It’s easy to feel the world is a shrinking place. Journeys that used to take months now happen in the time it takes us to watch Godzilla and eat a microwaved meal, and we have more information in our pocket at any time than the sum total of human knowledge for the last three thousand years. In such a world it’s easy to think there’s very little mystery left, very little tradition or magic or authenticity.
“Half past eight in the evening and it is closing time in the large Bia Hoi behind Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum, which locals know by its address, 19A Ngoc Ha, rather than its name.
The shouts of “mot, hai, ba – yoh!” (One, two, three – bottoms up!) are getting fewer and further between. An hour later the last red-faced patrons stagger out and the staff sit down for a quick meal before the final clean-up.
“How did people build a temple as big as Angkor Wat 1,000 years ago before machines?”
“Why does $1USD buy so much of the local money?”
“Why were Americans fighting in Vietnam?”
These were some of the many questions my children asked during our two weeks travelling through Vietnam and Cambodia with Intrepid. They also asked more unanswerable ones, like “Why would Pol Pot kill people just for being educated?” Or less perplexing, but equally tough to answer, “Why is everyone always beeping their horns?”
We love the lengths that some Intrepid travellers will go, to raise funds for a good cause! In mid October, Garry West-Bail of Melbourne, will be running and cycling across Vietnam, to raise funds for KOTO.
KOTO is well known to Intrepid travellers, for serving delicious food through their restaurants in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City – which are the fronts of a great organisation which helps support young people in leaving a life on the streets, through training in hospitality and life skills. Intrepid and The Intrepid Foundation have been proud supporters of KOTO since KOTO’s founding in 1999, by former Intrepid tour leader Jimmy Pham.
“How the heck am I supposed to choose from any country in the world?”
This was the question that Evie Ott asked herself for years, from the moment Evie’s aunt told her that she would take her anywhere for a week. Evie’s aunt happens to be Sherry Ott, travel blogger extraordinaire and brains behind The Niece Project, so when Sherry said “anywhere”, Evie knew she really meant it…
For over 2000 years we’ve had an obsession with the soy milk wonder food known as tofu. First created in China, it became popular throughout Asia and of course, now the world. There was a time in Japan when this luxury food could only be eaten on special occasions, but today it’s accessible to everyone and for a local food experience it’s hard to top ordering fresh tofu from markets and street food vendors, as Heather Scott discovered in Vietnam…
“All travel anywhere is a culinary experience. Whether it be mung bean ice cream in China, choking on hot mochi in Japan, millions of masala dosas in India. Pepito au chocolat in Paris, round seasame-covered bread and cans of beans in Greece. I could go on, but I already digress.
You’re never too young to get bitten by the travel bug, but luckily for Adam Slater he found a way to scratch that travel itch by joining the very organisation that was responsible for his first overseas trip…
“When you work at a travel company – it doesn’t take long to realise that wherever you go, there’s always someone around the office who has been there before you.
Always wanted to go to Vietnam? Jeremy Bookman explains why he gives it the thumbs up…
“This journey was a long time coming, but even with all the anticipation my Intrepid adventure still exceeded my wildest dreams. I finally found myself on the Vietnam Express trip going south from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City. After a day or two adjusting to life in South East Asia, we left the kinetic pace of Hanoi behind for the serenity of Halong Bay.