- 1 Hoi An Free Tour
- 2 Grasshopper Adventures
- 3 Heaven and Earth Bicycle Tours
- 4 Hoi An Cycling
- 5 Hidden’s Thoughts
Hoi An is the perfect place to explore by bicycle, perhaps even on one of the many cycling tours. You will undoubtedly see many locals and tourists pedalling around town. So if you’d like to explore Hoi An a little further by bike, we’ve dedicated a whole article to Self-Guided Cycle Tours around Hoi An. However, if you are a tad out of practice, feel a little nervous at tackling the traffic here, or find that reading maps isn’t your forte, then simply choose a local Hoi An cycling tour company who is in the know. They’ll take the stress away and guide you comfortably through the entire experience. Guided tours will also give you the opportunity to get some local knowledge on the places that you pass by or through that you might not get if you did it without a guide.
There is a multitude of cycle tour companies in Hoi An. They all offer a range of tours for different durations and fitness levels. There are, in fact, so many on offer that it can be quite daunting to pick one. So many of the tours are very similar and are usually half-day or full-day tours that visit the countryside or go further afield to places like My Son. In this article, Hidden breaks down the most popular guided Hoi An cycling tours on offer to help make your decision-making process a little easier.
Address: 567 Hai Ba Trung Street
Business hours: Monday – Friday 8 am to 11:30 am and 2 pm to 5:30 pm
Price: 50,000 VND (2.50 USD)
Duration: 4.5 hours
How to book: By email or in person
One of the most popular cycling tours is the Hoi An Free Tour. This half-day tour starts in the centre of Hoi An cycling to five different places on Cam Kim island: a boatyard, rice noodle maker, family temple, mat weaver, and a souvenir shop at the end.
The guides are all English language students from the University of Foreign Languages in nearby Da Nang. The tours are a great chance for tourists to see the countryside and for the students to improve their English.
The cycling tours run every Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday from Hoi An. The ride is 4.5 kilometres and is all flat and suitable for children and families. Bikes are not provided, but you can hire one from them for an additional 30,000 VND (1.30 USD). There is one guide to a maximum of six people. Bookings can be made in advance or the day before via email or by visiting the shop.
Is the bike tour actually free?
While it is not technically free, the tour is still a bargain at only 50,000 VND (2 USD). The fees cover the return ferry ride, and the rest of the money is to support the local businesses that you visit on the tour. The company is a registered NGO and runs campaigns to support the young and elderly in the region. They have initiatives such as giving gifts to children at festival times, so that none of the kids miss out. We recommend this tour if you’re on a budget but still want an authentic experience. This Hoi An cycling tour can’t be beaten on value for money.
Address: 621 Hai Ba Trung Street
Business hours: 8:00 pm to 5:30 pm, Monday to Sunday. Closed from noon to 1:30 pm every day for lunch.
How to book: Online or in person at least one day before
Grasshopper Adventures are a South East Asian based cycling tour company that has been operating for more than fourteen years, with a presence in Hoi An for the past three years. It is a professional, well-run company with good quality bikes and a few extras you don’t find elsewhere. While not outrageous, their tours aren’t the cheapest. The good quality equipment and excellent service do come at a higher price. Grasshopper Hoi An offer many different cycling tours, from their half-day countryside tour to a full day of cycling and kayaking around Hoi An. The most popular are outlined below.
The Countryside Tour
Grasshopper’s countryside cycling tour is quite similar to the Hoi An Free Tour but much more fleshed out. It lasts for about five hours, and you’ll cover 21 kilometres, visiting Cam Kim Island to see a boatyard, rice cracker making, family temple, mat weaving, rice wine making, and a stop for a drink and fruit at a cafe.
While the activities are very similar, the tour visits different local Hoi An businesses to the free cycling tour. We found that the places visited were generally more interesting, particularly the boatyard, and the stop for fresh fruit and a refreshing drink at a local cafe was great. Because of the greater distance travelled you get to see a lot more of the countryside, including fishing boats, buffalo, and lots of rice paddies. We recommend this tour if you want to do a bit more pedalling and gain a more local perspective of the countryside.
Distance: 21 kilometres
Full day: 925,000 VND (37 USD)
A morning spent cycling through Hoi An’s Old Town before the tour crosses over onto Cam Kim Island to see some traditional crafts, then lunch at a local house. After lunch, it’s into the kayaks for a relaxing paddle down the Thu Bon river with plenty of opportunities for photos and a break. Pick-up by minivan from Cam Thanh which will bring you back to the town centre.
Distance: 20 kilometres
Full day: 1,975,000 VND (79 USD)
This cycling tour begins with a short ride through Hoi An’s Old Town before crossing the river and winding your way down rural roads towards the My Son ruins. There is a break with fresh fruit and tea or coffee before boarding the electric buses to take you the final stretch to the ruins. After a guided tour through the ruins, you will be driven back to town with a stop along the way for some lunch.
Distance: 25 kilometres
Half-day: 1,800,000 VND (72 USD)
This evening cycling tour traverses the narrow streets and alleyways of Hoi An’s Old Town. You get to try traditional Vietnamese foods such as Banh Mi, Cao Lau, and Banh Xeo, as well as sampling some French cheeses and wines and a Vietnamese BBQ. Lastly this easy ride finishes at a coffee shop for some sweet treats. Make sure you’re hungry and bring your camera.
Distance: 15 kilometres
Half-day: 1,175,000 VND (47 USD)
Address: 61 Ngo Quyen Street
Business hours: 8:00 am to 9:30 pm, Monday to Sunday
How to book: Online or in person at least one day before
Heaven and Earth cycling tours has been running in Hoi An since 2009 and offers a wide range of trips with good quality, well-maintained bikes. There is something on offer for everyone.
Departing at 8.30 am and returning at 3 pm, this cycling tour takes you out of the busy tourist streets of Hoi An and into the quiet rural lanes of the surrounding countryside. Take in the local crafts and traditions before stopping at a local house for lunch, followed by a gentle ride back to the city.
Distance: 9 kilometres
Half-day: 29 USD
This cycling tour will take you deep into the Vietnamese countryside. Here you get the chance to spend time with the locals, observe the rhythms of traditional life, and try your hand at some of the local crafts. Although the roads are flat, the ride is around 54 kilometres. So it requires a reasonable level of fitness. A stop at the My Son ruins can be added for an extra 200,000 VND (8 USD).
Distance: 54 kilometres
Full day: 1,475,000 VND (59 USD)
This day and a half tour departs in the afternoon, firstly taking you onto the islands to see the local arts and crafts and have a go in one of the traditional basket boats. In the evening you meet up with the local Vietnamese family who you will be staying with. Then you have the opportunity to try fishing or mat-weaving with them. The next day you will cross to the other side of the river and make your way to a fishing village for lunch and a swim in the sea. Finally cycling along the beach will bring you to a boat that will take you back ending your tour in Hoi An. Suitable for children seven and up.
Distance: 29 kilometres
1.5 days: 2,225,000 VND (89 USD)
Hoi An Cycling started tours in 2013. It is a locally owned and run business with some tours from a half-day through to two days.
Offering a bigger cycle loop than most cycling tours to the countryside around Hoi An, the trip goes first to Cam Thanh village. Here you can see village life and learn about where the Viet Cong used to hide during the war. A hard slog to the top of the newly built bridge gives stunning views up the river towards Hoi An and to the beach. The tour then follows the roads alongside the river. Here you’ll stop for lunch and see noodles being made. Cycle through some of the lovely countryside, sample some local rice wine and then head back across Cam Kim Island to finish in Hoi An.
Distance: 40 kilometres
Full day: 1,225,000 VND (49 USD)
Bites by bike, unlike other food tours, starts a bit earlier and visits some lesser known places as well as different places in the Old Town. Easy bike rides take you between places to sample coffee, market produce, local snacks, and some of Hoi An’s signature dishes.
Distance: 10 kilometres
Half-day: 875,000 VND (35 USD)
Now this is a Hoi An homestay cycling tour with a difference. The first day you will cycle through the countryside towards My Son, stopping along the way to talk to locals and sample Vietnamese coffee. After arriving at the homestay and having lunch, it’s off to My Son for the afternoon for a guided tour through the ruins. On the second day you will cycle back towards Hoi An. You’ll stop at many local houses on Cam Kim Island to try your hand at making noodles, rice whisky, and sleeping mats before heading back to Hoi An centre.
Distance: 40 kilometres per day
Two Days: 3,500,000 VND (140 USD)
Hoi An Cycling offers tours with the chance to cycle up the famous Hai Van Pass. But at 65 kilometres plus the seriously steep climb of the pass itself, you need to be fit to attempt this. It’s not suitable for young children. The first option on the tour is to cycle all the way from Hoi An to the top of Hai Van Pass.
The second option is to take a bus closer to the pass and then begin your ride from there, if you don’t feel up to the longer ride. Once you reach the top of the pass, it’s time for a cold drink. Then a cruisy ride down the other side for lunch in Lang Co. After lunch, a bus will take you back to Da Nang. You have the option to stay on the bus until Hoi An or cycle back down the coast.
Distance: 65 kilometres
Full day: 4,500,000 VND (180 USD)
So that covers the best of the guided cycling tours on offer in Hoi An. We recommend that you choose a tour that best fits you or your travel companions, from the above options. Half-day tours are great for families with children. Just enough to get some of their energy out but not enough to exhaust them. Fortunately, it’s only a matter of minutes before you’re out of town. So you’ll still experience the contrast between the Old Town and the countryside.
In the height of summer, perhaps an evening food tour by bike is your best option. Especially if you’re struggling to adjust to the climate here. Check out our weather guide to manage your expectations.
The full-day cycling tours are an excellent option for those who want to go a bit more in-depth into the surrounding areas of Hoi An. There are still plenty of rest stops and opportunities within these tours. There are options like bike one-way and return by vehicle, which remain suitable to most levels of cyclist. Real cycle enthusiasts shouldn’t miss the opportunity to cycle the Hai Van Pass. It’s definitely one to tick off the bucket list; however not for the faint-hearted!
Now you’ve done the research, get in early and book a tour and then perhaps even jump on the exercycle in preparation for your upcoming Hoi An cycling tour adventure!