So, one of my “visions” for this trip was biking through rice paddies, surrounded by beautiful water buffalo……………..
While in Hoi An, our first hotel came with complimentary Bikes, so off we go. First we had to bike through town, which was HORRIFYING and scary, and frightening and death-defying. I honestly believe that there were three moments where I came within an inch of being smacked by a motorcycle, or a cyclist, or a huge roll of Metal Fencing on the back of a bike…………. I really truly was scared………..
Anyway, we made it out of town unscathed, and we’re travelling along a small highway, just about to make a turn off for the Rice Paddies, when what do we see on the side of the road? Two old, grizzled, weather-worn men, in tattered farmer’s clothing, flagging down some tourists so that they can take pics of themselves with the old guy’s Water Buffalo. Whaaattt?? This is PERFECT, sez I!
So, we park our bikes and go over to the 2 old geezers, and they’re grabbing Jen’s and my arms, and they’re hauling us down the gully into the Rice Paddy, and they’re dragging us through the muddy muddy muddy gucky muddy rice paddy over to the water buffalo, and they’re putting their old sweaty tattered farmer’s hat on Jen’s head (I declined…), and our guys are snapping pictures, and when we leave the field, the geezers are scooping up gross muddy filthy water to splash onto our feet and legs to “clean” them, which is hilarious, and it’s awesome, and then…………
BEFORE we started taking pictures, we had TRIED to find out how much it cost. Admittedly, I was giddy with excitement, and allowed myself to be dragged along into the fray before we found out the price, because REALLY, what would it cost? A couple bucks each? Right?
Sooooooooo, all the pics are taken, and the guys are now ready to pay the two old geezers, and they ask for $25 US. Per Couple! Uh, what? That seems a little high. We don’t want to BUY your water buffaloes, we just want a few pics….. But the geezers are really aggressive, and there is much confusion, and chaos, and discussion, and we manage to get away with only having paid $30 US, all in. In hindsight, we don’t actually think those 2 guys even owned the water buffalo, as they had 2 old bikes parked in the field, like they’d just stumbled upon a brilliant entrepreneurial idea and jumped on it…..
But wait, it gets better! The next day, we move to a new hotel in Hoi An, again with complimentary bikes, and one of the tours they offer is – a bike ride through rice paddies, a photo session with a water buffalo, where you can actually get ON TOP OF the water buffalo, and it’s all for FREE!!! ha ha ha, we laughed sooooooooo hard!
We really are all fairly seasoned travellers, but my excitement got us rooked by a couple of old guys. Really, who cares, we can afford it and it just makes for a good Dinner Party Story. Here are the pics…………