Hoi An is a great place to do nothing except shop, eat and relax. And trust me, there is nothing wrong with this (especially if you’ve been traveling for a while!). But should you feel like getting active there are some great options in the area.
Hoi An Photo Tours- Run by locally-based French man (and all-around nice guy) Etienne, these tours are a fab way to get to see a different side of Hoi An. He has a great reputation with the local villagers and fishermen which means you get that ‘insider access’ to the best photos. Even if you are not a serious photographer, Etienne’s tours are a great day out, especially the sunrise fisherman’s tour. Visit www.hoianphototour.com or call + 84 (0)9 05 671 898
Hoi An Motorbike Adventures- Rev up your motorbike and set off for the countryside. Tours range from half day excursions to 3-day drives along country roads. The guides are fun and informative, stopping often for photos or random cups of tea (or rice wine!) with the locals. Russian Minsk are the bikes of choice, but other options are available as well as pillion tours for non-drivers. As Mark likes to say ‘Walking is overrated’! Read more here: http://www.motorbiketours-hoian.com/ , call +84 (0) 918 230 653 (Mark) or pop into their office at 54A Phan Chau Trinh Street.
Thuan Tinh Island Cooking Tour- This is not your spit and polished fine-culinary experience but rather a very local, unique cooking class that is guaranteed fun. Start with a visit to Hoi An’s Market, then take a boat trip to Thuan Tinh Island to visit the local organic vegetable village. You switch to a small row boat to reach Ms Hoa’s house where its time to cook traditional Vietnamese dishes. Cook, eat, enjoy the tranquility and then transfer back to Hoi An. Call +84 (0) 906 477 770 to book.
Hire a local Moto Driver- Of course you can hire your own motorbike, but spending a morning on the back of Mr Binh’s motorbike you’ll see the best local spots around. And it also allows you to stop and drink a few beers without worrying about driving after! His English isn’t perfect but he is a real sweet guy and will be drive you wherever you wish to go in and around Hoi An (and call mates if there is more than 1 of you). 0905 565 155
Travel Advice/Tour Arrangement- If you want to go out to My Son, need plane/train/bus tickets or need a transfer arranged at a fair price, I recommend going to Seventeen’s Travel. The owner, Ms Phuong, and her family (Nam and Ha) are lovely and will work around your budget and schedule.
17 Tran Hung Dao Street
Written by Anne Courtney Cruickshanks (lives and works in Hoi An)