Hoi An is located in the South central coast region of Vietnam on the South China Sea. It’s name translates to peaceful meeting place. There’s no better way to discover this side of the town then on a row boat tour of the riverside. I decided to hire a boat lady close to sunset to enjoy the golden hour-perfect timing as it falls right in the middle of happy hour.
Hoi An sits alongside Thu Bồn River and was once one of the greatest sea ports in all of Southeast Asia. By the 18th century Da Nang, approximately 30km north took over most of the port activities of the area as silting up the river mouth made Hoi An a less desirable port. As a result the town remained untouched from the changes to Vietnam over the next 200 years.
In 1999 Hoi An was declared a Unesco World Heritage site. Filled with an interesting mix of architecture styles including traditional, Chinese and Western the town has several historic sites that you can visit with a series of tickets available at various locations around Hoi An.
I think this boat ride is one of the best ways to enjoy the sights. The boat ladies are great hosts, mine while laughing even kind of gave me a warning to duck as we were heading towards the bridge with low clearance.
Yes I was a little extreme in caution but you can probably guess the paranoia is from severe blows to the head while traveling through Asia.
The boat rides are a fun way to interact with locals, while enjoying this beautiful historic town from a calm perspective. It also allows you to appreciate how important the Thu Bon river is to food production and transport even 500 years after it was first navigated.
Today you can rent kyaks, take multi-hour motorboat tours but I really like this simple row boat ride that’s relaxing and quiet. It’s kind of touristy but the row boat mode of transportation is pretty authentic and cruising on the river while checking out the views and participating in river activity is definitely unique. Time everything right and you’ll be back in the town for one more happy hour special and some great memories of Hoi An’s Thu Bon River.
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That’s it for this week’s episode. Thanks so much for joining me. Until next time this is John Saboe, safe travels and Namaste!