxury yacht, the most popular time for a river cruise is sunset. Or, if you’d like to see life on the river at its liveliest, rush hour is at 7am, or 4:30pm if the former is too early. Sailing past the jolly lantern-lit streets when the full-moon festival comes to town is also popular.
A trip on a Hoi An sampan costs about 100,000 VND per hour, though prices go up during the full-moon festivals, which is on the 14th day on the lunar calendar of each month.