Thu Bon River, one of the nicest waterways in Vietnam

Published:  17:06 Saturday - December 17, 2011

For tourists who are interested in a river tour or an eco-tour to the countryside of Vietnam, taking a boat ride on the Thu Bon River may be their most enjoyable experience when they come to Quang Nam - Da Nang.

Originating from Ngoc Linh Mountain in Dak Glei District, Kon Tum Province, the Thu Bon River flows into the sea via Cua Dai Estuary in Hoi An Town in Quang Nam Province. A tributary runs to the Vinh Dien River to pour water into the Han River in Danang City. And before going to the sea, part of the Thu Bon River courses through the Truong Giang River to pour into An Hoa Tam Quang Bay in Nui Thanh District. 

The Thu Bon River basin covers an area of over 10,000 square kilometers in Quang Nam Province and is ranked fourth for hydropower potential in Vietnam.

The river is responsible in a big way for the traditional and historical heritage of the town of Hoi An. The now fishing town of Hoi An was a popular international trade destination and also a convenient stopover for many merchant ships bound to and for China and other countries. 

Trade in the town via the Thu Bon River in Hoi An thrived from the 16th to the 18th centuries. In fact, most of the current populations of the town are descendants of traders and merchants who chose to settle down in the town. It is believed that in those days the Thu Bon River in Hoi An had a larger estuary area that facilitated trade and communication. The formation of the bays and shores of the river today that are made of sandbanks and guarded by lagoons indicate to this.

Along the banks are many well-known craft centers such as Thanh Ha for pottery, Phuoc Kieu for bronze casting, Kim Bong for carpentry, Tra Que for vegetables, Ma Chau for silk, Phu Chiem for rice paper and Que Minh for conical hats.Along the banks are numerous wharves and markets reflecting the rural lifestyle, and simple villages steeped in memories. The Trung Phuoc floating market is the busiest trading place in the region.

The Thu Bon River is likened to the Ganges River in India because it is a silt source forming the delta. Strangely, despite cultural interchange, the very northern and southern banks of the Thu Bon River have their own cultural differences characterized by voices, routine activities, festivals and even relics from each area. In the southern bank, the Champa culture still figures in daily activities, customs and festivals for local residents.

The Thu Bon Goddess Festival falls on the 12th day of the second lunar month, and is held solemnly in My Luoc Village, where a water procession is the most important part of the ceremony. Locals scoop water from the Thu Bon River and pour it into the jars, then carry them on their heads back to the village in deference to the river.

In the upstream district of Hiep Duc, locals set up a long house with an altar on the top to suspend a boat. The rituals around the boats aim to honor the “river mother” in the spiritual lives of locals.

From Hoi An, visitors can rent a boat and stop at the beautiful villages located along the river.

Tourists also can visit Dai Buong, an orchard village similar to those found in the southern region with rambutan, durian and mangosteen. Tourists will have the chance to enjoy durian wine, which has an unforgettable flavor.

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