Hoi An - Bike Trip - Cam Nam Street

Hoi An – Vietnam – Around Hoi An by Bicycle


DECEMBER 2015:





Click here to read our Vietnam Retirement Reviews.


OVERVIEW:

I am impressed by Hoi An. It is a Tourist Town – but a nice Tourist Town.

I haven’t written up my Hoi An – Vietnam – Information yet (nor my Hoi An – Vietnam – GRANDPAcking Costs), but I will when I leave on the 14th December 2015.

Hoi An will, also, be making it into my RETIREMENT REVIEWS at the same time.

I wanted to get out of the Old Town and look around the ‘edges’ a bit to get a better feel for what it might be like to live in the area.

I was staying at the An Hoi Hotel on An Hoi Island. They rent good, well maintained bicycles for the day at VND20k.

I packed my swimming trunks and a big bottle of water…

Here is a summary of my day trip route:

Around Hoi An by Bicycle


CAM NAM ISLAND:

I had excluded Cam Nam Island from my stay (this time) as being too far away from the Old Town. So, I headed there first.

Hoi An - Bike Trip - Cam Nam Street Hoi An - Bike Trip - Cam Nam view of Old TownYou get a nice view of the Old Town from the north west of the island and the island, itself, still holds a lot of its old charm once you get away from the immediate bridge area.

Hoi An - Bike Trip - Cam Nam Fishing Boats Hoi An - Bike Trip - Cam Nam Song Thu Bon BridgeThere is some good accommodation on the island but the good ones tend to be ‘one-offs’ on otherwise average streets. There is no ‘pocket’ where you find a group of quality houses. But, it is definitely somewhere for GRANDPAckers to consider when looking at long-term accommodation.

Hoi An - Bike Trip - Cam Nam HouseIt was a pleasant enough place with lots of local cafes to stop at (at more ‘local’ prices than you find in the Old Town).


CUA DAI BEACH:

Heading back over the bridge to the mainland, I turned right and headed for Cua Dai Beach along the main road. It takes about 25 minutes to get there at a leisurely pace.

Hoi An - Bike Trip - Road to Cua Dai BeachCua Dai Beach has suffered a lot of erosion over the years, so it (now) only has a small strip of sand on the waterfront. The better beach is An Bang Beach which is 2-3 kilometers further north.

When you first hit the beach from the main road, you will face another ‘scam’. You will be asked to park your bicycle or scooter in a specific parking spot and they will try and charge you VND10k to park your bike (I don’t know what the price is for a scooter).

Hoi An - Bike Trip - Cua Dai Beach Entry Hoi An - Bike Trip - Cua Dai Beach Loungers Hoi An - Bike Trip - Cua Dai Beach View North Hoi An - Bike Trip - Cua Dai BeachDecline, and head north. Here you will find many beach entrances with Free Parking.

Cua Dai Beach was, surprisingly deserted with just the odd ‘splatter’ of loungers next to local cafes. An excellent place to stop for a while and have a relaxing swim.

There are long-term accommodation options in this area and, for those who want a beach life and are happy to use transport (bicycle, scooter, or taxi) to get in and out of the Old Town (as and when), this would be a good long-term stay area. An Ban Beach too.

Hoi An - Bike Trip - Cua Dai Beach view of Da NangAnother surprise (for me anyway) is that you can see Da Nang in the distance. Day trips to Da Nang from Hoi An are easy and, for VND30k each way on a local bus, affordable.


TRA QUE ISLAND:

Heading back inland you cross Tra Que Island. This is a very ‘rural’ island with some very nice scenery.

Hoi An - Bike Trip - Bridge to Tra Que Island Hoi An - Bike Trip - Tra Que Island EntryI don’t show it on my route summary (above), but I zig-zagged the island for quite a while – adventuring down lots of pretty side streets and goat paths.

Hoi An - Bike Trip - Rural HouseAgain, you find the odd nice quality house on otherwise average streets. For those that like a more ‘rural’ setting, it was a very nice location.


BACK INLAND:

Heading over the small bridge on the west of Tra Que Island, you stay skirting Hoi An in the countryside.
Hoi An - Bike Trip - Van Duc Pagoda LionsAt Van Duc you will find an old pagoda that is being renovated.

Hoi An - Bike Trip - Van Duc Pagoda BellHoi An - Bike Trip - Van Duc Pagoda EntryThey have dismantled the old wooden building and you can see that they plan to re-assemble it ‘as was’ using the original timbers and craftsmanship.

Hoi An - Bike Trip - Van Duc Pagoda RenovationsYou will discover many things yourselves on the way around… so, I won’t ruin it for you in this post.


NIGHT FISH MARKET:

Heading across country back down south to the Song Thu Bon again, you hit the waterfront at the Night Fish Market west of Hoi An.

This is a rustic little place set in a rustic little fishing village.

Hoi An - Cafe - Chicken & Prawn Noodles VND20kI stopped at one of the roadside cafes for a bite to eat. Chicken and Prawn Noodles for VND20k (and a hostess that kept trying to chat me up and marry me!).


CONCLUSION:

I was back in the Old Town at sunset. I had been out and about on my bicycle for 7 hours. I might have covered about, say, 15 kilometers – but it didn’t feel like it. I was just pottering around at my own pace (stressing no muscles) and lapping up the atmosphere.

It was a very pleasant way to spend a day.

There are many (and varied) accommodation options within 2-3 kilometers of the Old Town.

The area around central Hoi An still holds its charm and is littered with scenic spots and pleasant living.

Why not REGISTER to stay up to date with our Postings and Retirement Reviews.