We are having a lazy month in Hoi An. The first 2 months were spent scooting around being tourists, now we are being locals,( sort of) ….I cant explain what an idyllic place this is to do simply ‘whatever you want’.
Locals aren’t attending Yoga, I have been informed yoga is a rich mans luxury. We have assured people at $60AUD for my family to attend a class in Australia, it is very much the same back in my day to day life. Never the less we have had the luxury of finding Hiens classes at An Ban Beach ( 0975 351 727) in Hoi An. I have a previous post with how to find her.
We borrow 2 bicycles from Vang An Guest House in Hoi An (093 520 1118) where we are staying near old town and the four of us leave home at 4.30am to cycle on 2 bikes, riding the 4kms to An Ban Beach, attending 3 times per week, each day we are rewarded with magical fishing village sunrises & water buffalos frolicking in the rice fields on our ride home. Sometimes our friends Da & his brother Huong join us for a ride and swim. So 6 of us with 3 bikes, enjoying the simple freedom of riding without a helmet and feeling the wind in your hair, a luxury I haven’t enjoyed since my teens.
When we ride from Hai BaTrung to An Ban Beach, we get our first glimpses of the sunrise over the rice fields from behind the mountains, encouraging us to pedal faster to greet the first rays of sunshine as we reach a breathtaking view from the bridge over-looking a fishing village. Its always hard to tear yourself away from this spot, as every few minutes the scenery changes and creates a new wonder, we are on a time schedule to make yoga class at 5am, so we push forward with hesitation.
We stop here every morning to take a few pics and watch the old locals exercising and enjoying their morning banter. We are received with a familiar ‘Hello & big smiles’from our flexible friends . We are usually hit with a mouth full of bugs flying down the hill from the bridge and finally on the flat to our bike parking lot at the beach. We are & lucky to pay local parking rates now & look forward to smiles, like from a long lost friends as we pull in. We haven’t tired of walking past hundreds of locals swimming, burying themselves in sand and performing an array of exercise routines enjoyed to their fullest. There is something new and mind-boggling to see here every day. Hard to choose between the sunrise or people-watching, lucky we have time to do both. This is a scene easily missed if you’re a tourist, as by 9am this beach is empty, re-igniting again in mid to late afternoon for the backpackers.
We met a man on the beach with the biggest smile who gets wheeled down to the beach in this special beach terrain negotiating wheel chair so he can go swimming in the mornings unaided, I told him that it was so cool, he says thanks to Amazon.com…so funny. I love this man, it makes me happy to see him grabbing life by the balls an enjoying it. Fantastic…
There are various bike/motorbike parking bays where you pay approx.5 dong to park your bike, here you have free use of the shower bays and theres a massive bath of ever flowing of water you can just grab buckets of cool fresh water here and tip it on your head, this is one of best parts of our day.
We have made close friends with the owners of the café we frequent at An Ban Beach we have have the luxury of warm hugs, plays with their gorgeous puppy & listening to their songbirds sing. We order our meals, sit on their porch, and just take in all the goodness this place has to offer.The kind faced gentleman who owns this restaurant is a fisherman, he welcomes us with a generous heart, this morning he has prepared freshly caught & lemon grass marinated fish for us.
His kind and humble wife lovingly prepares papaya salads, fresh juices and fruits picked from their trees (I say lovingly, because I have seen the love, time and pride she puts into preparing the meals for us). This place is pure magic…..when we are here, we are the luckiest and most content humans on earth. It feels like going to visit family now, the couples son Tam breeds songbirds and cares for rescue birds, we have seen a baby bird fed fish with chopsticks grow into a strong little guy over the past weeks. I often wonder how we can re-create this feeling at home. I guess its just the simplicity of love and nature…fresh food from the market, animals, warm welcoming humans, freshly picked and prepared fruits the songbirds and beachy breezes….just awesome.
We ride home around 9am, in the heat of the day, but are rewarded with watching the buffalos play at the end of their shift and top off the day with a cool drink of sugar cane juice over-looking the rice plantations.
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