For some reason we fail to not make plans so far and once again we are woken by the alarm at 07:30 for today’s tour through Hoi An and a cooking class. We are halfway through our breakfast when the guide is already there to pick us up. We scatter to get out last things before we introduce ourselves to Spring and join the rest of the waiting group to head to the market. We had passed it the evening before and this morning we entered the large food market of Hoi An as an introduction for the cooking class. Besides fruit and a wide variety of herbs we also see how mostly women cut up pigs to change it to pork. With one firm blow we see one of the women cut a pigs leg in two pieces, Marlies is almost back to being vegetarian.
As we get closer to the river we see all sorts of fish either cut up to filets or still looking at us the same as the crabs are still squirming in baskets. Meanwhile we got acquainted with an Australian family and chat and joke as we go aboard a small boat which will take us to the next part of the tour. We had already seen it on My Travels with My Father and looked forward to the touristy but fun tip through the mangroves in a small round bamboo fishing boat specific to the region. Our group enters the small boats in pairs joining the locals who will paddle us through the mangroves. As we had seen on the show there is always the one mor jolly fisherman who gets excited and spins the little boat in circles and tipping it one side to another on the loud tunes of Gangnam style. We where lucky to be on another boat from where we could see the Koreans a bit shocked at first but later happy to be a part of this little show.
As we move along I also am given a paddle to see how this strange boat is propelled forward and decide to follow the jolly fisherman’s moves. As I start to spin the boat in circles, which is easier than moving it forward, and pick up speed rather fast our own paddler starts screaming and just before she gets sick or falls overboard I stop the spinning and return the paddle for safekeepings. Not long after, we depart from the little boats but not before our guide reminds us that we can give small money to the paddlers and we give our paddler some Dong and she smiles at again after our little spinning adventure.
Class starts with an introduction of all ingredients and with wearing silly hats and aprons. When we start with spring rolls we are slightly bored as we had done this already at Ha Long Bay but we learn a new technique with different ingredients and enjoy the company of the Australians. The spring rolls are followed by intensive chopping of various ingredients for a pork in clay pot, a papaya salad and Bahn Xeo (rice pancakes). Besides the odd joke everyone is rather serious and concentrated with their task at hand. Once all had been cooked and fried we get to the best part, the eating. The combination of an early breakfast and all the aroma during the cooking made us all feast on our prepared dishes. As we all were returned to our hotels with a van most where half a sleep when we said goodbye to our Australian cooking partners.
We spend the afternoon at the beach and on our way back to the hotel we feel like we could have some more food. Leaving the Asian food for what it is we stop at a nearby bakery and order lavazza coffee with apple pie for me and carrot cake for Marlies. When we see the variety of available breakfast options we decide that that will be our plan for tomorrow, no alarm and breakfast with eggs Benedict and pancakes before we fly to Ho Chi Minh city in the afternoon.