Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Land of rice patties - Mai Chau

We really wanted to see the famous rice patty terraces so we planned another tour with Ethnic Travels. This time it was just the three of us, our guide Thien, and our driver. We left Ha Long Bay and drove three or four hours to our next pit stop. The scenery on our drive was incredible. It was so green and jungle like. At one point it was like we were back at Ha Long Bay but on dry ground. It was incredible.

We stopped to eat dinner with a local Vietnamese family before heading to our hotel for the night. When we arrived they immediately whisked us away on a moonlit boat ride through their small village. At one point we were floating through a cave with bats flying all around us. Thank goodness Matt had his trusty flashlight handy so he could guide us home! We had a yummy authentic Vietnamese dinner. After dinner we sat with the family and attempted to have a conversation in broken English. We also met their pet gecko who can predict the weather. As far as we can tell he isn't a fake. He got the weather right the next day. Who needs weather.com.

After dinner we went to our hotel. Lizzy wasn't feeling well so she went straight to bed. Matt and I went to the hotel lobby to check our email on our ipads. Before we knew it we were teaching the teenage Vietnamese kids how to use them. They were oohing and aahing every second. It was so fun watching them play on it. I finally decided to call it a night when I saw the Germans roll in. Seriously, can you believe we keep running into them?

The next morning we drove about three hours to Mai Chau - home of the rice patties. We arrived at another Vietnamese family house and hopped right onto some bicycles. We spent an hour and a half riding through the rice patty fields. It was incredible. Never in my wildest dreams had I ever imagined I would be riding a bike through the rice fields if Vietnam. It was magical! We rode through some villages and everyone we passed yelled "hello" to us. The children were adorable and would yell "hello" several times and would wave vigorously. You couldn't help but smile and laugh and yell "hello" back.

After our bike ride we ate another authentic lunch with another family. We climbed up the stilted house and ate our meal sitting on their bamboo floor. The family was super friendly and we loved seeing how they lived. It was interesting seeing how different the Vietnamese houses are in different villages. After lunch we jumped back into the car for a four hour ride ride back to the Hanoi airport.

We had an amazing time in Vietnam and can't wait to come back again. We are particularly dying to explore northern Vietnam. We had a sneak peak at some pictures and it looks incredible. Everyone needs to come and visit Vietnam. It's incredible!


  1. You will never think the same of rice again. Me -- I'm an Idaho potato girl!

    Looking forward to your cooking us some authentic Asian meals when you are home for Christmas. Well, American authentic -- like Fong's!


  2. spar! I really can not get over how many places you are going. I think .0000000000000000000000000000000000000000001% of people in this world see what you are seeing. (okay, even less than that). amazing. It looks so beautiful in Vietnam. I love seeing all your pictures. And please, if you are not too dead tired, come to Hershey when you in America! Have fun!

  3. The Sparhawk family has been to Hershey many years ago. I vote with Linsy. If you have a choice, go where the chocolate is.