We had laughter, we had joy. We enjoyed delicious local foods, and made new friends. We learnt new things from treasuring traditions. All great experience packed in one day participating in the field trip to Binh Duong with VLS. It’s one among various activities organized by VLS to help our students and expats who are learning Vietnamese in Hochiminh City to immerse into local life and community.
We started our fieldtrip with short self-introductions from all participants.
At 9:30, we arrived at Hoi Khanh Pagoda, a national historical-cultural heritages since 18th century. Right in front of us was the longest reclining Buddha statue in Vietnam and the overarching design which resembles a typical Nha Ruong – houses in the former Hue imperial capital. Locals, who was practicing their rituals of worship, was a little bit amazed at seeing some of the participants discussing in Vietnamese fluently.
We then headed to Dai Hung Pottery Kiln to witness the traditional process of making pottery totally manually. We met Ho Van Lon, one of the local artisans, who had more than 50 years of experience working at the pottery Kiln. He was still quick and possess such a strength in such a slim body.
Some of us successfully created our first ever pottery products.
We then stopped for lunch a famous restaurant in the area. Some of our participant found the local specialty we enjoyed a great inspiration for mastering pronouncing “ngon”.
After lunch, we were ready to visit Phu An Ecological Bamboo Museum and Botanical Reserve. The visit started with a tour around the reserve where 200 different bamboo species were living. We watch a short movie which introduce the development of the bamboo village and the sustainable values it could contribute for the local community. We then learn to make Banh Xeo with bamboo shoot filling and enjoying the delicious dish in a house totally made from bamboos.
We hope that the fieldtrip brought to our students new experience and help them understand more about Vietnamese people and culture. Because at VLS, it’s living not just learning.