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Thu Bon River
Thu Bon River

Thu Bon River

Hoi An, Vietnam

The Basics

One of the most popular ways to experience the Thu Bon River in Hoi An is on a 1- or 2-hour boat ride. Head out on a bamboo boat with a fisherman to learn local fishing techniques, or opt for a short cruise in a modern boat to Cua Dai Beach. If you’re a thrill seeker, spinning madly on a basket boat is a must-try experience.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • Walking along the banks of the Thu Bon River reveals the majority of Hoi An attractions.

  • Be aware of your belongings as the riverside is nearly always very crowded.

  • It’s a good idea to visit the Ancient Town section of the river by both day and night for two different perspectives.

  • Throughout the day, locals offer rides in the wooden rowboats that line the riverbanks.

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How to Get There

The most famous section of the Thu Bon River is undoubtedly the one that runs through Hoi An Ancient Town. However, lesser-known parts of the river reveal local life in Vietnam and lead all the way to Ngoc Linh Mountain, which is shrouded by fragrant cinnamon forest.

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Trip ideas

How to Spend 1 Day in Hoi An

How to Spend 1 Day in Hoi An

Visiting Hoi An's Assembly Halls

Visiting Hoi An's Assembly Halls

How to Spend 2 Days in Hoi An

How to Spend 2 Days in Hoi An


When to Get There

By traditional sampan or luxury yacht, the most popular time for a Thu Bon River cruise is sunset. Or, if you’d like to see life on the river at its most active, come at 7am or 4:30pm to experience it at rush hour.

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Hoi An Full Moon Lantern Festival

Although Hoi An looks postcard-pretty every evening, the Ancient Town is at its most spectacular during the monthly Lantern Festival, when local release illuminated paper lanterns into the river to promote good health and fortune. It’s a must-see that’s worth tweaking your Vietnam itinerary to catch.

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