Vietnam ( part 6)

For you readers it is the end of 2017 but my story here is from February 2014.

After our time in Hoi An, we took a short  flight from Danang to Nha Trang. This is the beach by our resort.

After lunch, we left the resort for a 34 km ride. 17 km to go until we reached a fishing village and then we returned to the hotel.

The very last few km was in the city and we had to make our way through the bikes, the motorbikes, the cars, the trucks and also the pedestrians. I had to stay focus and indicate where I was going. I think people in those big cities in Vietnam get used to that type of circulation. Less honking here than in Hanoi or Hue , maybe less honking the further south we go?

The next morning, we traveled by mini-bus for about 45 minutes and then we started riding. Only 2 hours of bike- around 35 km. We got to see the rice almost ready to be harvested and  taste some milk apple or milk fruit. It was  good.

We cycled mostly on small and quiet roads along fields , crossing few villages and once a bigger city where it was  market day.  Warm but a bit humid. The temperature of the day was around 28 C with 59% humidity.

In the afternoon we visited  the Cham Towers dedicated to the Hindu godness Po-Negar.

The next day   was our 7th day of cycling  in Vietnam.  We did 35 km before lunch and 23 km after. Nice sunny day. So much to see again. We first cycled in the countryside, we saw sugar cane plantations, fields of watermelon, trees of cashews and tapioca. We  left the sea side. Vietnamese do not say “China Sea”,  they prefer to say :”Eastern Sea”. The lunch was typically Vietnamese with soup, rice, vegetables, tofu, meat and fruits. Always so much food  !

I will tell more about  Vietnam and especially about Dalat on my next post. I hope you enjoy reading my story. Thanks for your comments. New Year is just around the corner so I will say to you today: Happy New Year. I hope your life is full of wonderful adventures.

 

 

 

Vietnam ( part 5)

Today December 21 is Winter solstice . We are getting close to Christmas. I wish you all a very Happy time during the holiday Season. Thanks for following my blog.

More on my trip in Vietnam. Today is a longer text and many photos.

It was still raining in the morning but we put on our clothes and our shoes (having tried to dry them as much as possible) and we started our ride after a short shuttle drive with the van to bring us outside the city of Hue. We rode mostly on flat road with rice fields and lagoons on each side. The road was not too busy. The occasional truck from time to time wanted to pass us .

Our first stop was at a little school for 4 and 5 years old. They were all smiley and sang for us.  There were two teachers. It was especially fun for me to see a school for little kids as I had been teaching in  preschools  for a few years.

Our second break was in a cemetery. Missed some explanations as I was trying to take photos  (my camera was OK but I tried my best to keep it out of the rain).

We had lunch (typical Vietnamese meal) in a small village called Lac Co. For the afternoon,  we had option to ride  or to stay in the van. I was so wet, didn’t feel like cycling. Only one guide and 3 participants (our friends from Mesa and my husband) went on their bike. Here is our Vietnamese guide , Tam. I took the pic through the window of the van.

We got to our wonderful accommodation.

Drop our dirty laundry ( including my running shoes). We would enjoy visiting Hoi An without the rain ! We walked around the market. So much great fruits. Interesting to see how they selling their produce and live chickens.

It was Valentine Day . We did not have dinner with the group but went out with another couple. Nice evening !

The next day, we rode in the outskirt of Hoi An. Left around 9 am and returned around 11:30. We did more or less 26 km. No rain, at last . Perfect weather. Flat road. We first biked on dikes (cement road). As usual, Tam was giving us lots of information. We stopped in a garden of a little village ( 250 families). Ladies and men were working their garden.It was a good opportunity for photography. They grow mostly greens.

We rode some more on quiet roads. Occasionally, we crossed a truck and they make sure they used their horn !! But, for sure, the area of Hoi An was less noisy than Hanoi.

We had a break at a house where we saw a woman making rice crackers. This is a small family business as she sells them to restaurants. She  cook the rice , it becomes quite liquid and then the batter  is cooked on both side.  Like a pancake. They will dry outside on this blue  sheet.

The last part of the ride was in a busy traffic as we went back to the city and our hotel for a relaxing afternoon. At night we had a cooking lesson.  Here is our teacher !

We learned to do a few simple recipes.  Like vegetable rolls with rice paper !! Then we ate the food !!

So much to discover in this amazing country.  Hoi An  will be my favorite  city during  our voyage in Vietnam. But I still have more to show you. So next week will be another part  of this trip. Thanks for reading !

Vietnam ( part 4)

After flying from Hanoi, we arrived in  Hue and got ready to do our first bike ride. It meant we had  to change in our cycling gear in the bathroom of the airport !! We did about 25 km that day. It was AMAZING to ride  on small roads with rice fields on each side, to see water buffaloes and many temples ( quite different than those seen in Thailand).

Everywhere we saw kids, they were shouting “HELLO, HELLO”.  Maybe the only English word they know ? We had to stop around 5:30 as it was getting dark. It was finally our first day of cycling and  such a great feeling. Having Tam, a local guide, answering all our questions was wonderful.

The next day, we had rain. It is not really what we  asked for but no matter what, we were  there and we would make the most of it.  We put some cheap poncho  ( given to us )and  we tried to stay cheerful. We visited The Citadel- UNESCO SITE since 1993- who was constructed for the Emperor in 1804. It contained the famed Imperial Forbidden city. This was quite impressive!

Unfortunately, the rain did not stop  but we still visited the area. All we could see was interesting: the morning market, the rice fields…  the kids going or coming for school.

I noticed there were many people sitting at the front of their house or in small public places. Must be  their life style.  Some people were working in the fields although it was raining. Quite a different life than what we know in North America. Most people were traveling  on bike or motorbike.

 

We saw again many cemeteries as Vietnam has been through many wars. These cemeteries look completely different than those we know in Canada. Their ancestors are very very important for them. We had lunch on a dragon boat on the Perfume river. The food was excellent. We visited a pagoda in Hue: Thien Mu Pagoda. Nice architecture. An impressive bell, 2052kg is said to be audible 10 km away. I had problem with my camera that day. I couldn’t take anymore photos ( because the humidity).

Anyway, it was a good day and we got to sleep in a wonderful room hoping for no rain the next day.  That will be the story of my next post.

Vietnam ( part 3)

The story of our trip in Vietnam continues  here…

On day 3 and 4  we had more time to explore Hanoi. It was very interesting to observe the lifestyle of people living in that big city.  6,936,900 million in 2014.  We had a lesson how to cross the busy streets and be confident we would not be crushed by a scooter or two. “Just start walking ( no running)  and don’t stop in the middle of the street” said  our guide, Tam.

We saw little restaurants set up by the side of the street. They cook outside and people eat on small plastic chairs. Do you think it is comfortable ?

We saw some colorful display of fruits.

That evening, we ate in  a restaurant and tasted local food. Our Vietnamese guide ordered for us. We liked the food.

Before we left Hanoi, we enjoyed a ride on a cyclo. The cyclo is a three-wheel bicycle taxi that appeared in Vietnam during the French colonial period.  Everybody in our group had there own  “driver” , he cycles behind us.  They were happy to work for us.  It was a  fun ride and I could take lots of photos. Have you had a chance to try it ?

We visited  the HCM Mausoleum. Strict rules apply to visit. We cannot take photos, cannot bring a purse inside this building.

We also saw the Presidential Palace and the Temple of Litterature.

For lunch , we had a Pho soup. It was very good.

You add bean sprouts , lime juice, and herbs. They are made with chicken or beef broth.

And then we went to the airport to catch a flight to  Hue where we would start our cycling tour. It will be the story of my next post.

Thanks for reading.