a koto christmas

koto restaurantWhen travelling in Vietnam, Express reader Pam Shackleton enjoyed a special Intrepid real life experience that embraced the spirit of Christmas…

“We were travelling on the Reunification Express from Saigon to Hanoi.  It was late evening and next day we were to have a celebratory Christmas breakfast when we arrived in Hanoi. We were delayed by several hours, stopped in the middle of nowhere during the night. We realised that our breakfast would not materialise and it was changed to lunch.  Our guide Dave didn’t tell us too much about where we were going for our Christmas Day dinner, but we knew enough to be expecting a lot!

We were introduced to a restaurant called KOTO.  This is an acronym for Know One Teach One.  Here is a training scheme for disadvantaged young people who are given hospitality training.  The trainees learn life changing skills and can graduate to become competent cooks and chefs. It is a wonderful concept and our Christmas dinner was a mixture of oriental and mediterranean. It was delicious!

We were so privileged to be able to dive into this culinary adventure and to feel that we were helping sustain a venture that was bringing so much good to the city’s underprivileged adolescents.  We were so taken with the restaurant that we went back there twice – but this time for breakfast!  It was certainly an amazing way to spend Christmas and we will never forget Hanoi and the wonderful people we met there.”

Tour Vietnam with Intrepid on trips like these great small group adventures:
The Reunification Express – 15 days Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City
Spirit of Vietnam Southbound – 10 days Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City

About the author

Sue Elliot - Like many of us, Sue contracted a serious travel bug at an early age. She's visited over 90 countries in search of a cure, but her wanderlust just seems to get worse. Thankfully at Intrepid Travel she's amongst people who understand the affliction and since 1998 Sue has enjoyed being our blog and newsletter editor. Here you'll find helpful travel advice and inspiring tales from Sue and other Intrepid travellers.

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