Thu Bon River is one of the nicest waterways in Vietnam. The river begins at an altitude of 2,598m, in the Ngoc Linh Mountain. Thu Bon River in Hoi An plays an important role in the geography, culture and history of Hoi An. Moreover, the Thu Bon River is not just the chief culminating point for most festivals and events that are held in Hoi An, but also the chief source of livelihood for many residents of the town. Nowadays, the remains of the ancient port and the picturesque waterfronts can be seen along the river.
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 from China and other countries. This was chiefly because the Thu Bon River flowed into the East China Sea. Trade in the town via the river thrived from the 16th to the 18th centuries. In fact, most of the current populations of the town are descendents of traders and merchants who chose to settle down in the town. It is believed that in those days the Thu Bon River had a larger estuary area, which facilitated trade and communication. The bays and shores made of sandbanks and guarded by lagoons indicate that this might have indeed been the case.
From Hoi An, visitors can rent a boat and stop at the beautiful villages located along the river.