Hoi An is small
As of 2020, Hoi An has a population of just 100,000 people and little traffic makes it a very safe place for cyclists. For comparison, the country’s biggest cities: Sai Gon and Ha Noi have 10 million and 8 millionn people, respectively. The nearby city of Da Nang also boasts a sizeable population of over 1 million people.
Hoi An is small, nearly all the places to see, eat and drink spread out from the old town to the beach which is just 5km away, you can reach any place in just 15-20 minutes cycling.
So if you find yourself in Hoi An, get bored with seeing the tourists in the old town. Grab a bike and go.
Hoi An set to become a bicycle city
The Hai Ba Trung street, which is the busiest & most important street in the city when links between the Old Town and The Bang beach now has become the first street in Vietnam that has a bicycle lane. Now, the tourists are stress free when cycle between two hottest spots in the city.
The city has banned all motorbikes and cars from the town center for enormous parts of the day, from 9:00 -11:00 and from 15:00 – 21:30 every day, making bicycles the most ideal choice for tourists to explore the Lantern Town.
Hoi An launched its first bicycle sharing service in 2019. In the initial phase, 100 bicycles will be available at 11 docking stations, then 160 bikes and 10 stations next.
Best places to cycle in Hoi An
Tra Que Herb Village
This is a small farming community growing mostly vegetables and herbs organically. Early in the morning is the most active time in the village with the farmers working on the fields, cutting the greens to bring to the markets.
Remember to bring your camera as this place is so photogenic in the early morning, and people are friendly. This is such a street-life photography paradise for anyone.
This village is a popular place for many cooking classes, so you better to come here before the tourists come.
Central Rice Fields
These vast rice fields are in the middle between the old town and the beach.
In the last couple of years, the government in Hoi An has been building many concrete paths running through the middle of the rice paddies to make it safer for tourists to cycle around.
The best time to cycle here is after 4:00 in the afternoon to sunset time. The Central rice fields are one of the best places in Hoi An for sunset watching.
Cam Kim Island
The island is a superb place if you want to escape the super crowded Hoi An ancient town.
There are quite many tourists cycling around the island, some doing cycling tours, some just cycling on their own, which is super easy if you know how to use google maps.
If you want to cycle around the Cam Kim Island, I recommend starting your bike ride as early as possible, like 7:00 before it gets too hot.
You can easily spend 2-3 hours cycling around the island, so remember to bring a lot of water.
Should you take a guided tour or not?
If you know how to use Google map (which you should when traveling), you can easily do a bike ride yourself. You’re free to get lost, stay in a shade for a fruit stop. Stop wherever you want and for how long you want for a perfect photo.
But when taking a guided tour you definitely don’t need to worry about things like: where to go, worried if you miss some interesting places. The most important thing is the guided tours offer a chance to understand the local life deeper, you really meet the locals and learn about how they live, what they do for a living.