Whilst in Hoi An I spent half a day experiencing local fishing and farming customs with Jack Tran Tours. I made some hilarious memories and ended up getting a little wetter than intended!
Our first activity of the day was basket boat rowing. These woven bamboo basket boats have been used by Vietnamese fishermen for years. I was dying to have a go in them as I couldn’t quite work out how on Earth they would move in a straight line! Firstly the professionals treated us to a show, and made it look incredibly easy but oh how wrong this would turn out to be…
Next it was our turn to venture from the safety of the large boat to the precarious looking basket boat. I got the hang of paddling the figure of 8 stroke quite easily and managed to make significant progress; whereas my mom spent her time going round in circles.
For an interlude in our learning they blasted Gangnam Style and encouraged us to dance in our boats as our pro guides spun us round (I am SO glad there were not many people there to witness our awkward and pretty awful dancing!)
Confident that I had mastered the ‘easier’ row boat I was let loose in the ‘hopper’ (or so I’ve nicknamed it) which looked a lot cooler but was in fact nearly impossible! Using a semi thrusting motion whilst bending your knees, the aim was to almost skim the boat across the water. I honestly could have won You’ve Been Framed with my performance in this boat! I never succeeded in getting very far before I was back on my knees at the bottom of the boat. One time I even managed to sink it! Thankfully the water we were practicing in was very shallow and I’m glad I provided the local fishermen some entertainment.
Back on the boat Jack’s team provided refreshments and gave us a hat and flower made from reeds gathered from the banks of the river which was a nice gesture. I was however rather soaking wet after my sinking escapades – make sure you take a change of clothes (I wish I had)!
From the river we headed to a local farm where we met Se, our water buffalo for the morning. The majority of local farmers still practice traditional methods using buffalo to pull ploughs through the rice paddies; and we got to experience a ride on one of these powerful creatures. We rode Se both on the field and also through a small stream. He was cute and well behaved but a tad smelly!
During the experience the guides took hundreds of photos so you can be sure there will be some great memories captured along with some funny outtakes!
The experience itself was run very smoothly and professionally. Pick up and drop off from our hotel was provided, and the tour groups are kept small, we were in fact the only two participants.
Jack is very passionate about his business and provides a range of tours with fun activities like these for all ages. They are a great way to spend some time outside of the lantern clad Old Town and create some hilarious memories during your holiday.
Find out more…
Jack Tran Tours – http://jacktrantours.com/