Grab a Bicycle

by Poi on October 27, 2010

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We’d been meaning to hire bikes since our very first stop in Beijing but had never got round to it, I’m putting that down to fear because let’s be honest traffic in Asia is mental and riding a bike amongst this regulars just looks plain scary. Eventually though, nearly two months into our trip we finally rented a couple of bikes in Hoi An, pretty quiet in terms of traffic.

We paid a dollar each for an alright looking bike, I had a quick scout around the day before and most were more like beach cruisers, but we found some good mountain bikes and hired those. Although most bikes looked in pretty good condition and for a dollar can you really complain??

Kirsty riding a mountain bike out of Hoi An

Kirsty heading out of Hoi An

It turns out cycling the streets is pretty fun, with so few cars on the road (one day I remember thinking to myself – I had not seen one) bikes really do rule the road, so you can swerve into the middle of the road to avoid puddles or pot holes or just the sake of it and every one of the 500 mopeds behind will just simply go round you.

Our first stop was the beach, we had not visited the beach so far in Hoi An and it was about the right distance (for Kirsty) to cycle. It was a simple single road to the beach and I enjoyed the ride a lot. Cycling gives you the chance to visit places too far to walk but slow enough so that you can take everything in around you.

two bikes on the beach hoi an


We pulled in at a gap in the trees to find ourselves at a remote part of the beach with only 3 or 4 people in view in all directions. We locked the bikes up and had a good old splash around in the waves.

a wave hitting poi on the beach hoi an vietnam

Splish Splash Splosh

After jumping back on the bikes and carrying on away from Hoi An it became clear Kirsty wasn’t too happy. Having epilated her legs the day before, the salt water was doing its business and causing her a lot of pain. At the height of it she was off the bike, jumping up and down and shouting lots of swear words. We headed off to one of the many road side cafe’s? (with those tiny red chairs meant for children that they seem to have everywhere here) and bought a big bottle of water to rinse Kirsty’s legs and I grabbed a beer (it was past lunch time after all) The old lady looked on wondering why Kirsty was having a shower in her cafe but it worked and the pain eased. A full shower was still in need though so we made the half an hour trip back to the hotel.

Take 2

We had the bikes for the day so after a long shower we decided to cycle off in the other direction out of town. After 20 minutes or so we came to a village with a very stinky fish market, the place was rammed, people running around everywhere trying to find the smelliest dead thing they could for dinner that night. Carrying quickly on we cycled past some kids playing in the street who caught eye of us and started shouting hello. We happily shouted it back and one of the braver ones started walking over to us so we stopped to exchange pleasantries. With this they all came running over, but rather than wanting to talk to us it turned out all they wanted was to ask for money ‘One dollar please!’ Not feeling like a cash machine and a little bit disappointed we pedalled away.

vietnamise countryside near Hoi An

One of the views along the journey

The road narrowed off and didn’t seem to be going anywhere (safe anyway) so we turned round and headed back to Hoi An. We handed the bikes back in around 4pm after 5 hours of enjoyment. As simple as the day was, it has been one of the best so far. I think not having to rely on anyone for transport and having the beach to our self was great and I’ll be looking to hire bikes for similar experiences a lot more from now on.


{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Connie October 27, 2010 at 4:50 pm

I rented a bicycle one day in Hoi An as well and made my way down to the beach! It’s a lovely town and riding a bicycle just makes me so happy! Good times!


Poi October 27, 2010 at 5:03 pm

Glad you enjoyed as well! I enjoyed Hoi An a lot!


Natalie - Turkish Travel October 28, 2010 at 10:38 am

A dollar for a bike rental!. Surprised they make any money!
Natalie – Turkish Travel´s last blog post ..Turkish Night Tacky Or Tasteful


Poi October 28, 2010 at 3:34 pm

It’s crazy aint it!


Tran October 28, 2010 at 3:24 pm

Bike rides are the best!
Tran´s last blog post ..Cairo: On the lookout for a BIG hump


Poi October 28, 2010 at 3:40 pm

I loved cycling at home but without the wind and the rain of the UK it’s so much better.


Jaime October 29, 2010 at 4:01 am

I love reading about bike rides in other cities. It makes me wish the US had more bike friendly cities. I have a bike here but Houston is not a bike friendly city so hardly ever use it.

I cant wait to rent bikes abroad and roam the streets!!!
Jaime´s last blog post ..175HRS IN JAIL


Poi October 29, 2010 at 4:42 am

It’s a lot of fun and such an easy way to see a place, we should have started renting them sooner.

Here in Dalat there are even cheaper to rent – but it’s a bit hilly for Kirsty and we’re already doing sooooo much!


Sarah October 29, 2010 at 6:43 am

Wow, cheapest bike rental. You gotta love China! lol


Poi October 30, 2010 at 7:10 am

Or Vietnam haha


Sarah Wu October 31, 2010 at 6:06 am

haha yea that too!
Sarah Wu´s last blog post ..Photos- 5-Course Thai Cuisine in Hell’s Kitchen


Zablon Mukuba October 30, 2010 at 8:32 am

bikes are handy, and they are very cheap but am afraid am too lazy to use a bike. its nice that city is friendly to bikes


Poi October 30, 2010 at 9:58 am

You could always take it nice and slow??


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