On our recent trip to Vietnam, I hired a bike for the day with a child seat when in Hoi An. We had a lovely day, enjoying the breeze along the river, stopping off to look at Temples and ancient Houses. I was sold on cycling with my four-year-old.
Then I went on a bicycle tour in Hanoi.
The Hanoi half day Cycle tour:
I ended up crossing main roads with several lanes of traffic and no crossing, my daughter on the back of the bike. Was I crazy or as one of my friends recently said, fearless? Neither really. I didn’t realise exactly what the tour involved. I booked a half day tour that posed the question “are you looking for countryside biking tour?” Yes! (I thought). However, we got was a heavy-duty tour in the rain with hardly any stopping…
The last time I went on the roads in Hanoi I was on a motorbike and ended up having an accident. I learned from it that the roads in Hanoi are even crazier than I first thought. I was not too happy therefore when I ended up having to cross a couple of these main roads with my daughter on the back of a pushbike! Our guide was helpful though and went alongside as if to block the traffic. I’m not sure it was a help in real terms but it made me feel better. Take note that flashing lights mean get OUT of the WAY, not ‘I am giving way’ like in the U.K.
It was nice to be amidst the bright green rice fields of the Red River Delta. We also learned that little pink clusters of round things are snail eggs. I struggled on the single bike track through the rice field, mind, balancing my daughter on the back. (She ended up walking most of the way through it).
The best bits of the bicycle tour:
We did see some beautiful and interesting sights. It was cool crossing the river on the old railway bridge and heading into rice fields. We got a good feel for Hanoi and its immediate surrounds you may not otherwise get to see.
We also enjoyed our brief stop at the farm and tasting some fresh fruit from the trees. Whats’ more, the woman at the fruit farm was lovely and had a puppy!
All in all:
To enjoy a bike tour, though I like time to have some water, look at the views and take photos. If you are fit, don’t have a child bicycle seat attached and like to press on, this kind of tour could be just up your street!