VIETNAM ~ Thu Bon River and Traque Organic Village

March 27th ~ Hoi An, Thu Bon River, Vietnam

Throwing the net into the air, Hoi An, Vietnam

Throwing the net into the air, Hoi An, Vietnam

It is Easter Sunday and it feels strange to be in a country where Christianity is only a minority religion during a major holiday. Sending loving messages to all our friends around the world who are celebrating today. 

I want to give you a look at our hotel accommodations here in Hoi An. We are staying at the Hoi An Trails Resort and Spa. It is listed as a three star property, but I think it is lovely. Our room is generously sized with two large windows, balcony, refrigerator, safe, small TV, closet, desk, and large marble bathroom complete with tub and both rain and hand-held shower. WiFi is good and free.

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The breakfast is served buffet style, with eggs prepared at an omelette station. My only wish was that it would have been right in the Old Town portion of Hoi An, but they do provide daily complimentary shuttle service to/from town.

Today we signed up to take an optional boat trip on the Thu Bon River that included a few stops before ending at the Traque Organic Village for a cooking class with demonstration and lunch.

But first the boat trip.

Only around 16 of our group of 31 joined us. The weather was overcast, cooler and starting to spit a slight shower as we boarded the wooden boat in Hoi An.

Our boat for the morning

Our boat for the morning

Meet our tour guide, Trong Tran.

Meet our tour guide, Trong Tran.

We were to learn more about the local fishing industry and several different ways nets are used to gather in the catch.

One net method used long poles from which a huge net was suspended, lowered into the water and could be raised using a pulley system. Most of the large nets were in the “up” position as it is too close to the full moon. Evidently fish mate during the full moon and are not as tasty, so many of the local fishermen take a few days off.

Large fishing net in the "up" position

Large fishing net in the “up” position

Another fishing method with nets, is to THROW it into the air, where it sails out making a parachute like decent into the water and is then pulled by hand back onto the boat, hopefully with a few fish inside.

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And a final method we watched entailed two people rowing a boat sideways while dragging a net through the water.

Rowing the boat sideways

Rowing the boat sideways. Looked rather awkward to me…

Our ride lasted a little over an hour. I got a chuckle out of the “W.C.” on board our boat, and our “captain” talking on his cell phone. EVERYONE has a cell phone here, as in Cambodia, no matter how little else they may have.

Check out the W.C.

Check out the W.C.

Docking on a small island to visit Kim Bong Village, we wandered the streets past geese, and venders selling fruit including a new one to us called a “milk apple”. Very creamy and sweet – tasty!

Four geese

Four geese

Milk Apple

Milk Apple

This village is home to traditional woodworkers and boat building families. This family specialized in making abalone inlaid pieces and furniture.

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We also were welcomed inside one of the homes to see a typical living space including the eating, sleeping and food preparation area.

Outside of the home

Outside of the home

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The boat builders use mahogany imported (perhaps not entirely legally) from Laos. A completed wooden boat, made by hand may cost around $3000 USD. The cost of that much mahogany alone in the USA would be extremely expensive, plus the cost of the labor on top of it.

Mahogany boat made by hand

Mahogany boat being made by hand

Back on the boat to return to Hoi An for our visit to Traque Organic Village for lunch. How I enjoyed seeing garden after garden of fresh, green, thriving plants that are all being grown without pesticides!

Track Organic Village

Track Organic Village

One of the crops that I had never seen up close was peanuts, which our guide pulled a small plug so we could see the “fruit”. I always thought of peanuts as legumes, but they are also classified as a fruit. I did not know that 🙂

Peanuts, fresh from the soil

Peanuts, fresh from the soil

Our cooking lesson was how to make a Vietnamese pancake, called Banh-xeo. But first anyone who was choosing to eat vegetarian had a yellow flower placed behind their ear.

Yes, we are slowly making the transition. Still eating fish though...

Yes, we are slowly making the transition. Still eating fish though…

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After a great meal, on our way back to the bus, we passed by this seemingly innocent scene:

Looks pretty innocent at first glance doesn't it?

Looks pretty innocent at first glance doesn’t it?

But upon closer inspection, it broke all of our hearts.

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How I wanted to free that little guy! It is becoming easier and easier every day to give up eating meat. 

And one final (happier) picture I wanted to share was of a thriving rice field complete with flags and a water buffalo in the background.

Rice fields

Rice fields

GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful for learning more about the local fishing methods and watching them so gracefully cast their nets onto the water. I am also thankful to see this entire community embrace eating organic greens. It seems to be a step in the right direction.

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About Tim and Joanne Joseph

Hi and welcome! We are Tim and Joanne Joseph and we have just embarked on our "next chapter". At a stage in life where traveling the world, taking pictures, and sharing our adventures with friends and family will be our dream come true.
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10 Responses to VIETNAM ~ Thu Bon River and Traque Organic Village

  1. Marie Cambre says:

    Happy Easter to you and Tim!! Have a wonderful day. Chuck & I are leaving for Romania on the 28th of April. We will be there to celebrate the Romanian Easter.

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  2. Wish you a blessed Easter!

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  3. Happy Easter! And so happy that you’re slowly giving up meat. Vegetarians totally rock. Cheers and have a great week.

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  4. I love those simple fishing methods that don’t hurt other water creatures and I’d like to have a go at those pancakes too: they look delicious! Nice touch with the yellow flowers for vegetarians! 👍

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  5. janet oates says:

    Hello Tim and Joanne, Frank and I are finally back to our time zone. It was lovely to met both of you! and am going to keep track of you two@ Happy Travels Jan

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    • Hi Jan and Frank! It took a while for us to get back on California time as well – and now here I sit in Madrid wide awake at 4:00 in the morning while Tim is sound asleep. My body is rebeling, but I’m hoping that by tonight in Morocco that I will be able to sleep. Hope you saw your picture in our write up about the black teeth women. Wasn’t that visit interesting?? We too enjoyed our time with you and hope our travel paths will cross again some day.

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