Vietnam – Hoi An bike tour

13/04/16

In the morning we were taken to a noodle making class run by a charity organisation called Streets. The charity helped to get poor Vietnamese children off the streets and into jobs in hospitality.

We were first taught about the different types of noodle and their names in Vietnamese and then we were shown how to make a variety of the rice paper. I found it fun and interesting when we were able to make our own rice paper, first we used the bamboo ladle to pick up the rice water mixture and then we poured it onto a cloth which was on top of a steamer. With the back of the ladle we smoothed out the mixture into a circle, then placed the lid on top to stream it. After 5 seconds the paper was cooked and we could take it off and place it on to our banana leaf using a wet bamboo stick. For the udon noodle you simply place another layer of mixture on top of the first while still on the steamer and cook it for double time, then just cut it up in to sections.

With our paper that we made we were given a fried rice paper to put it in and then folded it in half to dip in sauce and eat.I thought it was delicious because I had made it and also I really love rice paper.

We were then served a noodle fish with pork and veg, cooked by the teenagers who are part of the charity. It was really good and tasted really fresh. I think the charity is a brilliant thing and the kids who are part of it are wonderful and friendly.

In the afternoon I took part in a bicycle tour to visit the countryside. Luckily there was a nice breeze which made the ride more bearable! We first cycled through a rice field.

Afterwards we cycled to an old couple’s house, they are 86 and 92, and are the most adorable couple. They are well known because the are still farming, it was here where I wish I could speak Vietnamese as I’d love to know their history. They gave me serious relationship aspiration lol.

From the house we cycled on and stopped where people could ride a buffalo, I wasn’t too interested in doing this but enjoyed watching the others try to stay on.

We took a quick trip to a rice wine “factory” where we could see how rice wine was made. It was in a small hut and I think it was the traditional way of making it, it smelt really nice in there. The actual wine smelt like paint stripper and tasted just as bad.

We cycled further and came to the river, here we had some fruit and then got into this round basket boat. I had a woman taking the boat and when we got closer to the plants she made me a ring and a crown out of the leaves. The stop here was pretty random but fun.

Our cycle to the main river was stunning and unfortunately we were unable to stop and take a lot of pictures as we had to get to the boat.I loved gaining an insight to how the locals live and to see the architecture of their house. I love that they paint their houses different colours as it is more welcoming and happy.

The boat back was lovely, we could see the sun set and enjoy the cooler air.

For dinner we ate at a tourist place as Sarou was celebrating Cambodian new year, he wanted us all to sit together so we could each take part in the water ritual, where he poured some water over my hands and gave me a new year blessing. The food wasn’t great but it was nice we all sat together.

 

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