I clearly remember my first love. I was a little girl sick in bed, glued to the TV set watching Audrey Hepburn play a princess to Gregory Peck’s dashing reporter, as they zigzagged through Rome on a Vespa. Ever since that film, I have dreamed of my Roman Holiday moment. Decades later, thanks to Trufflepig, I got it. Sort of.
True, my guide didn’t look exactly like the divine Peck, nor I Hepburn, but I did get to ride on a Vespa and I was on holiday. We were in the ancient Vietnamese city of Hoi An, which looks a lot like the ancient Italian city of Rome if you shut your eyes.
The caper began on the outskirts of the city, where four rather youthful, smiling chauffeurs stood next to our gleaming, motorized chariots. They whisked us away on a twisted dirt road along the banks of the Thu Bon River.
With the gentle breeze on my face, the sun on my back, and glorious vistas to behold, I wondered why I had waited so long for my Vespa adventure. We stopped in on some locals making rice crackers, others rice noodles. We met a mat weaving family and bought some stylish mats to bring home with us on our storage-deprived motorcade.
We sped past prawn farms and rice paddy rich countryside, broken up by fields of aubergine, sweet potato, cucumber, and herbs. We glimpsed elderly farmers tending their crops under the hot sun. We made friends: my travel companion’s driver asked to add her on Facebook. Eventually, our thrilling time was up and we caught a small ferry from Cam Kim Harbour back to Hoi An as the sun sank on the twinkling water. Sometimes the things you wait for the longest turn out to be the best.
Elena is a Trufflepig traveller with a penchant for all things Vietnamese, and all experiences that make her feel like a wayward princess.