Richard Pearce, although based in Japan, frequently travels to Vietnam to take our small group tour groups on unforgettable adventures. Here he gives us a sneak peek of a cycle ride near Hoi An, Vietnam, weaving past rice fields, over rivers and around daily life in the countryside.
The former port city of Hoi An is one of the most popular destinations in Vietnam and it’s not hard to imagine why. With an attractive and well preserved Ancient Town, travelers often end up spending an extra day or two more here than originally planned. If you do find yourself with a free afternoon or morning, I thoroughly recommend renting a bicycle and heading out to cycle in the countryside to see a side of Vietnam you may otherwise miss. Spot rice fields being ploughed in age-old fashion by man and ox, wooden ships being built by hand and locals fishing from the land or from a small boat. Once you leave the town’s boundaries the locals always seem to be wearing a big smile and will often greet you with a warm “hello”.
This suggested cycle route is 27km (16.8 miles) long and will take between two and three hours on average. Apart from one large bridge towards the end, it is relatively flat and easy.
Most of the hotels have free bicycles for you to use. If not, please ask the staff at your hotel and they will be able to help you rent one from nearby.
The route starts at the junction of Đào Duy Từ and 18 Tháng 8.
- Cycle south on 18 Tháng 8 and cross a small bridge.
- Immediately after the bridge take a right and follow the headland around (after mounting the kerb) until you get a to a narrow bridge.
- Take the narrow walking/cycling/motorbike bridge over the river, which also crosses a central island.
- After the bridge, take a left alongside the water’s edge.
- Take the first right. Then at the T-junction, turn left.
- Follow the road around to the right and then cycle through a couple of rice fields on a raised roadway.
- At the V, go straight (the right of the V).
- At the next T-junction in front of the school take a left and then immediately turn right. After a short distance bear left.
- Follow this road alongside the river, past some goats and an old watch tower. After a short while you will see a bridge on the right.
- Cross over the bridge and go straight. There will be a junction with a green/blue house on the corner. Turn left there.
- At the next T-junction, take a left (petrol/gas station is opposite the junction and slightly to the left). Then immediately turn right.
- Follow the water’s edge and you will soon see a bridge on the left.
- Cross the bridge and follow the road around to the left.
- Follow the road and cycle over another small bridge.
- Keep going straight and you will have a long stretch with many elaborate graves dotted here and there. It is almost desert-like in this part.
- Take the first large road on the left (opposite a large monument).
- Go straight until you hit another big road then turn right.
- Continue past a school and eventually you will hit a large road with a very large bridge to the left.
- Cross the large bridge. You may wish to push your bicycle over the bridge on the pavement.
- After the bridge, take a left and head back towards town.
- After a few minutes you will get to a small bridge crossing a river with traffic lights. Turn left here.
- Follow this road all the way into town where you will skirt the edge of the Ancient Town and end back up at your starting point.
If you’re itching to hop atop a bicycle to experience Hoi An countryside first-hand, join Richard (and his encyclopedic knowledge of the area) on our fully tailored Vietnam Young Family Explorer: an all-action tour for the energetic and adventurous taking in remote northern and central regions of Vietnam.