Hoi An: Nov 8-15

We took Hoi An private car to our next destination {Hoi An}.  On our way,  we stopped at a lovely place called Marble Mountain that is famous for their many marble carvings. According to a few people that we ran into, most of the marble is imported in order to preserve the mountain. There are many Buddhist temples here as well. We stopped at a carving factory as well!

View fromm Marble mountain to the village below.

View from Marble mountain to the village below.

 

Pagoda heaven!

Pagoda heaven!

 

Some marble carvings at the the marble creation center.

Some marble carvings at the the marble creation center.

 

Hoi An is full of ancient temples, vestiges of old Japanese merchant houses, and tailor shops. On our first day we traveled the streets on our rented bicycles dodging a plethora of motorbikes on our way to dinner. The second day we headed to the Bang Beach and made a day of swimming in the sea and watching fisherman. Denise took a short ride in the round wooden boat (basket boat) with a fisherman! We had some fantastic food specialties served to us on the beach.

The fisherman's boat.

The fisherman’s boat.

 

Denise being pushed out to sea by the fisherman. She only stayed out at sea for 20 minutes.

Denise being pushed out to sea by the fisherman. She only stayed out at sea for 20 minutes!

Sunset

It’s November 10th and it is dawning on us that time is now going too fast! We have been reassuring ourselves that we will be in Vietnam a lot longer than planned. We had yet another mini -adventure bicycling around Hoi An with our dear guide Reny from Hoi An Cycling on Cam island which is just across the river from Hoi An. We visited several families in a quiet part of the rural area surrounding the city.

Taking hand mats grass mats to market.

Taking hand made grass mats to market.

 

Thee boat that took our bicycles to the other side of the river. Every square inch was used for a motorbike or bicycle!

The boat that took our bicycles to the other side of the river. Every square inch was used for a motorbike or bicycle!

 

Denise and Pete in the rice paddies on bicycles!

Denise and Pete in the lotus fields on bicycles!

 

Our sweet guide Reny and Pete.

Our sweet guide Reny and Pete (who is sweet most of the time)

 

A water buffalo taking a bath!

A water buffalo taking a bath!

 

This little piggy won't be going to market for a long time. This picture taken in the rice wine maker's home.

This little piggy won’t be going to market for a long time. This picture taken in the rice wine maker’s home.

We met a very interesting person (Mr. Dau) who had been in the war in Cambodia in the late 1980’s and lost his leg and now was making rice wine for a living. He spent one year in Danang Hospital to recover from this injury. The best quantity of wine he can make is about 12 liters per day but he usually sells only a few liters per day. One liter sells for about 20,000 vnd or $0.90. He sang songs to us with his guitar and his 7 year old daughter also sang a few melodies. He impressed us as being a very happy man and obviously was very appreciative of his family and his life.

Mr. D and his daughter give a private concert.

Mr. Dau and his daughter give a private concert.

 

Mr Dau and the family. What an honor to spend the afternoon with them.

Mr Dau and the family. What an honor to spend the afternoon with them.

 

Another family made straw mats for a living. Both of us had some short lessons of how to make the mats on a hand powered loom. They make about 3-4 mats per day, that sell for about 50,000 vnd (about $2.25) a mat and requires a great deal of teamwork among family members. Most men in the village go out to sea for long periods as fishermen, so women do most of the mat making chores. The man we saw was injured in a construction accident so he now earns a living making these mats.

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After pedaling our bikes another few kilometers, we met up with a family that makes rice noodles. We were able to participate in the whole process of making the noodles. They made us a beautiful lunch of all the local food which is always delicious. We bicycled back to the boat that crosses the river through the tranquil rice fields and beautiful alleys in quiet villages.

First step to make the rice noodles is to may rice pancakes1

First step to make the rice noodles is to make rice pancakes!

 

Next, we need to send the pancakes through a slicer and we have rice noodles!

Next, we need to send the pancakes through a slicer and we have rice noodles!

The following evening we took the advice of our homestay host “Ti” and rented a small boat powered by a lovely Vietnamese lady. To our surprise, the sunset was followed by lights of the city that looked like gold glistening on the water. There was so sound except the occasional swish of an oar in the water.

Hard working and lovely boat lady dazzles us with the river smiling all the way.

Hard working and lovely boat lady dazzles us with the river smiling all the way.

 

The water glistens like gold with the many beautiful lights in Hoi An.

The water glistens like gold with the many beautiful lights in Hoi An.

 

A fishing net posed above the river in old town Hoi An.

A fishing net posed above the river in old town Hoi An.

 

Another boat picture on the river. Looks like it might end up as one of Denise˘s paintings!

Another boat picture on the river. Looks like it might end up as one of Denise˘s paintings!

 

Inside one of the Buddist temples in Hoi An.

Inside one of the Chinese Buddhist temples in Hoi An.

 

Cool old arcitechure abounds in Hoi An!

Cool old architecture abounds in Hoi An!

The structures as seen from the boat.

The structures as seen from the boat.

 

Fisherman on the river setting nets.

Fisherman on the river setting nets.

 

Our indulgent lunches on the road side restaurants. We are getting spoiled!

Our indulgent lunches on the road side restaurants. We are getting spoiled!

 

Here we are ready for another ride.

 

Lotus fields forever.

 

Scenery from our bicycle trips

We “beached it” for the next few days while being served seafood and cold drinks by a local restaurant called “Seaside”. The beach was great and the photos speak for themselves!

This town was a very nice place to visit, however we needed to be cautious about motorbikes when walking or bicycling due to them coming very close to us and nearly hitting us. There are many people trying to sell you something in the Old town which is understandable due to this being a very well advertised tourist destination. The beach was beautiful and Old Town was packed with tourists. The highlights of this town were the wonderful people we met in the countryside and the sweet people that fed us incredible food on the beach!

 

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