Cycling along a dusty track, our eyes feasted on the lush green paddy fields spanning out in front of us.
Just a short journey from the quaint Vietnamese town of Hoi An had
taken us past pretty lotus ponds and grazing water buffalo on a
beautiful bike ride into the Quang Nam province.
Keen to see the surrounding area, my friends and I had booked onto the Love Of Life bicycle tour.
Following our grinning guide Vinh, we set off on a five-hour
excursion, peddling past rice farmers, fisherman and a beautiful
Arriving in Tra Que vegetable village, where families have grown
fresh produce for 500 years, we were greeted by friendly villagers in
their traditional ‘Nón Lá’ hats tending to their crops. As we all
dismounted Vinh explained about the different types of sweet herbs and
Next we peddled on to pretty An Bang beach where Vinh passed around a traditional treat of soy pudding and ginger syrup…
With our bikes loaded onto a boat we shuffled up with the other passengers on a gentle river cruise back to the town.
Meanwhile Vinh chatted enthusiastically about the area and its
traditions. When I asked if he was married he pulled out his phone to
show me a picture of the fiancee he cannot marry until he has
appropriately mourned his deceased father.
He explained that when a parent has passed away the custom is to
wait three years before getting married. Vinh was two years into his
wait and counting down the days to wed his beloved.
‘When a parent gets sick weddings are often arranged very quickly!’ he said.
Disembarking and cycling back into Hoi An we parked up our trusty
wheels and were invited into a house for a culinary feast of local
delicacies. Afterwards the tables were cleared away and one by one we
received blissful foot massages with lemongrass water and eucalyptus.
This was all part of a bargain-priced tour Vinh insists promotes a
happy heart and soul – and judging by the smiles on everyone’s faces it
would be hard to disagree :)