We’ve thoroughly enjoyed spending most of our days exploring Ancient Hoi An; however, when we had a chance to bike out to the Vietnamese countryside to visit Tra Que Village for dinner at restaurant noted for its water wheel, we couldn’t pass on the opportunity.
One of the main highlights of being based in Hoi An are all of the nearby attractions and places worth visiting, such as farmland, small communities and several beaches. Tra Que is a quaint little village situated only 2 kilometers from the Ancient part of Hoi An city. It is famed for producing rich soil praised for its abilities to grow fresh herbs. Many tourists end up staying overnight in this village to experience the lifestyle of a rural farming community.
Given that it was a decent distance from our guest house, we decided to hop on our bicycles and head over to the community before sunset. As we pedaled along, we noticed the transition from commercial areas to farmland was very abrupt and we marveled at the Vietnamese farmers wearing conical hats tending their crops. Finally, after getting lost a few times, we pulled up to Tra Que Herb Village Water Wheel restaurant.
Walking down a path that was in between crops we eventually approached the large water wheel noticing its rustic charms.
Before we sat down to eat traditional Vietnamese cuisine we had the opportunity to actually operate the large water wheel by climbing up a set of stairs, sitting down and pedaling with our feet. It was such a thrill getting to actually set the behemoth rustic wheel in motion.
The meal itself featured some of our favorite dishes including Vietnamese country pancakes and papaya salad along with a new dish we’d never tried before – three friends.
The service was excellent as our hosts we both gracious and ever welcoming. We kicked ourselves for not coming here sooner because we certainly would have frequented this restaurant on more than one occasion.
The meal itself was a knockout; it was literally the best food we’ve had since arriving in Vietnam.
What made the dishes so appealing were the fresh ingredients being used from the farm along with excellent cooking technique which included very scant use of cooking oil.
Every bite was packed with an explosion of flavors and we appreciated that all of the ingredients were fresh from the organic garden. This is how food ought to prepared everywhere.
After finishing the generous portions offered to us, we bicycled back into Hoi An while experiencing a gorgeous sunset. Overall, this was an experience we’ll never forget and if we’re back in Hoi An again we plan on making it a part of our daily routine. Thus, we highly recommend you check out the countryside area of Tra Que.