Cycling tour to enjoy Hue’s suburban landscape
For many tourists, cycling along the suburban lanes shaded by green trees, enjoying the beautiful landscape of the countryside, and engaging in the local life leaves them with unforgettable memory when they come to Hue.

Peaceful lane

At weekend, I rode a bike to Thanh Toan Tile-roofedBridge with some foreign tourists. After a few minutes cycling around streets in the city, the bicycle team startedmoving to the countryside lane to Thanh Toan. May is the rice harvest time in Hue. The tourists were quite curious, and we decided to stop where some combine harvesters and farmers were working. While the tourists were observing intently, the tour guide began introducing wet rice cultivation, how to harvest and dry rice and other stages. While everyone was listening to him carefully, a tourist took a deep breath and asked, “What a strange scent! I have never smelled it.” Then the tour guide replied, “That is the scent of harvested rice. For those who come from rural area, that rice scent is attached to their childhood, and many of themcherish it all their life.”

“This is the first time I have come to Vietnam,” said Alex, a tourist joining this tour, “when searching information, we knew about the cycling tour around the countryside to discover the local life, we found it impressed and decided to join. Beyond our expectation, we had amazing and wonderful experience.” As said by Nguyen Thi Ngoc Quynh, the director of Hue Smile Travel Company, the lane to Thanh Toan Tile-roofed Bridgeis considered one of the most beautiful lanes in Hue. Besides the green rice paddy fields on both sides of the lane, there are flourishing orchards laden with fruit. The gentle green of theluxuriant rice fields cools off the summer heat, and the fragrance of young rice makes us forget the tiredness. It is the scent of peace that so many people are seeking when visiting Hue.

In addition to Thanh Toan Tile-roofed Bridge, tourists should not miss small and winding lanes, which are wide enough for only two bicycles in Thuy Bieu. According to Tran Quang Hao, Director of Huetourist,what makes Thuy Bieu distinctive is thetwo rows of arecas or evergreen hedges along both sides of the lane leading the tourists to the ancient wooden houses. If tourists ride in the early morning or afternoon, they will be in the shade of green trees, enjoying the freshness, tranquility and leisureliness.

Recently, there have beenmore and more cycling tours to Lai An, Sinh, Tien, Non, Thanh Tien village (Phu Mau, Phu Vang). The trip to Phu Mau becomes more interesting as tourists can go on a ferry boat crossing from Bao Vinh ancient Town. Tourist companies organizing cycling tours to Phu Mau show that each village has its own strength, for villages in Phu Mau, it is the scene of simple life without any outside impacts from strangers. Along the way, there are also many traditional craft villages for tourists to experience.

 Many tourists choose cycling tour to suburban villages for their visit in Hue

There are such villages

In many suburban villages around Hue, Thuy Bieu is a place where traditions remain intact.Visitors come here fornot only sightseeing, but also fully understandingthe culture and architecture of ancient houses of local people, as well as typical characteristics of a traditional house whose architecture represents Feng Shui principles. 

After cycling a long way, visitors go into an ancient wooden housewho owner will generously offer them green tea and grapefruit jam, and talk with them. Ho Xuan Dai expressed, “My greatest pride is to introduce the traditional culture of our nation to foreign friends from far-away countries. It is inapproriate to turn cultural values intoa business good; therefore, unlike others, my family always offers free tours to all visitors. It is not true that we gain nothing,as we have brought cultural values of our family and homeland to everywhere.”  Then, Dai showed us every single page of his diary, “Most visitors feel friendly and close when coming to my house, like old life-long friends”.

Lately, Thanh Toan Tile-roofed Bridge has offeredmore interesting things as tourists can have a boat ride with locals in the Nhu Y river, enjoying the beauty of countryside, and learning how to use some old fishing equipment such as fishing net, fishing traps. Here, at any time, tourists are able to experience the wet rice farming, glutinous-rice-cake making, vegetables cultivation, or participate in cooking classes with a local chef, and then enjoy the dishes cooked by themselves.

Visiting Thanh Toan, after enjoying the cool wind on the bridge, tourists should visit Granny Nguyen Thi Hau who demonstrates the farmer’s life in Farming Tools Display House. Granny Hau sings Rice-Pounding songs or a lullaby while working. Beholding that scene, all foreign tourists express their interest and praise. The tour guide says, “It is Granny Hau, who is little, with a curved back, and always chewsbetel in her mouth, is the most authentic symbol of traditional life in a village that tourists desire to discover when coming to Hue.”

As stated by Le Huu Minh, Deputy Director of the Department of Tourism, cycling tours to suburban villages in Hue have existed for a long time. Recently, with investments in more facilities, there appear models of community-based tourismthat strongly attract not only internationalvisitors but also domestic ones. In the near future, more services will be encouraged to offer tourists so that tourist destinationsbecome more attractive.

Tourists in Hue can easily hire a bicycle in central streets like Le Loi, Chu Van An, Hung Vuong, Pham Ngu Lao; or in any hotelthat has Bike Rental Service for guests. It costs from 50.000 to 80.000 VND per one, depending on the rental period.

By Duc Quang

www.news.baothuathienhue.vn
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