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Travel Tips for Vietnam

When travelling in any country, it's good to come prepared. Here's a great infographic from Buffalo Tours that explains some key points so that you can fully enjoy your time here. These travel tips for Vietnam are the perfect place to start planning your trip!     Can you believe the population of Vietnam is 90.5 million? This country may appear small at first glance, but it's actually larger than you may think. It's a little bit smaller than California but has over twice the population. Within this population, there are 53 ethnic minorities, which you can see from the infographic.…
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Lunar New Year in Vietnam

      Tet is the celebration of the Lunar New Year in Vietnam. It is a tradition passed down from Chinese culture, but the Vietnamese have their own style of doing things.  It’s the most important holiday of the year, and can be celebrated up to a whole month long. Companies have big Tet parties to celebrate and award their employees. (Check out ours from last year below!)   In 2016, Tet will celebrate the Year of the Monkey , beginning with Lunar New Year’s Eve on February 7th. Colorful lights, lanterns, and an abundance of fragrant flowers will line the…
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Siem Reap = Foodie Heaven

  South East Asian food culture has permeated right throughout Western society. As any Australian can attest to, Thai and Vietnamese food in particular has established itself as a staple of the Australian food culture. Often overlooked, Cambodian cuisine is some of the most unique and interesting that South East Asia has to offer. Cambodian food has common elements with its neighbors (Thailand, Vietnam, Laos) and also has significant influence from its French colonial past. For example, the famous ‘banh mi’ or as more commonly referred to by a Sydney native ‘Vietnamese Roll’ has its equivalent in Cambodia called num…
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Coming Soon in 2016…

We are excited to say that we will be operating in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in 2016! So far, we're sharing the culture, meeting the people, and tasting the flavours of Saigon, Hoi An, & Siem Reap. However, we want to share even more with travellers from far and wide. We're opening in Phnom Penh in 2016, and can't wait to show you this wonderful Cambodian city. The sorrowful history of this area gives one a new outlook on everyday life, and will give interesting insights to the current culture of the city. The foodie scene is bound to "Wow!" you…
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8 Ideal Gift Ideas from Vietnam & Cambodia

  Whether you're a frequent traveller or travelling for the first time- the dilemma is the same. What should you buy for your loved ones back home?  This can be such a difficult decision because the person you are on a gift hunt for isn't experiencing what you are. Buying them a "I <3 Vietnam"  or "Angkor Wat Temple" shirt won't make much sense, especially if they haven't visited either (amazing) place. Our advice? Buy them something that relates or shares your experiences with each country, but isn't an exact memoir of the country. Here are 8 ideal gift ideas for your…
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Trinh’s Story – In Her Own Words

As a foreigner working and living in Vietnam, I get invited to a lot of weddings. Vietnamese weddings are huge, and people invite just about everyone they know. However, I recently got invited to an engagement ceremony. This was unusual to me, since back home typically a friend will call and say "I got engaged!", but in Vietnam the call to say "I'm getting engaged!". It's a planned ceremony, and much more intimate than weddings. My friend, Trinh, is actually a tour guide here at Vespa Adventures in Hoi An, Central Vietnam. I asked her about her love story, and…
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Vietnamese Weddings

  Celebrations reflect a lot about a country's culture. Wedding celebrations in Vietnam are giant, and if you've travelled to Vietnam then you've probably seen (or at least heard) one happening. These ceremonies are huge and the bride & groom invite just about the entire village, around 200 or 300 people! The details in this post reflect a typical Central Vietnamese countryside wedding. Weddings differ a little bit throughout the country, especially in larger cities. I'd like to thank two members of our team in Hoi An - Phu and Phuc - for allowing me to use photos from their weddings!…
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Driving Motorbikes in Vietnam

We get a lot of questions about driving Vespas & motorbikes in Vietnam. Regarding our motorbike tours, we recommend that guests ride on the back of our experienced drivers so that they can fully experience their surroundings. When you're driving, you must concentrate on the road. If you're riding on the back, you can be more aware of the locals, sights, and scenery of this wonderful country.  In Saigon, there are an estimated 7 - 8 million motorbikes on the streets every day. That's a lot of motorbikes! If you're a foreigner (which you most likely are if you're reading this post),…
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Mung Bean Cookies

  Mung bean cookies are delicious little snacks that you can find only in Hoi An. Each cookie has an intricate oriental pattern pressed into it. They're sweet and a little bit salty, and a great snack. These cookies are more difficult to make than you may think because the process has many steps.  How mung bean cookies are made: First, the mung beans are soaked in water for at least 2 hours in order to remove the shell. After this step, the beans are boiled for 1 hour and then mashed up with a mixture of sugar and salt.…
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5 Reasons to Drink Sugarcane Juice in Vietnam

  If you've ever been to Vietnam, then without a doubt you've seen small carts selling Nước Mía. Nước Mía is sugarcane juice, and we recommend this as a must-try drink. These carts are typically covered in neon colors so they're hard to miss. You may be thinking that a cup of sugarcane juice is an unhealthy sugar overload, but it actually isn't. This sweet juice is made by crushing sugarcane stalks in a machine, either hand-cranked or electric. In Vietnam, the most popular way to enjoy this tasty drink is with a splash of citrousy Kumquat juice and a dash of salt…
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The Best Phở in Saigon

Phở - the archetypal dish of Vietnam. Travellers from far and wide come to Vietnam, hoping that they will eat the best bowl of Phở. We've been in Saigon for a long time, and we think we've found the best bowl of Phở in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). It's a super local place where you'll rarely see a tourist at a table. First- we need to explain what makes one bowl of pho better than another. There's a few key components to Phở, which are combined in a bowl for one outstanding meal. You'll be craving this dish for…
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How to Get to Hoi An

    Planning on coming to Hoi An but don't know how to get here? It’s pretty much inevitable that you will have to pitstop in Da Nang, one of Vietnam’s most up and coming cities. It’s where the Hoi An’s closest train station and airport are. Here are some ways to get to Hoi An, along with our top recommendation. By Plane If you’re travelling from Saigon or Hanoi, the quickest way is to fly into Da Nang. Flights take about 1 hour, and range from $50-$100 USD. After you arrive in Da Nang, you can take a car,…
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Mr. Ngai the Restaurateur

Mr. Ngai lives in Hoi An, Vietnam and owns the famous restaurant, White Rose. This dish is a classic Hoi An specialty and only one place in town makes it. This recipe was started by Mr. Ngai's grandfather 100 years ago. The dish is made with a special shrimp paste that's skillfully placed into delicate rice flour dough and shaped into a beautiful White Rose and steamed to perfection.  The White Rose is then topped with crispy fried scallions for a little crunch.There's also a special fish sauce to go with this- one that no one in town can make.…
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Exploring Vietnamese Markets (pt.1)

Markets in Southeast Asia are some of the most thriving parts of cities and towns. The sounds of people bargaining and the scents that waft through the air make an exciting shopping atmosphere unlike the airconditioned grocery stores many of us are used to back home. While walking through a typical market in Vietnam, you may wonder "Um...what is that??" Well here's part 1 of our list of common things you may be wondering about. **Prices may vary according to season and location 1. Giant...cucumber? This is actually Luffa, or in Vietnamese "mướp hương". Most people spell it Loofah. This…
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Glimpse of the Mekong tour

A ride with Glimpse of the Mekong tour Go where no other tours will take you on this scenic adventure that goes beyond the concrete jungle of Saigon and onto the back roads and red dirt trails of the Delta countryside. You will cross dozens of bridges over many river tributaries, ride on a river ferryboat, cruise through a vibrant bustling riverside market, tour local cottage industries and sample some Vietnamese specialties (food and drinks). You will feel a world away from the city on this off-road ride. This tour requires an adventurous spirit and a strong backside, as you…
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More Video!

Andrew Percy and Christopher Marsh joined our Oct. 12 Nha Trang Coastal & Highland Adventure earlier this month, and last week Andrew shared the below video (in super-duper HD) with us. Sit back, put a bag of popcorn in the microwave, and enjoy 16 minutes of hi-definition adventure. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEacTICCBQc&
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New Zealand vs. Oz

It was a little testy at first - two Kiwis and two Aussies on the night tour, each cracking jokes about the other's motherland. But very quickly the spirit of the evening (and, well, the spirits) overcame the niggling little differences of nationality and questions over what one may or may not do with sheep and everyone united in their love of Banh mi.
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