Mojo Dojo: stilt-house by the waterfalls.
The first stop on our motorbike journey is an incredible homestay: a traditional stilt-house, that our host built himself, with large wooden pillars protruding through the one large main room (almost reminiscent of a, dare I say, Dojo?). It’s situated right next to a series of pools and waterfalls trickling down from the jungly mountains above. We spend the afternoon swimming, sipping beer, and watching a new litter of puppies clamber over each other to nurse from their mother. In the evening, our hosts welcome us into their home and prepare the best meal we’ve had in Vietnam (seriously, still to this day).
During this meal we learn about “I invite you” culture and watch helplessly as our glasses keep filling with rice wine. All of the others in our group are not fans of alcohol, so obviously Chase and I have to pull up the slack (so as not to offend our hosts, right..?). Directly after dinner, the rest of the group turns in for bed, but little do we know, the Travel Silly boys are about to get a lil silly…
Our host (who has already been pouring rice wine down our throats) invites us to the next dojo over, where his extended family is finishing dinner and getting ready to pour more rice wine down our throats. No one except our motorbike guide, Hoa, speaks any English, but with a single translator we’re all able to laugh and drink together.
They introduce us to a classic Vietnamese game called “Eat it, Then I’ll tell you”, which, by the looks on their faces, can only mean bad things. They pick out a chunk of mystery meat from the pot, and watch expectantly as we start to chew. They all begin to laugh and tell us that we just ate dog (you know this isn’t our first time if you follow our Instagram, but somehow this time is worse as I think about the adorable puppies nursing from their mom next door).
Anyway, here comes the Mojo: all these Vietnamese guys are amazed at how tall we are compared to them, so as they get drunker, they begin some friendly challenges. Next thing we know, Chase and I are arm-wrestling anyone who calls us out. Match after match, we are holding our own (and our alcohol). While there may have been some draws, I’m proud to say America is undefeated in this part of the world for once.
The amazing location, meal, and people made this night so unforgettable, I had to go ahead and give it a name. Mention the Mojo Dojo to either one of us and we will happily share even more details than what I’ve told you here.
TL;DR - Rice Wine, Mystery Meat, and Arm-Wrestling. A night we will never forget.