We're not in Kansas anymore...
After about 18 hours of flying we get to stretch our legs. The last time I set foot in this place was almost 30 years ago. At that time the city was called Saigon. That's how my family remembers this proud city - a chaotic fusion of East and West.
Time marches on but some things never change...
Streets once filled with bicycles are now crowded with mopeds. The corner where our house once stood now hosts an electronics shopping district. There are echoes from Old Saigon sprinkled throughout the districts - old school Mickey, colonial buildings and government offices.
Tamiyah and I stop for some pho. It costs less than 50 cents a bowl and it hits the spot.
After the hustle and bustle of Saigon, we fly to Hoi An in Central Vietnam for some cooking lessons and relaxation.
The Red Bridge Cooking school is a must if you visit Hoi An. I recommend doing it early in your trip because the full day cooking course is the best tour of the areas local markets, farms, and the river. And you get to cook your own food, including making your own fresh rice noodles.
My favorite part of the trip is the boat ride back to town along the river. This gives me a chance to watch local fisherman working the water.
There are fish strange fish right off the pier at the Red Bridge Cooking School. They are long and skinny with a bright blue tip of the nose that glows in the murky water. They are working the shallows among the drifting hyacinth. Luckily, a tenkara rod and my gear are compact enough to pack along for impromptu fishing.
I cast my fly into the water and cruising fish curiously putter about.
They are easy to spot because the tip of their nose bioluminesces neon blue under the water. But every time I strike I get nothing. No matter how I vary my intensity, angle of attack, rhythm, tap dance. Nothing works.
So I tried doing nothing. Just waited.
I let them tap tap tap until they looked like they were refusing my fly, but as they careened away the line veered off with them! I thought I foul hooked the first one in the middle of his body. But that's where his mouth is. On top of his head and in the middle of the body!