Soon after landing in Vietnam, I fell head over heels in love with the place, especially for the city of Hoi An. The city is a bright, colourful place that is decorated with lanterns which are strung from house to house lighting up the streets at night time. The colourful houses and the flavourful food for low prices make this a travellers dream.
During the day the streets are fairly busy with locals looking for business, and tourists bumping into things because they are too occupied looking at the beautiful scenery rather than where they are going. Although the city is a lovely place to be, I wanted to explore the outer realms of the city so my travel group and I all rented bikes and went into the countryside. We were able to see what Vietnamese life is really like, away from all the touristy spots.
Although at some points we were taken off-road, for the most part, we were on a beaten track so the ride was quite comfortable, and nothing too strenuous. Firstly, we were lead through the paddy fields which were a lush green. We stopped off and were introduced to two elderly Vietnamese farmers. They were lovely and didn’t hesitate to get us involved in some farming. It was a lot of fun watching everyone attempting to farm how the local’s farm, but we all kept falling over. There is definitely a knack to it.
We hopped back on our bikes and rode through the farm to a lake, where we got to see local water buffalo grazing. The green backdrop was like something out of a movie, and I had to keep pinching myself.
We rode for about 3 hours in total, but because we kept stopping to get a closer look at things, it didn’t feel like we were cycling for that long.
Rather than riding back to the city, we caught boats back to the town. The boats we got in were round and the locals were in the boats with us. They had made us accessories out of leaves which were very cleverly crafted. They had made us everything from crowns to rings and necklaces. We had a lot of fun, and the locals were just as much up for a laugh as we were. They were pushing us into the water and making us sing. It was all in good humour though.
I had a great day, and it was an excellent way to see ‘the real’ Hoi An.