Besides being an attractive ancient town, Hoi An contains many hidden attractions that travelers might never know about. The local people may know about these, but they have never evaluated how much these would appeal to the traveler. In 2001, on my vacation to Hoi An, I spent a whole morning riding on a motorbike around rural Hoi An and taking photographs. From the town, across the Cam Nam Village bridge, there are great views of the river on both sides of the bridge. From here you can see the colorful and huge fishing nets being raised up and down, and you will have a good view of the market and old town.
I followed a small trail through the village located on the right of the bridge which went along the bank of the river. I stopped at the curve of the river where an amazing panoramic view of the ancient town of Hoi An appeared. This is one of the best spots for taking photos of Hoi An. In the afternoon, you can also see the very interesting local ferry crossing back and forth, heavily loaded with people, motorbikes and bicycles.
From here, I kept following the branch of the Thu Bon River. This lead me and my bike back to the road of Cam Nam along which were many popular local restaurants. Then I saw another village with lots of green trees on the left. Following this small path to the village, I had the feeling of coming to a totally different world with its local houses, and their beautiful fences and gardens. This village grows lots of betel nut trees, and you can really enjoy the fragrance of the flowers on the trees, so sweet and pure. From here, you can ride along the bank of the Thu Bon River again before turning into other parts of the village.
The path just kept going on and on. It was like being in a maze, and I am sure that if you came here for the first time, you would never ever remember your way around. But getting lost here in the village is also kind of fun. Anywhere you go you can always find interesting things along the way or just around the corner. All the houses along the village path are very open to the public, and you can observe the interiors of the houses and the family activities. Some of the families here work as fishermen, and you can see them fixing their fishing nets and steaming fish to keep it fresh for selling in the market. Others make rice paper, and you can stop to see it being made and drying in the sun. Most of the houses have a small altar in the front yard for worshiping the God of the Land. They also have small but beautiful gardens in front of their houses. It can be very easy to see men taking a late nap in the afternoon and women sitting outside their houses gossiping. Children will also run after you saying “Xin Chao,” which means “Hello” in English, and they will really want to shake your hand (maybe an influence of television for a polite and friendly gesture). Although not too far from the town of Hoi An, they rarely see tourists here. You can really feel their friendliness and hospitality.
Most of families in the village still live in traditional houses that have not changed in a hundred years, and life here goes at a slow and peaceful pace. This is why I like this village so much, and I find that like Hoi An, the village of Cam Nam is also like a living museum.
After coming back from this motorbike trip, I found the route I had taken on motorbike is a perfect discovery feature. I then designed this tour in Hoi An for our company. The trip to the village on cyclo or bicycle can be a great balance with the city tour in Hoi An, and this is one of the most successful discovery features for us in Vietnam.
The Bike Ride Or Cyclo Trip To Cam Nam Village is recommended in all of our Vietnam classic tours !