Hoi An “ Love of Life” Bicycle Tour
Tour 3: The Artists Hands.
Road: 12 kms, time: 5 hours.
The special elements of ancient houses in Hoi An are: beautiful carving on wooden frames and “Yin and Yan” pottery roof tiles. And things make them more beautiful are colorful lanterns with different shapes hang inside or outside. Where are the artists?
8 a.m, we will pick up you from your hotel to our office near the Old Quarter. Have some green tea or coffee.
8:30, we will start cycling to the first: lanterns. We will cycle through many gardens planting pink roses, yellow chrysanthemum, and the most beautiful flower for southern Vietnamese: “Mai”. We also cycle though sweet potato rows, peanut, bean or sweet corn farms on our way.
When we arrive, the first thing you can see from the distance is colours. White, pink, blue, green, red,.. lanterns are being dried on the ground or hang at all corners in the enterprise.
We park our bicycles to take a look at how these beautiful lanterns are made. We can see bamboo and wooden frames, silk covers, embroidery on the silk cloth, and workers completing them.
Leave the lanterns village, we will ride to the second one, 4 kms away. On our way, we will go along Thu Bon river which used to be the main water way to do business between foreign ships. We go by rice fields where farmers are working, and the fish market where most of the fishing boats come back to sell fish after the trip to the sea. Plenty of fishes and plenty of people.
Thanh Ha pottery village appears peacefully with bamboo ranges and grey or white smoke columns. Ride your bicycle on the brick paths to different families. Some elderly man is preparing wet soil, some elderly woman moves the round tables while other elderly woman is making the objects on, some kilns are open to have dry objects and some children are painting whistles,…
As thanks for visiting the village, they will offer us one animal whistle each, personalised according to our age, for example, you will have a buffalo if you were born in 1961.
From this village, we will get on a boat to go down the river and then cross it to go to the other bank, to the third village: Kim Bong carpentry village.
On the boat, we can see big fishing nets hanging on the water, wooden ferries carrying people from the village to the town or vice versa.
When we arrive at the village, we will stop to take a look at the highest ranking artist family home. His home is a typical ancient house, hundreds years old. He also trains local boys to be capenters at his enterprise. The course is free. In his house, we can see a lot of medals he has gained, beautiful wooden statues or furniture he makes for shipping to foreign customers.
From his home, we will cycle to a grass sleeping mat village, 2 kms away. Roads here are so peaceful. We will go by the fields where villages grow, cut, and then dye the grass in different colours to make the lovely sleeping mats. Most of the men in this village are builders and most of women are mats weavers.
They can make the mats with many kinds and sizes of flowers on! Unbelievable !
From the village, we will cycle back to the river bank where “Do” family are building wooden boats. From the distance, we can hear the sound “ping” “peng” “ping” “peng” clearly. Wooden boats are important to local people because of trading with other countries in the old days, or fishing in the sea nowadays. These boats are made of mahogany or iron wood, costing from hundreds to thousands of U.S dollars. It is impressive when you see boats being made.
We say goodbye to the skillful workers, and get on the boat to go back to Hoi An dock. Nice photographs can be taken when we go close to the town.
We will cycle to a local restaurant to sample special local food. Desert should be local cakes with hot green tea.
We will take you back to your hotel then.