Get bored of those people who always harass me with their souvenir, coffee and other stuff; I decided to go somewhere around Hoi An that bring me the authentic experience of this country. One of my friend told me about a Cam Kim Bike tour run by www.hoianfunbiketours.com who willing to take us to off the beaten path of Hoi An Hoian- Cam Kim Island. It is a nice countryside and just 10 minutes away by ferry. The price is really really cheap- just 22 usd for bicycle, ferry fee, local donation, water, yummy noodle and a wonderful tour guide.
Cam Kim Island Bike Tour- What should you expect from tour?
At the beginning, I did not expect a wonderful tour with amazing experience. It was basically cheap, wasn’t it? But one of my guides, Nancy has impressed me at the beginning of the conversation. They spent time on explain carefully about the itinerary, what’s your money for and introduce other members of that tour together.
The Local ferry
The ferry to Cam Kim Island is one of my best experiences! What’s an ideal way to know more about local people by sitting on a public ferry! I’ve been to the nice cruise in Halong Bay, enjoy the nice experience and good standard of hospitality, but on a small boat that full of local people, nearly hundred motorbikes and bicycles, some chickens on cages and even a pig is something that I never could imagine before. First 5 stars for this fantastic experience!
Interact with locals
After arrived to that island, Nancy took us around to see how local craftsmen build the wooden boat by hand. They even had something similar to British Coracle but made by bamboo and special resin to make it waterproof and they call it Basket Boat. Other boats are built by nice quality timber with most of the process by hand. What’s a patient work!
Photo by Nancy
Not far from the Ship yard (I’d rather call it boat yard), the carpentry workshop is the place where we saw how the local inlaid the shell of the pearl in furniture for decorating. Just a small box take those people nearly a day, from flattening the shell of mother of pearl, draw decoration, inlaid in furniture and polish it. Those steps are not for impatient guys like me.
Riding around rice fields
Then we rode along the small countryside road next to rice paddy. How wonderful it was to ride along the rice paddy, take a deep breath with the nice fresh smell from the nature. We also saw many water buffalos which laying down in their lazy and happy way. Another 5stars point from Tommy.
Photo by Nancy
After taking dozen of photos with those beautiful views, we were well explained about life of the rice plant as well as life of the farmer here. It is so interesting to know the different between the rice that I got from super market and the real fresh rice here.
Practice to make rice paper
Photo by Nancy
Later all, Fletcher and his friends took us to a nice local family, where we could see more about the real countryside of Vietnam with the garden, banana trees, and chicken cages. The owner of that family, a nice old lady always keep smiling and show us how to make the rice paper, and noodle as well. We had a lot of fun on trying to make those rice paper, and of course tasting our products. They tasted fresh and delicious.
Visit Sleeping mat making house
Spending 20 mins more on cycling around the windy and lovely roads again, we reached to another family to know about other famous local craft job here: sleeping carpet or sleeping mat making. How talent those people are on harvesting those papyrus plant (kind of), dying the material with traditional dye and patiently sit hours for weaving them together to make a 5 usd cost sleeping mat. Life is so tough! This is one of the biggest industries of Cam Kim Island
Photo by Nancy
Other things to do on Cam Kim island
When the sun getting hotter, I and other people started feeling uncomfy, our guide took us to a nice breeze road with fantastic view of the local small boat and tiny pies which are made of 1 piece of timber or 1 whole small tree. 30 mins of riding along the river brought us the complete view of this countryside, not only with rice paddies but also the local boat dock and other traditional workshop. Getting of the ferry back to Hoian before everyone got tired. Great timing is what I could say.
Google Maps is surprisingly accurate at Cam Kim Island. It includes many laneways so you can explore Cam Kim island by yourself. It can easily take half a day of exploring. If you get lost, you can ask any friendly locals the harbour so they will show you the right direction
Doing a bike trip with hoian fun bike tour to Cam Kim Island is a great idea. You will have many photo opportunity to interact with local and get to know this beautiful island better.
But it was not over, our lovely guides also showed me dozens of local places for local and authentic food. You definitely make my holiday, Nancy’s team!
If you are looking for a real experience of Vietnam with young, enthusiastic guys, this trip is the one.
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