As part of a recent inspection trip, Paul, our Far East Travel Expert and his family had a day with local farmers in Hoian, central Vietnam.
The day started off with an ox cart ride, meandering through beautiful green paddy fields, on our way to a rural village in the outskirts of Hoian.
Upon arrival at the farm, we were introduced to the friendly farmer and his family and spent a fabulous day exploring the complete cycle of rice production. The first task we sampled was to plough the rice paddy using oxen and traditional wooden plough.
Ploughing was great fun, but keeping up with the ox as you’re plodding through the water drenched fields was challenging. After a few laps of the field, the soil needed to be smoothed over and this involved balancing on a wooden frame, whilst surfing behind the Ox holding its tail for balance.
My Wife and daughter tried the more gentle experience of riding on the back of the Oxen, which is harder than its looks as it waddles along. The farmer also seemed to be a master at making all sorts of animals and bird shapes from bamboo leaves for our young daughter.
After planting the rice, we then returned to the farm house where the farmer’s wife taught us how to separate the rice and husk. We then ground and prepared the rice to make a selection of delicious rice cakes, dumplings, and spring rolls, all prepared and cooked in the traditional manner for a truly fantastic meal.
If you have a free day in Hoian, this cultural farming and cooking experience is much recommended and can be tailored to everyone’s abilities and interests.