Countryside Jaunt

You haven’t lived until you’ve fallen into a rice paddy.

At least that’s how I felt when I took a day trip out to the countryside this past weekend. I had an AMAZING day this past weekend which actually did include falling while walking through a rice paddy. (Better than a bat flying into you. Yes. That happened to me. I was biking through the city at night once and a bat flew into me. It was exhilarating.)

ANYWAYS. Having grown up in Utah, I would call myself a mountain girl. I’d rather be outside then stuck inside any day which is part of the reason why I love living in Tra Vinh, Vietnam. The heat and humidity does get to me at times, but on the other hand, I love how people spend most of their time outside. Most restaurants and even people’s homes tend to not have much of a divide from indoors and outdoors. Sure, the restaurant has a roof but it also doesn’t have walls on all four sides.

On the way to my friend’s house.

So naturally, trips to the countryside are my jam. I went on a day trip to the countryside over the weekend to Tra Cu, a rural district of Tra Vinh Province. This area is also predominantly Khmer. The friends I went with, who are Khmer and from Tra Cu, didn’t even start learning how to speak Vietnamese until primary school. We went to my friend’s house which is about an hour drive by motorbike outside of Tra Vinh City.

One the way to my friend’s house (continued)

FUN FACT: Tra Vinh province has one of the largest Khmer populations in Vietnam. It also has one of the largest ethnic Chinese populations in Vietnam. Tra Vinh city is home to a few famous Khmer pagodas. I even teach a few Khmer monks in my classes.

My friend Ming climbing a coconut tree to get all of us coconuts.

This trip was probably one of my best days ever in Vietnam so far for me. The countryside for one thing is beautiful. I had a peaceful day away from the distractions of technology and work and was able to relax, hang out, and have some quality conversations with good friends. Probably one of the best moments of that day was when we walked through the rice paddies to go for a swim in a nearby river. I didn’t bring my camera with me in the rice fields but just imagine a clear blue sky above you with green rice fields on all sides of you walking barefoot on a little dirt path. The dirt path was pretty narrow and parts of it were muddy which caused a few falls along the way but we just laughed it off whenever it happened. I actually never have been swimming in a river before that day. Surprising, I know, but I grew up in a land-locked state and most of my family are terrible swimmers, so I mostly stayed away from water growing up. In fact, I’m scared of the deep end of the swimming pool. Give me a mountain and snow and I can deal, but give me a beach and ocean and I won’t know what to do with myself. The day ended with us watching the sun set on a bridge and a walk back to our friend’s house. A perfect day.

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