Hoi An is one of the few places in Vietnam that has taken some steps to be bicycle friendly. Cycling will be a highlight of your stay here. The old town is closed to motorised traffic for large parts of the day and night. And the countryside around the old town is picturesque and relatively safe for cycling. Here are some recommendations for independent exploration by bicycle and and bicycle tours.
Best time to cycle in Hoi An
Discovering Hoi An by bicycle is a pretty good experience for most of visitors, especially for those who are particularly interested in the peaceful, fresh and quiet ancient town. To fully enjoy all the beauty of Hoi An, you should start your day as early as possible. At this time, the weather is pleasant and not too hot and there are not too many tourists walking around. Don’t forget to put sunscreen, bring a hat and light jacket to avoid a late afternoon sun if you’re late.
Bicycle rental in Hoi An
Most hotels and guest houses provide free bicycles. These are fine for short local rides. They’re not much good for longer cycling. Only the bicycle tour companies seem to have bikes that are setup for long rides.
If you are a tad out of practice, feel a little nervous at tackling the traffic here, or find that reading maps isn’t your forte, then simply choose a local Hoi An cycling tour. They’ll take the stress away and guide you comfortably through the entire experience. Guided tours will also give you the opportunity to get some local knowledge on the places that you pass by or through that you might not get if you did it without a guide.
Half-day tours are great for families with children. Just enough to get some of their energy out but not enough to exhaust them.
The full-day cycling tours are an excellent option for those who want to go a bit more in-depth into the surrounding areas of Hoi An. There are still plenty of rest stops and opportunities within these tours.
Hoi An cycling routes
Hoi An town – Easy
Hoi An’s old town is so compact you can easily explore it on foot. But the streets are also cycle-friendly – especially when closed to motorbikes from 3 pm onward each day.
Cycling in Hoi An gives you the freedom to stop at any place that you want. It can be food stalls, shops, coffee shops, historical sites (tickets available at all the entrances to the area).
In the height of summer, perhaps a food tour by bike is your best option. Especially if you’re struggling to adjust to the climate here.
Kim Bong carpentry village – Easy
The carpentry village of Kim Bong is situated in Cam Kim commune, just on the other side of Hoi An river. Take a boat trip on Thu Bon river to visit Thanh Ha & Kim Bong handicraft villages. It is very convenient for you to visit this village by boat and bicycle. There were many carpenters coming from this village contributed in the construction of Vietnam ancient capital in Hue.
Cam Kim island – Easy
Cam Kim island is a great spot for exploring by boat. A new bridge from the mainland has replaced the wonderful old ferry that used to operate. The bridge means that Cam Kim is getting busier, but the cycling is still lovely – especially in the early morning or late afternoon.
An Bang beach or Cua Dai beach – Easy
It is not too far from the Hoi An center to these beautiful beaches. Coming here, you can enjoy the beautiful rural scenes and local life. The beaches are not as crowded as many other beaches. There is bicycle parking, beach chairs, showers, and bathrooms. So you can lounge on the beach chairs, read your favorite book, build sandcastles, and swim in the ocean here.
Tra Que vegetable village – Easy
It is among the most popular destinations for cyclists in Hoi An. Tra Que, known locally as the ‘Vegetable Village’, is only 3 km far from Hoi An old town. Vegetables of many kinds from the village have been provided for restaurants, hotels, Hoi An’s people. Coming here, you will be able to learn more about local life, try to work as a farmer in the village, taste the best food of Hoi An.
Thanh Ha pottery village – Easy
The village is located about 4 km from the center of Hoi An. It was well developed during the 16th and 17th century, now there are few artists in the village. Coming here, you can enjoy watching master potters at work to create some amazing pieces of art. You can also try your hands at the potter’s wheel.
My Son Sanctuary – Moderate to challenging
It can be a hard ride. My Son is about 35 km from Hoi An. The normal road is quite busy. If you go on a different road, the traffic is easy, but the distance is about 20 km longer. It is highly recommended to cycle to My Son early in the morning to about the heat and My Son is beautiful during sunrise.
My Son may be best visited as part of a tour to ensure you take the most picturesque and least busy route.
Cycling is undoubtedly one of the best ways to get around Hoi An. It simply can’t be beaten for convenience and is great for those on a budget. It’s environmentally friendly too, easy to manoeuvre and there’s no engine noise. The cycling experience in Hoi An, at times, is blissfully peaceful.
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