Hey everyone, sorry for the long delay, but here is the second part from my Vietnam trip last month! From Ho Chi Minh we hopped on a plane to Da Nang and then took a car ride over to our next destination Hoi An. Our first day we decided to rent some bicycles and ride 3 kilometers to the beach. The weather was overcast and windy, but not too cold overall. We got to ride along side rice patties, cranes, and the occasional farmer.
Once we got to the beach we were immediately confronted by 3 women along the path, each trying to flag us down to their separate bike parking areas. The closest woman to us told us the others were asking for the same price and she INSISTED we park in her lot while the other women were in the background yelling "Welcome, please come here!" and waving us towards their area. We ended up going with the first lady and as soon as we moved our bikes to her side she was all smiles and started cackling, like she had just outsmarted the other women. Her laughter was infectious. We were laughing in confusion and amusement at this lady, who took such joy in stealing some customers.
It was not the warmest of beach days but I still really enjoyed the whole atmosphere. There was practically nobody else there and the wind was very dramatic.
|Don't look now, but I'm stealing your big idea! Side note: who throws their light bulbs into the ocean?!|
|I'm going to do a graceful jumping shot like I see on Pinterest!|
|Noting that jumping wasn't my forte after all, I decided to just stand.|
|Feeling like a local|
|Nobody could resist laughing.|
|I'm your Vietnam Mama!|
|Oh, we don't have the fabric you want for custom made pants? Hop on! We will got to the fabric shop!|
Hoi An had a much more serene atmosphere around town. It was still busy in the tourist areas, but the roads had more space and less traffic. It was so nice to be able to experience quiet streets. Even in Korea I rarely do not hear traffic going by. It was a relaxing break away from the big city hustle and bustle. Another aspect I love about Hoi An is all the beautiful lanterns dangling off of buildings and trees. Lanterns come in all colors and shapes and they were especially pretty reflecting off the water in the old part of town.
|Hoi An wontons: fried wonton wrapper topped with shrimp, mango and crab.|
|All boats on the river had eyes painted on the bow.|
|Selling wish lanterns to float down the river.|
The next day we had our half day cooking class at Red Bridge Cooking School. It starts off in the morning at the local market, where your guide tells you about all the fresh food there.
|Yay fresh produce!|
|Yes, that is a pigs face on a table.|
|The fresh herb area smelled sooooo good!|
|Mostly women are vendors at the market because they are believed to be better hagglers.|
|All the locals shop at the market.|
Next we got taken to the cooking school by boat! The cooking school is located right next to the river. Once we arrived we took a tour of the school's organic garden where they grow a lot of their herbs and vegetables.
|Time to flip the Vietnamese pancake!|
|Pancake all rolled up in toasty rice paper and ready to eat!|
|Shredded veggies for the green mango seafood salad.|
|Spring rolls! I hand made the rice paper too!|
|How to properly make a tomato rose.|
|Our attempts at tomato roses and cucumber fans.|
That night we went out for an 'expensive' meal at Morning Glory. For multiple appetizers, a drink, main course and dessert we all spent about $15 each.
|You could watch ladies cooking from our table.|
The next morning we had our morning pho and iced coffee before going back to the airport to fly to Hanoi.
|Stay tuned for the upcoming Hanoi post. Cheers!|