When the hotel you’re staying at offers you free use of their bikes, I’d be a waste not to put them to good use. Biking is in my opinion one of the best ways to discover parts of the city that are too far to visit by foot.
Hoi An is one of those cities that is perfect to bike through. The old center can be visited by foot, but outside the city limits you can find small fishers villages that are just waiting to be discovered.
When we asked our hotel – Paradise Hotel – to use their bikes, we were actually planning to just bike to Cua Dai – a beach near Hoi An – for some down time and relaxing. We put on our bikinis, filled our backpacks with towels and our e-readers and rode the six kilometers to the beach.
The weather on the other hand had other plans for us. By the time we arrived at the beach, the clouds threatened on the horizon and the sea was very wild. Not exactly the kind of beach environment we were hoping for.
So instead of sulking and wasting our afternoon, we decided to just explore the area instead. We went right along the coast to the end of the road which led us to a small lighthouse. Immediately the owner stepped outside and invited us in for the displayed price of 20.000 dong. He was very excited to explain us all about his job as a lighthouse keeper and then show us the amazing view from the top of the lighthouse. A pleasant surprise!
From the top of the lighthouse, we noticed the little village between Cua Dai and Hoi An. Instead of returning the same way as we had gone to the beach – via the main road -, we took a sideroad that we hoped would lead to the village.
And we were lucky. It led right through it. School was just out and kids all ages were pouring out of the school and walking home. All smiles and waves as we passed them. It was impossible not to get infected by their happiness. They were all just so nice!
While it was totally unplanned to end up there, it was such an amazing experience to see this part of the city. By foot we’d never been able to reach this village, but it was a perfect distance to do by bike.
So if you have some time in Hoi An, go on a bike ride through the villages around the tourist center. No plan, no direction, just see where you end up. You won’t regret it.
The hostel we stayed at in Hoi An was ‘Paradise Hostel’ and was right outside the limits of the old city of Hoi An. It was a tad more expensive than other hostels in Vietnam but with the free – really good – breakfast included, a swimming pool and the style of rooms it had more the air of a hotel than a hostel so it was definitely worth the surcharge.