The downside of cycling Vietnam? There are very few! We can hardly imagine being able to experience so much of this country any other way. For example, on Friday we left Hue at 7 a.m., making our way by bike through the market and early morning traffic. A few kilometers outside of the city we began noticing small grass huts. Turns out these structures are constructed from rice straw and used to grow mushrooms. Our guide, Son, stopped to ask one of the farmers if we could see his small operation. He generously stopped his work and explained some of the process while Son translated.

The process goes something like this: Rice straw is formed into small bricks and allowed to moisten outside. These bricks are placed into the huts and used as the growing medium. The temperature is maintained with a charcoal fire. Buyers purchase mushrooms in the early morning to take to market – mostly in the cities as the price is too expensive for local people.

It was pretty special to see this from such a close vantage point, but one of the downsides of cycling Vietnam is that it is hard to get photos of everything we’d like to while peddling. We also don’t want to be disrespectful of people on the other side of our lenses. Some of our favorite views will have to be captured as mental memories. Happily, Barry managed a few photos of the mushroom farmer and his surroundings.  Hope you enjoy!