Instead of driving all the way back to Hanoi after disembarking from our Ha Long Bay cruise, we opted to visit Yen Duc village. We had quickly stopped at this village on our way to Ha Long Bay for a water puppet show and lunch, so it was nice to have the opportunity to see more of it.
It was late afternoon when we arrived and I was feeling quite rough with a nasty cold but I was willing to tough it out. We would be spending around 5 hours here. Our guide Na was so open and friendly, we had such a great time with her!
She told us all about the farming community and how land was divided among the farmers. We went through the steps of growing and processing rice. We tried some traditional techniques that aren’t as easy as they look.
Na offered us to give traditional fishing a try. We had to trap the fish with a basket. I’m sure we looked hilarious clad in our rubber pants, jumping around, trying to trap a fish…but unbelievably both of us actually caught one. I couldn’t grab mine by the head to take it out of the basket though and Gordon was in charge of that part ?
There must have been a lot of fish in that pond because I could feel them bumping into my feet but the water was so muddy I couldn’t actually see them.
After fishing we took a really nice bike ride though the village and visited a very old home. The owner of the home showed us her family tree and it was a very extensive and amazing family tree. We learned that the Vietnamese have temples or alters in their homes to worship and pray for their ancestors.
We continued on our bikes and rode through the countryside for a bit until we arrived at the house where we would be having a traditional Vietnamese dinner. We started off with a cooking demo on how to make papaya salad – I was so happy because this is one of my favourite salads and now I know how to make it.
After making the salad we sat down and enjoyed a beer while we waited for dinner. The dinner came out in several courses and it was all very delicious. We had the papaya salad, spring rolls, prawns wrapped in a leaf, grilled pork, fried fish that we caught, chicken soup, morning glory, rice, and fresh fruit for dessert. We were stuffed!!
We are so glad we visited this little village and the villagers were so friendly and welcoming, it was a lot of fun! We learned a lot about the people, history in the area, and history about Vietnam in general.