The following morning we were met by Mr Trung at our hotel at 8.15am. He’d even brought me a sun hat to wear so that I didn’t get burnt! We rent bikes and cycled 15 minutes out of town to the local fish market where he explained the young fishermen in his village came here to sell the fish they’ve caught at 1am everyday. We then cycled to his fishing village and he gave us a small history of his village. Mr Trung was really sweet and spoke good English – although he often used ‘sorry’ when he met ‘umm’
‘Sorry I now give you a history of my fishing village…’
He then took us to the pottery part of the village where we had a go making a pot on a wheel… The wheel was operated by a lady kicking the wheel every 5 seconds. I wasn’t very good at it but Kyle admitted he’d regularly attended pottery camp when he was young. He was actually pretty good at it! The pots are then left out to dry in the sun for 2 days before being put in a kiln.
Mr Trung then took us to a pond to do a spot of fishing. I’d never caught a fish before so it was pretty exciting. The fishing pole was pretty basic and just made out of bamboo. I managed to catch at least five fish but I absolutely hated taking the fish off the hook and throwing it back into the water. I hated the way it was struggling and flapping about in my hand – I genuinely felt sorry for the fish. For a second I even dabbled with the idea of becoming a vegetarian, but that was quickly forgotten when Mr Trung took us to his house for a cooking lesson and lunch with his family.
Mrs Trung taught us how to make a chilli, lemongrass and garlic marinade which we then put on a freshly caught white snapper and BBQ’d in a banana leaf. We made and ate so much food that we had little food babies.
After the cooking and all the eating, we had some fresh tea and talked to Mr Trung about his life. He explained that used to be a teacher but was now retired, and that he works a couple hours an evening in Hoi An at a restaurant in the hope he’ll convince someone to go on his tour. He explained that he had to keep working to pay for his daughter’s education. (School in Vietnam is not free).
I really enjoyed the tour with Mr Trung and felt quite honoured that he’d taken us to his fishing village and introduced us to his family. It also felt much better to give your money to a local person rather than a huge tour operator.