As I very much wanted to explore Vietnamese countryside and daily life, I searched for a bike tour option in Hoi An. The travel advisor of the Vinh Hung Riverside Resort & Spa Hotel where I was staying recommended the Heaven and Earth Bicycle Tours Company so I booked a half-day bike tour from my hotel. Next morning I headed to the company office located 5 minutes away. We were a group of ten, as the organisers had promised; we got the bikes and were introduced to the guide and her assistant. The tour started with a short ride to a boat station where we boarded a boat to get to an island nearby.

1 bikes hoi an thesanetravel.com 1030159

Once we got there, our first stop was a traditional wooden boat building workshop at Kim Bong Village. Our guide explained that the wood for building boats was imported from Laos. She also showed us each boat had eyes and invited us to guess why. The answer: for protection from evil water spirits.

2 boat building hoi an thesanetravel.com 1030174

Then we were biking again and in a few minutes arrived to our next stop: the workshop of an artist who makes pictures, furniture decorations and souvenirs from shells. First the material is collected, divided into pieces and flattened out in a press. Then the artist makes a drawing on the shell and saws the contour with a special saw.

3 artist hoi an thesanetravel.com 1030182

Next the decoration is glued to the surface and later cleaned – a precise job that takes lots of patience and imagination. They also have a shop there, selling ready artwork.

4 cubbard hoi an thesanetravel.com 1030193
The guide showed us flood water level marks of different years on the wall of the building. The marks went up to 2 meters from the ground! Most Vietnamese children don’t learn to swim because of superstitions about water in Vietnam so the risks of drowning are high.
At the next stop our guide showed us a field where plants for weaving sleeping mats grow. We learned how raw material is processed and dyed before weaving.

5 bike tour hoi an thesanetravel.com 1030200

After that we stopped at a Vietnamese family meeting house where families gather several times a year to pray for their ancestors.
Next we visited a house where small, light round basket boats are produced. A bit later we had the opportunity to ride such a boat under the supervision of a local lady. It was the first time I tried to row a basket boat – I managed quite well!

6 round boat hoi an thesanetravel.com 1030249
On our way we stopped at a rice field to take photos.

8 rice plant hoi an thesanetravel.com 1030211

 

Our next visit was to the home of a local rice wine producer where we got acquainted with all the stages of their work including pig breeding. Pigs consume by-products of the process and their manure is used to produce methane gas for rice wine distillation. We also had the chance to taste the ready product.

7 making rice winw hoi an thesanetravel.com 1030263Then we reached the lunch stop at a traditional Vietnamese house. After lunch we watched two ladies weave a sleeping mat using the same kind of material we saw growing in fields earlier. One mat takes four hours to produce.

9 viewing sleeping mat hoi an thesanetravel.com 1030308
Afterwards we took a boat back to the tour starting point. On the way we saw yellow fishing nets on the river waiting for night fishing with lamps. This tour was a great opportunity to see many aspects of the local Vietnamese life in a short period of time.

end bike tour hoi an thesanetravel.com 1030323
Are you interested in learning more about the real everyday life in Vietnam? Then it’s a tour for you.
Practical information: Tour duration: 8.30 am – 3 pm. Distance: 9 kilometres by bicycle. Difficulty: easy. Price Adult: 24 USD.

 

Author: Anita Sāne

DSC 7536 m

About the author
Anita is a part time traveler, passionate photographer and a mature career woman
from Latvia, 
traveling mostly solo for more than 10 years. She is a skilled travel planner
planning and executing her travels by herself. Follow Anita also on Instagram.

 

 

Comments   

Jenny
#16 Jenny 2016-05-13 23:20
This looks like a great way to spend a day in Hoi An, and you went so many places! Was there any pressure to buy anything?
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Nikki
#15 Nikki 2016-05-13 22:01
I absolutely adore Hoi An and completely agree that one of the best ways to experience it is by bike. Great read!
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Michele Peterson
#14 Michele Peterson 2016-05-13 20:57
This post reminds me of how much I loved Vietnam. How wonderful to take a boat back after your bike tour - a perfect ending to what sounds like a fascinating tour. I took a motor bike tour but this seems much more environmentally friendly.
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Marteen
#13 Marteen 2016-05-13 07:01
It seems the best way to get around is on bike tours. You're not in much of a rush like you are with bus tours. The boat building workshop sounded interesting :)
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Francesca
#12 Francesca 2016-05-13 06:42
Not your average bike ride! Wow!
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Jessica Kathryn
#11 Jessica Kathryn 2016-05-12 14:35
What a great look into the day to day lives of people in the area. This is great and looks like it was a wonderful experience.
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carla
#10 carla 2016-05-12 12:49
Yep, biking is the best way to go around new travel destinations. Great photos, and thanks for sharing.
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ivana
#9 ivana 2016-05-12 12:15
Biking tours are always a great way to see the cities from a different perspective, love it!
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Melai
#8 Melai 2016-05-12 12:06
Great photos! I agree that biking is a great way to explore the village. We've also done the same in Bagan and it was the highlight of our trip. Through biking, it was easy to connect to locals and say Hi without having to stop. :)
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Janey
#7 Janey 2016-05-12 07:59
Awesome, love this article.

Always think places are more fun to explore by bike and Vietnam looks incredible! Love the pictures :) x
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