Less Baggage Less Stuff Less Procrastination

A different kind of travelogue. As an avid young traveller I often wondered what would it would be like when I got older, gathered commitments, created children and accrued debt. This is what it's like.

Grand Tour #19; Gardening in Tranquil Tra Que

It took an hour of dragging the kids out of bed and out of the bedroom but we got there. We got there later than I had hoped and it was getting very hot. It wasn’t looking good and then it was looking good. It was looking like a huge area of intensely maintained vegetable gardens. Only hours and hours of weeding and hand planting and watering can make a place look like this. The permaculture part of my brain started pulsating.


Between Hoi An and the Beach at Ah Bang is the village of Tra Que. It is literally on the way to the beach. There are a load of tours that include a visit to the “Vegetable Village”.


I seem to have some sort of phobia. A fear of Tours. I can’t find it in the dictionary so I’m making it up; Tornophobia. From the Greek Tornos. It’s not so much a fear as an aversion. Either way; I don’t like going on tours. We found our own way to Tra Que. It is not hard. You could walk it, ride it, get a motorbike, get a bus, get a taxi and probably a boat. You do not need to get a tour.


It was getting hot but the calm of the gardens soothed my brain and settled the grumpiness of the kids down.


Necessity is the mother of invention and the folks around here are not letting any resource go lightly. Tidy rows of germinating plants under reused plastic bottles, fallen palm fronds as partial shades, neat compost piles and collected seaweed on the perfect vegetable patches.


For the first time on the grand tour I missed my garden. I felt a little bit like Bilbo Baggins. The kids still looked like members of the Company of Dwarves but they had softened to become a less misanthropic pair; more Bofur less Dwalin.


The gardens at Tra Que are part of the supply for the town of Hoi An and if you could be sure that your lunch came from here you could start feeling good about the “Food Miles” accrued by your food. Especially if you are vegetarian. Of course the success of the same town and the nearby beach means that Tra Que is right in the firing line for developers.


We found only one large resort type development that seemed to be in the vegetable village but given its position and the fact that a river runs right through it I imagine the fields will be covered with concrete. Tourist accommodation will rise and the green oasis will fall.


6 comments on “Grand Tour #19; Gardening in Tranquil Tra Que

  1. roamingpursuits

    Lovely pics.

  2. Sheamus

    The Auldfella used to tell a story about the Vietnamese, he said that when the Yanks droped their bombs the Nams would plant stuff in the craters, apparently tings grew very fast, i think it was just flowers, i not sure if you could grow edibles in them, i must ask him.
    You wont believe what bin happing here, remember your man from the B&B? The fella that got the award for being freindly? well hes in Detox. Yeh. Ice, easy enough to get if your Stupid enough to go down that road. No wonder he was freindly, he was all iced up.
    A few years ago there was a fella had a side of the road food van, he called it The Frier Truck, well he used to serve up a brew that proved very popular for a while, Witch’s Titty (tit tea) he called it. Sure there was nothing done around here for weeks, what with everyone falling around the place laughing and stareing into puddles. A couple of Narco boys from Limrick showed up so he served them a mug of Titty and they went wandering of into the Burren and were never heard of again.
    Iv always bin happy enough with a few pints of porter, never tried any of the funny stuff although the Auldfella used to say that if they had legalised Mary Jane back in the 80’s that we wouldnt half the bother we have now with all these mad phamacuticals that we dont have any idea whats in it.
    Theres an old Oirish saying “nil aon thin thain mar do thin tain fein” which loosely translates “keep your inebriates organic”. You’d wonder what they were up to with a saying like that?

    • dougalynch

      I am still trying to verify the veracity of that veritable nugget of a very irish verbal utterance.
      That and the translation.

  3. Mauricette Sanders

    I love seeing plantations

    • dougalynch

      It was nothing short of inspirational. I was wandering around saying; “We have to do that, we have to try this…”
      Of course it’s all about hard work and weeding but still, you can dream.

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This entry was posted on 03/06/2015 by in Grand Tour 2015, Permaculture and tagged , , , , , , , , , .


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