• During our time in Hoi An we got up to quite a few things, one of them was a cycling tour around one of the neighbouring little islands called Cam Kim which has a very traditional Vietnamese way of living going back to their origins which includes making boats, colourful sleeping mats and making rice wine.

    We had a fairly early start, which we walked to the cycling tours office to meet up with everyone else, get checked in and also pick out our bikes (which I haven’t ridden a bike in quite some time so I was quite wobbly) but I managed to survive the tour. We were split into smaller different groups, those who did the shorter tour which was us went off first and then the group doing the longer all day trip went off shortly after. We cycled for a few minutes to get to the boat docking station and had us and our bikes put onto the boat and we set off toward the island Cam Kim. Once we got to the island which only took about 10 minutes via the boat, we got back onto our bikes and cycled for about 5 minutes to get to our first stop which was where they made their fishing boats.

    Our two adorable guides, one of which says her name is ‘Power’ told us how the men built the fishing boats and also some legends of why the boats have eyes on the front of them to scare away sea monsters and also to help the fisherman find their way back to shore if they get lost at sea. The boats take months to make and also cost a lot of money to get the materials but once they are made they will last a long time for the family to us for fishing.

    We then cycled a little bit further to reach this mans shop in which he sells lots of handmade gifts including lots that uses mother of pearl. Power was talking us through how he makes each piece of this plate which has mother of pearl designs in it. She also told us of when Cam Kim gets flooded everything on the bottom floors of peoples houses get destroyed so they have to move everything upstairs in order to protect it from the water damage.

    We cycled for a little bit longer, through small sections of the island amongst peoples houses and fields. Seeing water buffalo and lots of young children screaming from their gardens ‘WHERE ARE YOU FROM?’ and ‘WHAT’S YOUR NAME?’ because they love knowing where you are from and also learning English which was extremely cute. They also waved at us as we went by. We then came to this couples house which was also a little cafe which you could get cold drinks and some snacks from whilst we learnt about how the round bamboo boats were made which the man above (the husband) was showing us and cutting the bamboo apart to get the different bits of bamboo needed to make the boat. We were then allowed onto the water to learn to make them move, which I didn’t but my Dad went in the boat. The lady teaching us who they called ‘Sexy One’ which they told us the story of how she got that name because she couldn’t say she was 61 and just sounded like ‘Sexy One’ and she loves singing Gangnam Style.

    A finished round bamboo boat.

    We headed a little bit further to a farm which I didn’t get pictures of but we learnt how they make rice wine and also other wines which can include scorpions and centipedes (yuk!). They also had pigs on their farm which they bred and use for meats which made me feel a little sick (being a vegetarian) but thankful that bit didn’t last long. We then cycled a bit further which was a lovely cycle along the waters edge towards a bridge which separated two parts of the island to the final part of our tour. We finally learnt about how they make colourful mats for sleeping on by using dyed bamboo sticks.

    Before heading back home, we cycled a little bit further to this couples house which we learnt about the traditional Vietnamese house which included 3 different doors, 1 for women, 1 for men and the middle door for spirits. We then was cooked lunch which was delicious, I had rice, vegetable curry and salad. The others could chose between fish or chicken curry if they could eat meat. We cycled a little more to get to the boat dock and caught the ferry boat back to Hoi An Old Town. It was a great day out and highly recommend it to those who would like to explore further out of Hoi An and experience some of traditional Vietnam.

    Are you interested in taking this cycling tour? Let me know in the comments below.

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