Everyone knows Hoi An Old Town is stunning and worth a couple of days taking pics, drinking coffee and just soaking it all up.
If you are there for longer, and want to explore outside of town, a bicycle is a fantastic way to do this. It is all flat countryside so easy for cycling – even on the single gear bikes most homestays or hotels lend you for free! It’s also cheaper, and safer, than a motorbike; and it’s good exercise too!
Bicycle tours are on offer all over Hoi An, but we decided to make our own. We had a quick look on maps.me and google maps for a vague idea of where to pedal and away we went after a leisurely breakfast.
From Hoi An old town head north – northwest into the ‘herb village’ and ‘vegetable village’ – easily labelled on maps between the old town and the beach. It took around 10 minutes to get there from our accommodation (which was 20 minutes north, on foot, from the old town). The cycle there is through abundant rice paddy fields and duck farms. The herb and vegetable villages have some cute coffee shops and restaurants in them, and some offer cooking classes which were all busy with guests when we cycled by mid-morning. The smell from the herb village is amazing, and you are free to cycle or walk up and down the rows of herbs and vegetables and observe the farmers cultivating their crops.
A further 10 minutes from here on the bike, still heading north, is An Bang Beach. A fairly busy, pretty, stretch of beach lined with restaurants, bars and water-sports activity centres. To snag a lounger you have to pay the corresponding bar/restaurant or order from them – drinks suffice. We stayed around one hour here, mainly watching the steady stream of people parasailing and being dunked into the ocean and screaming on landing!
Once back on the beach road, head due east until this road ends and you turn south back towards Hoi An. As the properties begin to turn less local and more boutique hotels and larger out of town hostels, there are also some beautiful riverside spots for lunch. We stopped at CoCo and enjoyed good value food and a refreshing drink.
From here, turn west down one of many small lanes that will eventually lead to the area on the map that just looks like fields with tiny lanes through them – which is exactly what it is. Rice paddies after rice paddies with a few little lanes, that if you head south west, lead you directly back to town.
The whole cycle took around 4.5 hours for us with our beach, lunch and photo stops, but could easily be done in 3 hours if short on time.
The bikes cost us £0 – most guesthouses and hotels with rent you them for free in Hoi An. Lunch was reasonable at around $6 for two people, and under $2 for drinks on the beach in order to get a sun lounger was also fine. A cheap, healthy and enjoyable day out.