People don’t have a lot of time for ugly when they travel. Markets that are more crowded than ‘bustling’, run down temples that aren’t as ‘glowing’ as they were described online, and waters that could never pass for ‘azure’ in a million years: these things exist, we just don’t want to look at them.
Soup gets a bad rap. Some people consider anything in liquid form a pathetic excuse for a meal. We wholeheartedly disagree, and we think you might too once you’ve had a little look at this list.
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.