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“Probably one of the best things we did in Vietnam”
Review of Hoi An Free Tours

Hoi An Free Tours
Ranked #4 of 147 Outdoor Activities in Hoi An
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: "Hoi An Free Tour" is a local university students organization who offer as free bicycle tours to unexplored countryside in Hoi An such as Kim Bong Village, Tra Que Vegetable Village and Cam Thanh Water Coconut Palm Village. You can bike around villages and see stunning rural scenes, rice paddies, fishing villages, fields of water buffalo and Bamboo Bridge. You will learn and get many insides which are never written on guide books. It's all about a cultural exchange and giving the volunteer students opportunities to practice their English language skills through outdoor activities
Kingston
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Probably one of the best things we did in Vietnam”
Reviewed January 5, 2013

We were told about the free bike tour run by students in Hoi An by some travellers in the Mekong Delta. We were arriving on the over night coach on Sunday morning, and although the last thing we fancied doing was going cycling for the day, we'd heard such good things that we really didn't want to miss out.

I'm so glad the we did the tour as it really was brilliant! Not only was it a great way to find out about local trades and get a bit off the beaten track, it also really helped us on the rest of our travels. By picking up a bit of Vietnamese from our student tour guides, we found that it went a really long way with the locals. it also helped us to feel confident ordering street food - and more importantly knowing what we were asking for!

Our tour guides were amazing. Really fun and friendly. It was absolutely pouring with rain but we just laughed about it and carried on. They taught us lots about local life and what ti is like growing up in Vietnam, the kind of stuff that you can't learn about from day trips and lonely planet books. I can't recommend this enough for a fun day out that will really help you to enjoy the rest of your trip around Vietnam!

The tour is free but you can make a donation towards running costs at the end of the tour. To be honest, compared to the paid tours we did in Saigon, this trip was far far more fun and personal. Even after a night of no sleep on the coach and a morning of pouring rain, we were still raving about this tour to all our friends when we got home !

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
5 Thank MissCamberley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
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English first
Madrid, Spain
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“A win-win tour.”
Reviewed January 5, 2013

My boyfriend arranged this tour for us while staying in Hoi An. It is indeed free, however there is a 50,000 dong fee for the ferry ride and "tips" for the villagers. I completely agree with this practice of upfront donations, as it appears in the past only transportation was covered and then you were responsible for giving small change to the artisans or shopkeepers. Although we visited 5 locations, it was never assumed that we would buy anything, and neither were we pushed into feeling responsible to do so. We walked away quite happy with the fact that we spent a day mingling with locals (the most interaction is obviously with the Uni students due to their English skills), and we felt that it's a great way to give and take from a tourism opportunity.

Our one gripe was that there seemed to be a bit of confusion as to who was really leading the tour - it may have been the student's timid nature, but at times we waited around wondering about next steps and tour length in general, and the final stopping point of the tour, which involved a suggestion form, could have been resolved in a more timely and orderly fashion. Therefore, be sure to bring snacks with you! Otherwise, the guides were very eager to satisfy and will undoubtedly be next-generational leaders in Vietnam.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
6 Thank Lauren H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
195 reviews
85 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
“Not to be missed!”
Reviewed January 3, 2013

There is not much that I can add that hasn't been said before but continue to rave about how wonderful these tours are! We chanced apon a TA review and we couldn't be happier that we did. From the moment we emailed we dealt with kind and contentious young students. Check out hoianfreetour.com for their tour information. We chose to go for option one to visit Kim Bong village. With hired bikes we met at 8.30am starting with a river crossing. A previous reviewer pointed out that the activities didnt require a tour however I don't believe they can be accessed without the assistance and knowledge of a local. We were taken to real peoples homes and saw traditional arts, crafts and food preparation which usually wouldn't be accessible to tourists. We fell in love with the sleeping mat being weaved before our eyes and decided to buy one to use camping. It was clear this was unusual as there was no impetus on selling what so ever.
At the start of the tour everybody gave 50,000 dong which was dished out between allthe crafts people who were opening their homes to us so literally everybody benefits.
The students go out of their way to spend time with you and make sure you have a good time in Hoi an. If you were a solo traveller you'd be making pals for your stay as many wish to get as much practice as possible.
I can't recommend this tour highly enough, it was surely the highlight of our Hoi an trip.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank misspickle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
66 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Not this particular tour but do visit Hoi An”
Reviewed January 1, 2013

A lovely little town with genuine old buildings. Very pretty at night with all the lanterns. People are very friendly, lots of little stores all selling the same thing. Nice atmosphere.

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
4 Thank Tamarisk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Fantastic guides for a great tour!”
Reviewed December 25, 2012

I would whole-heartedly recommend this tour for anyone looking for something a bit different than the usual tourist haunts. A lovely bikeride with outstanding company from 5 or so Danang City University Students! They're enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and you get to see loads!! My only comment--I found it a little difficult to get in touch beforehand and to locate them on the day. Email seems to be best. Dont give up!

Helpful?
5 Thank B R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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