Mai Chau to Silk Village

Sunday, July 1, 2012

After a night under a mosquito net, air blowing through the open windows, hips digging into the floor* on the comfort of the floor and a thin matte we wake up for a ten-minute walk through a market and 2-second look at an opening in the side of a hill closed off by metal bars tour of an open air market and a hike to a cave, one of the many places that the Vietnamese were able to hide during the various wars of this century. There is an interesting set of stairs up the mountain and so we decide to take a hike up, despite our strenuous hike to the first cave.  Calves burning, we make it to the top, the view is beautiful, the cave is huge and goes deep into the hillside.  We explore the front, but without flashlights, (and my fear of what might be back there), we don’t go in much further.  I can only imagine what it might have been like 60 years ago, crazy.

After lunch we make the 3 hour drive back to Hanoi but stop at what is considered a ‘village’ but is well within the fold of the Hanoi urban sprawl to a silk village where they display the silk worms and the machines which weave non-stop the many silks available here.

Mom, Kit and Kate buy out the shop No one bought any silk…  After the shops mom, who seems to meet people EVERYWHERE, is drinking silkworm alcohol and tea** with complete strangers her new best friends, she tells us it is good.  True.  Kate is suspicious.  My verdict – better than rice wine.

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*some people’s hips are still bruised 3 days later…

**tea cups appear to be communal here.  They just sit on a table all day and if you happen to pass by you drink tea from them.  The next person drinks tea from them.  No washing.  Maybe tea kills all germs????

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