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There's no better way to experience the Vietnamese countryside than cycling from historic Hoi An across the river and through the beautiful small villages and rural scenery just beyond the bustling city. Hop on a bike and immerse yourself in the culture and history of Hoi An on an adventure designed for all ages (see more family friendly "must-sees" in Vietnam) to see the Hoi An the locals know: village scenes, artisans, local coffee shops, fishing ports, simple foods, religious traditions and always an emphasis on family life. Of course, the historic district of Hoi An is truly UNESCO worthy, but you cannot fully appreciate life in this city without venturing across the river and into the countryside that most locals call home.
Start by exploring the hidden passageways and winding alleyways of Hoi An, stopping to photograph the iconic Japanese bridge. Cross over the canal to Hoi An's southern villages to visit a local family making banh dap (steamed and crispy rice pancake) using the traditional method. These small savory rice pancakes dipped in anchovy paste are a common breakfast staple throughout the countryside. Try your hand at making the rice pancake and then combine with some crispy rice cake, slap or dap them together and dip in your choice of savory sauces for the perfect morning treat.
Continue pedaling past rice fields, vegetable farms and along small canals and depending on the time of year, see locals planting or harvesting rice, squash, or chilies. Fishing is the lifeblood of this province and the construction of fishing and cargo boats is an important craft in the area.
The roads narrow again to concrete paths through colorfully painted homes and courtyards with children playing or heading off to school. Along the way, stop to meet a family weaving reed mats on large man-powered looms. Watch as a mother and son work together silently in a quick and deliberate pattern sliding in new reeds and weaving them into multi-colored mats.
Stop at a family apothecary and distillery where rice wine has been produced in the same manner for generations and taste some of their spirits if you wish!
It's a just a short ride along the water canal where families gather to clean the fishing nets between their journeys to sea and where a local ferry waits for the trip back to Hoi An town. This is the perfect addition to any of our Vietnam adventures. Escape the hustle and bustle of the bigger cities, meet some locals, and explore the countryside on two-wheels.
Any questions? Give me a call at 800-345-4453 or check out our trips to Vietnam!
Keeping it wild,