HOI AN FREE TOURS
Staffed by energetic student volunteers, Hoi An Free Tours packs a lot into a short time. With two free tours to choose from and enthusiastic students wishing to practice their English skills there’s not much cycling but lots of behind-the-scenes cultural insight. It’s sometimes a bit rough around the edges but the price is unbeatable.
The Kim Bong Bicycle Tour, which I chose, starts off with a ferry ride over to Kim Bong village to visit a boat building yard. Here you see the age-old process of soaking and shaping the timber before tacking it together with wooden nails and making it watertight. The next stop is an intriguing visit to a backyard rice paper and quang noodle family business.
After cycling through soaked paddy fields you visit a temple dedicated to ancestor worship and then move on for a taste of the local sleeping mat cottage industry before taking in a showroom of carved artefacts.
For serious cyclists there may not be enough road time but for those who want a quick hit of traditional local culture it’s perfect. And, in case you missed it, it’s ‘free’ and accessible to all.
With a very high rating on Trip Advisor for its Kim Bong Tour, Hoi An Free Tours also has a tour to Tra Que Vegetable Village and, if you book through them, you can get a 10% discount on a Hoi An Food Tour. See their website for complete tour details.