Anantara Hoi An Resort, which is situated within walking distance of the UNESCO World Heritage site, has launched a picturesque new cruise on Hoi An’s beautiful Thu Bon River, opening up one of Asia’s most storied waterways in a whole new way.
The daily one-hour cruise, which departs from the French colonial-inspired Anantara Hoi An Resort, invites travellers to explore the contemporary appeal of an age-old icon.
The five-kilometre journey sets off downstream under the Cam Nam Bridge, skirts the fabled Ancient Town and its markets and then proceeds upstream along Cam Kim Island and Kim Bong carpentry village. The boat turns at Cam Nam Island and moves downstream again past the Thanh Nam fishing village, wrapping up at Anantara’s riverside dock.
The cruise offers sweeping prospects of the locals’ fascinating way of life on a river that fueled Hoi An’s rise in the 17th and 18th centuries as a powerful trade link between Europe, China, India and Japan.
When the river silted up at the end of the 18th century, dooming international trade, the merchant vessels decamped for deeper harbors, leaving the river to the sampans and coracles that ply its waters today.
Anantara’s cruising vessel is a quaint, lantern-decorated boat, fashioned by talented local carpenters at Kim Bong village. Like Hoi An itself, its design draws inspiration from its varied historical traditions, including techniques practiced by the Cham, Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese and Europeans.
Steeped in the beautifully-preserved former trading port’s history, the Thu Bon is central to the entire Hoi An experience and explains why one of Vietnam’s most culturally rich and sought-after destinations is the way it is today.
The cruises depart at 10.30am and 2.30pm daily, including the sunset cruise departing at 4.30pm, are available to Anantara Hoi An Resort’s guests and start at 8 USD ++ (180,000 VND ++) per person (minimum two persons required).