Bike tour in Hoi An: an easy way to learn about Vietnamese daily life

As I very much wanted to explore the 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 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 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 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 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 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 1030249
On our way we stopped at a rice field to take photos.

8 rice plant hoi an 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 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 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 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.

Staying in Hoi An overnight? Choose from best hotels in Hoi An!


Author: Anita Sāne

Anita 03 18

About the author
Anita is a part-time traveller, passionate photographer and a retired career woman from Latvia, 
travelling mostly solo for more than 15 years. She is a skilled travel planner who plans and executes her travels by herself. Anita wants to show you how to travel the world and open your mind to new experiences. Follow her on FacebookInstagramPinterestTwitter and Bloglovin.



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?
I absolutely adore Hoi An and completely agree that one of the best ways to experience it is by bike. Great read!
Michele Peterson
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.
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 :)
Not your average bike ride! Wow!
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.
Yep, biking is the best way to go around new travel destinations. Great photos, and thanks for sharing.
Biking tours are always a great way to see the cities from a different perspective, love it!
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. :)
Awesome, love this article.Always think places are more fun to explore by bike and Vietnam looks incredible! Love the pictures :) x
What a wonderful way to see Hoi An. The basket boat looks like a lot of fun! Did you get very wet?
This sounds like an incredible tour! Loved the photos and I'd totally go for cycling as an option. Seems like a great way to explore everything in less of a rush and to make sure I get some exercise while traveling (I tend to indulge quite a bit in local food).
Great post! I love cycling so much and its a wonderful way to see the sites when travelling!
Beautiful pictures! Loved reading this and would love to visit someday. Thanks for sharing :)
What a cool experience! I need to add this to my list. I love bike tours, it's such a fun way to learn more about the local culture. Thanks for sharing!
Looks like a great tour! Much nicer to explore by bike than in a car!

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