We stayed in Hoi An for a full week as we knew we wanted to soak up the atmosphere and explore in more depth than we could in just a couple of days. We were on the look out for a bike tour around the countryside.
There are a couple of tour companies offering bike tours through the countryside but we decided on Heaven and Earth Bicycle Tours. They had great reviews and the tour length etc sounded the best for the kids. It was very easy to book online a couple of days prior.
We were to meet at the tour office just before 8.30am and here we met the guides and others on the tour, there were two couples from the UK and another extended family from Australia. We tested out the bikes and fitted helmets (to the kids only). There were plenty of bike options and different sized kids bikes and kids seats for the backs of the bikes etc. All the bikes were of decent quality.
The tour was from approx. 8.30am to 3.00pm and we rode around 9km over the day so it wasn’t too strenuous. We knew that we were going to be riding through the countryside on quiet flat backstreets where there were no cars away from the busy hustle and bustle of the town. The tour crossed the Song Thu river delta using ferries and even a floating bridge!
It was a short warm up ride just around the corner where we all jumped on a boat, bikes included, and crossed the river where we then stopped off at a boat building community where we saw wooden river boats in various stages of being built.
We continued to ride through the countryside and it was just lovely, lots of rice paddies, locals, very noisy weddings, chickens and thankfully lots of cold water which was provided.
The floating bridge was very interesting. Ross rode across it with Ned on the back of his bike and given I am wobbly riding on a straight flat road I decided to push my bike, but I didn’t feel bad as I wasn’t the only one who did this!
After a stop for a snack it was time to watch and learn how the bamboo river boats were made – the kids thought this was hilarious of course as ‘poo’ was used to hold them together. We were then given the opportunity to have a paddle Ross took the kids in and they all had a ball – he is very coordinated and a figure of 8 pattern is required with the paddle to give it the forward motion. I was too scared and thought I would end up back down the river towards Hoi An with no control!!!
What I really liked with this part of the tour was it was all very low key. I say this as lots of reviews I read for other companies talked about loud music and dancing happening. I was just not interested in an experience like that.
Our last stop before lunch was to check out how rice wine is made. It is actually a fascinating process and very smart! The house has many tanks set up with rice in various stages of fermentation. In the room next door was a pig pen but we had no idea how these pigs are used in the process! But we soon learnt, any left over rice is fed to the pigs who then poo in the pen, the poo is then pushed under the house and it’s methane gas is used to light the fire which then boils and ferments the rice. The kids loved the pigs and talk of poo (again)! We all tried some of the final product – it didn’t blow our heads off. I don’t think it was as strong as it could be just for the tour!
Lunch was under the shade of a large mango tree. We were given the option of a vegetarian meal or chicken meal which was prepared in a local house and was very tasty but it was just far too hot to eat much. We all just needed lots of cold drinks.
After lunch we spent some time watching and learning the secrets of weaving the colourful straw sleeping mats – it was stinking hot and the kids were well and truly over the heat by this stage and were hanging to get back on the bike (it was actually the most pleasant riding in the heat as there was a slight breeze!).
We then had a 40-minute boat ride back into town. The bench seats were not particularly comfortable for relaxing but Olive did manage to fall asleep on my lap.
Once we arrived back in town we dropped the bikes off and headed straight home for lots of swimming!!!
Don’t forget to pack sunscreen, water bottles (top up’s are always available) and some snacks for the kids. The tour cost $25 US per adult and $3 US for Ned and Olive was free.
I hope you enjoyed reading our review of our Heaven and Earth Bicycle Tour. The tour was great and I would definitely recommend this as a great family activity whilst in Hoi An. Please check out their website for details and prices.
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