Exploring Hue through Cycling and Cooking

What to do in Hue aside from visiting the Imperial City?


Hue Cycling does tours around the city or further out. The best thing to explore a town is through a motorbike because you get to see things that locals see. The lazy travelers that we are (as always), we didn’t research on what we can do in Hue aside from visiting the Imperial City aka Citadel.

Hue Cycling‘s Facebook page always pops up when we search Hue in Facebook. After a few exchanges with Mr. Hoa, everything was easily settled. Cycling around Hue is a good idea, but adding a cooking class for lunch? That is a rather rad plan!

Our first day in Hue is for walking around while the second day is for our cycling and cooking tour with Mr. Hoa. As early as 8AM the second day, he arrived with 3 bikes, all set for our tour. As much as we were still enjoying our sleep, the weather was perfect for exploration.

bike on vietnamese temple gate
our bikes on a temple gate
The Vietnamese language is a baby of the Chinese language!

I was wondering if Mr. Hoa can read Chinese because a lot of Vietnamese temples on our way were scribbled all over with Chinese characters. To our surprise, he explained to us that the Vietnamese language was actually written in Mandarin a long time ago! Did you know that? Who knows that! It was however, pretty difficult to read so when the French came to Vietnam, switching to Latin characters (ABC) was more convenient for everyone. So cool! Took a few snapshots of them along the way.

chinese temple gates in vietnam
Chinese-inspired Vietnamese temples


Cycling 7 km away from town, first passing by a local fresh produce market, then to old temples and bridges, rice fields, riversides, it was easily almost 11AM. 

rice fields
biked through rice fields
bridge on river
crossed bridges
vietnamese arch
saw beautiful arcs

A couple in red was in a middle of their prenup shoot when we reached Than Toan Roof-Tiled Bridge, the main attraction of the tour. Turns out, this bridge is actually quite a popular place for local wedding prenup shoots. 


From around the area, there were refreshments and same old souvenir shops. It was almost lunch after this stop, so we proceeded to Than Toan Eco Restaurant, where we were scheduled to do a cooking class and have the food we prepared for lunch. Seems like our bellies were agreeing too as we were so hungry from our early work out!


vietnamese naked chef
naked chef at your service

What? You can actually request for naked chefs? Kidding. That’s just Ian, not in service to anyone aside from me. *wink wink* As much as this service is highly in demand, it will never be available. (or will it?) But seriously though, how much different is the cuisine in Hue from that of Hanoi? Stick with us to find out as cooking is starting in 3, 2, 1,..

vietnam cuisine ingredients

fried spring rolls
First Dish: Fried Spring Rolls

First, a Vietnamese favourite all throughout the country! There isn’t much difference with that of spring rolls available in other parts of Vietnam to tell you honestly. But I always love fried spring rolls so this was a treat!

crackers with shrimp, pork, and fig
Second: Fig with Shrimp and Pork, topped with Sesame seeds, served with Crackers

Secondly, something quite different. I have never even eating fig ever before in my entire life! Fig is a bit flavourless but with ingredients such as the saltiness of the meat and the crispiness of the crackers, I would say it was a pretty good combination. We have never tried anything similar to it anywhere else in Vietnam.

fried vietnamese pancakes
Third: Pancakes

Lastly, the final dish. Sort of similar to fried dumplings/omelette. Pretty easy to make but tastes so different. Carrots and cucumbers are still present because they are staples in Vietnamese cuisine but the batter with turmeric is a different twist, distinctly from Hue.

fruits for dessert
cinnamon lemongrass ginger tea
home-made cinnamon lemongrass ginger tea which we really really loved!
vietnamese people
all smiles with our cooking teachers and cycling guide


Cycling and Cooking both done. By 1pm, we were cycling our way back home. It was a long and tiring morning but full of new experiences. An exhausting morning exercise with a sumptuous lunch for re-energizing was a good start to our Hue adventure.

By the way, our favourite dish from the cooking class is probably the…. GINGER LEMONGRASS CINNAMON TEA! My goodness was it so delish! The secret recipe is waiting to be sent out if someone asks for it!

Recap of our Cycling + Cooking itinerary:

8AM : Mr. Hoa arrives in our hotel, we started to cycle away from town

830AM – 10AM : cycled around the countryside and around temples, fields, sceneries

11AM : arrived at Than Toan Eco Restaurant for our cooking class and lunch

1PM : tour ends, cycled our way home

Mr. Hoa with Ian



If you want to get in touch with Mr. Hoa, here are some information that will help.

Hue Cycling website : www.huecycling.com

Hue Cycling Facebook page : www.facebook.com/Huecycling

Email: hoa.nx@hghue.com

Hotline: +84122 452 2458

In addition, Hue Cycling offers a whole lot of other tours in partnership with HGH Travel. Check them out  here.



The article is done in exchange of a free tour. As always, opinions are our own. 

Spread the love

One Reply to “Exploring Hue through Cycling and Cooking”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *