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Winter Vacation - Hoi An, Vietnam 2006/12/28

Vietnamese cuisine, our way

View Winter Vacation 2006 on agc_cwm's travel map.

We woke up rather early, ate breakfast, and wandered around town some more. We went to try on our shoes, which were already done and looked great. We also went to one of the tailors so Andrew could have a couple of suits made, as well as some other items.

We had booked a place in a cooking class for the afternoon, so we eventually made our way to the meeting place. We got a complementary drink and waited for things to get started. In Vietnam they don't use coffee makers; they make individual cups of coffee. The thing on top of my cup was made from aluminum and they would put the coffee grinds in and pour hot water over top. Vietnamese coffee is also really strong so Andrew would usually get the "white" coffee, which was half coffee half milk.

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First we went on a walk through the market, where our guide identified different ingredients traditionally used in Vietnamese food, and told us how to tell a good one from a bad one. This is her with a dragon fruit and some grains we saw in the market.

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We were also shown some tools that are commonly used. We bought a double sided knife, which we still don't really know how to use. You can use it to peel and to cut vegetables, but we aren't good with it yet. We also tried some turmeric candy, which is apparently good for stomach ailments; it turned our tongues yellow, and we decided we didn't like it very much.


After leaving the market we boarded a boat which took us upriver to the restaurant where the cooking course was to take place. It took about 25 minutes to get there, and we passed many resorts and people working on the river as we cruised. The second picture is a ferry that takes all the students and their bikes across the river so they can go to school.

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Once we arrived, our guide showed us the herb garden, and then we proceeded to the 'classroom' for our instruction. We watched the chef make the dishes, and then we tried it ourselves. It was pretty simple; all the ingredients were laid out for us, prechopped and measured for our convenience. All we had to do was put it together. Not to say that it wasn't still fun, but it was only minimally hands-on. By the time all was said and done, we had constructed an eggplant dish, made some rice paper in which we wrapped a spring roll, fried some sort of Vietnamese savoury pancake and we also carved out some decorations from tomato and cucumber. Andrew thinks his were less than stellar, but I suppose mine turned out ok.

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Once our cooking practice was over we went to the restaurant to eat what we had prepared, which is to say that the ones we ate were actually prepared by the chef. The food was really good. We dined with a British couple who have been travelling through Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand, and we picked their brain about all their experiences (they'd previously been around the world).


When we finished lunch, we took the boat back to town. On the way we saw someone fishing on the river. The boat slowed so we could take some photos, and then the fisherman pulled in his net and approached us to ask for financial compensation for his time and image. I gave him a dollar, because he was providing a service, I guess. The whole thing was well orchestrated. I don't think he has ever got a fish where he was; I think he was fishing for tourist's money. But, oh well, it's a good picture. Here are some of the pictures from throughout the day.

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When we arrived at the dock, we went to order some more clothes and get fitted. We were pretty tuckered out after all was said and done, so we went back to the hotel, ate some food and hit the hay.

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Oh, and while we were eating dinner, there was a gecko nearby getting his too. This photo was hard to pass up.


Posted by agc_cwm 03:05 Archived in Vietnam

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