Edit Blog Post
Published: June 10th 2015
Our first full day in Hoi An on Monday was incredible! Another one of our favourite days. It is a beautiful, peaceful little town with blooming trees and colourful boats and buildings. The local people here are so happy and relaxed and so excited to see us and find out about where we are from etc, which is really nice. The town is filled with little clothing and jewellery stores, and lots of pretty restaurants and bars on the river, but the town is mainly known for the amazing tailors - which are everywhere!
In the morning we all went out for breakfast together on the river and afterwards Matt and I explored the town a bit more which was great. It was even hotter than Ho Chi Minh and Nha Trang and also more humid. We wandered passed a little tailor shop which isn't in the middle of town surrounded by other tailors so we decided to have a look, especially because the lady (Lai) was so nice! I explained to her what I had in mind and showed her a photo and shortly after I was choosing fabric and being measured up. We walked back to our hotel
in the burning hot sun which was about 15 minutes walk. We got straight into out togs and jumped in the pool which was really nice, but could've been a few degrees cooler! We chilled in the pool for a bit before we had to get ready for our bike tour.
A group of 9 of us and the cycle tour guide headed off on our cute bikes to explore the outskirts of Hoi An. We cycled through rice patty farms which went on forever, seeing the local people working on planting and maintaining the growth of the rice. We also went passed a lot of caged animals such as ducks, buffaloes and pigs, and there were a lot of dogs wandering around! We cycled for about 20 minutes until we reached a vegetable farm where they were growing a lot of herbs such as basil, lemon basil, spring onion and mint. We were able to use the watering cans which are connected by a long rod which goes across your shoulders which allows you to water two rows of veges at once. We all had a go at doing this which was really cool and the lady who
looks after the farm was really excited and happy to include us in what she does each day.
From there we cycled 15 minutes to ride on the back of a water buffalo. The buffalo is a pet of a little old Vietnamese farmer who sat on the front of the buffalo and we all had a turn at sitting on the back. I was so nervous as they are so big and scary looking but he was so calm and the owner knew exactly what he was doing. When we got on the back, he would start singing a funny song and yell 'yeeeha' for the buffalo to start walking through the watery, muddy paddock. He also got him to start running which was really scary and I had to hold on tight to this tiny little man in front of me (which wouldn't have helped at all if I fell)! Once we all got a group photo with the farmer and his buffalo we got back onto our bikes to cycle to the river where we had bamboo boats waiting for us.
The boats held about 4 people max, so we were with Lucy who is
on our tour and then the lovely, local lady who was paddling on one side and Matt paddled on the other side. There were 3 little boats all together and we all made our way through the coconut farm which was across the river and the lady sung while she paddled too so we tried to join in even though we didn't know the song! This was the most amazing experience, the farm went on for miles with channels to paddle through and we could see thousands of crabs running around the bottom of the coconut trees. We got to a part of the channel where we paddled over to the edge of the coconut farm and the lady grabbed some flax leaves and started creating something - she made us all a flax hat/ crown and a ring and bracelet. She also weaved a cricket with flax which was really impressive, she was very talented! We heard some thunder in the distance and five minutes later it started raining on us massive drops of cool water, which was actually really nice and refreshing! The three bamboo boats raced back to where the bikes were and we cycled with our
new hats on to a river boat where we piled our bikes on and cruised the river back to the town centre of Hoi An.
This cruise back was really beautiful, we got to see a big range of houses and architecture, rich and poor places, tall and skinny buildings, and small low huts. We watched the sunset and ate watermelon that the cycle tour guide had prepared for us.
It was a really great experience cycling around and seeing the different lifestyles of locals in Hoi An.
Yesterday was our last full day in Hoi An which was sad because I would've loved to stay longer, but we had another really nice day. We had a noodle making class with a group called Street works which is an organisation to help underprivileged teens enter the workforce. They are all taught English, how to cook, how to take a tour, and how to wait. The class was great as the new trainees took the whole thing and we were able to learn a bit about themselves and they taught us some Vietnamese and we helped them with their English. We were shown how to make rice noodles and
were able to eat them afterwards with the different Vietnamese sauces. The training chefs also made us all a noodle dish for lunch which was really delicious - it had prawns, pork, quail egg, veges and noodles.
After our class I picked up my new winter jacket and matching skirt and it turned out perfectly! Exactly how I wanted it. I wrote in Lai's diary of notes from other people and I had to read it out to her because she can not read or write English but she can speak and understand it - just through listening to tourists over the years. For the afternoon we chilled in the hotel pool and drank cocktails for hours with a few people on the tour, and then all went out for dinner for some delicious Vietnamese food where we looked out over he river filled with lanterns and pretty lights. We later went to a bar across the river where a lot of tourists were drinking which I was dubious about as I'd prefer to be at a local bar drinking with the lovely local people, but we stayed there all night talking to other tourists from Ireland and Switzerland
which was fun.
We left Hoi An at 9 this morning and are currently on a bus to Hue where we spend one night. We just passed amazing views on the top of a mountain and stopped at the peak where there were stalls of food and jewellery which the locals try to sell to tourists like ourselves. Hoi An has been my favourite place so far as it is just so beautiful and peaceful and the locals are so nice. Hopefully we will go back there again.
Very excited for Hue, Hanoi and Halong Bay!!!
Tot: 0.036s; Tpl: 0.019s; cc: 10; qc: 23; dbt: 0.0077s; 1; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.2mb