Vietnam has a rice history. There is a place on the coast, just south of Danang called Hoi An, that was an important trading port back in the 7th Century, trading in spices with Indonesia. It was the period of the Champa Kingdom in what is now Central Vietnam and it is a region well worth visiting if you are travelling in Vietnam. Danang actually has an international airport though you are more likely to fly from abroad into either Ho Chi Minh City in the south or Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital in the north, pick up your Vietnam visa and proceed from there.
Hoi An traded with Europe when western explorers first appeared a few centuries ago, but it is no longer of the importance it once held with Danang being the prime commercial centre for Central Vietnam. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site with the Old Town worth some of your time but it is also far less busy than the major cities. Hoi An is ideal for hiring a bicycle and cycling in the rural environment, perfectly safely, to see the daily lives of the local farmers, and simply to enjoy the exercise and fresh air.
The country’s tourist numbers are increasing because of the quality service that is offered by Vietnam packages and the little elements that can be included based upon client’s wishes. You can have everything arranged in advance and be certain that local knowledge will ensure you get the best out of cycling in this area. You will have an experienced English speaking guide cycling with you, showing you the countryside. There is no question of busy traffic and the scooters that fly around urban roads. There is a river delta, the Song Thu, with ferries and a floating bridge which you can use to get across stretches of water then cycle on.
Along the way, you can learn about the boats that travel this delta and how they are made, the skill of weaving because Hoi An is known for its colourful straw sleeping mats, a great present by the way, and the basket boats. There will be time for lunch during a cycling tour; it will get you some rest and perhaps extra energy. That may well be eaten with a local family in a rural village. One of the many highlights of a holiday in Vietnam is meeting the people.
The terrain is flat and the pace is leisurely. If you are on a family vacation in Vietnam, it is something that all the family can do quite easily, and quite safely. You should wear suitable comfortable clothing and footwear and a hat and suntan lotion are advisable. If it is a chilly day, then take a jacket as well because it can be cold crossing stretches of water.
If you want a cycling helmet then just ask and if you are a family with a baby, a baby seat will be no problem; nothing is too much trouble. Enjoy!
Read more: Things to do in Hoi An