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Vietnamese Bird Club Culture

  Vietnamese bird club culture is one that's overlooked by travellers, but it's extremely interesting and there's more to it than just sitting and drinking coffee. While wandering around the streets of Saigon, or any town in Vietnam, you'll notice an abundance of classic bird cages with delightfully chirping birds inside. These birds are more than just pets, they're a hobby. They're a lifestyle. Every morning, bird club enthusiasts like Lam in the video above go to the park, birds in hand. These enthusiasts, typically older men, hang up their bird cages and grab a coffee. It's common for these…
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Sizzlin’ Banh Xeo – Vietnamese Pancakes

  Thuy runs our favourite Banh Xeo restaurant in Saigon. This restaurant was built in 1945 by her grandmother, who can be seen in the painting above, as a way to provide not only income but also as a way to feed her siblings who she had to take care of. Now, it’s almost unbelievable to see how this restaurant has transformed into a favourite local spot, serving around 100 Vietnamese pancakes per day. If you visit the restaurant, you’ll see Thuy taking over many responsibilities - from waitressing, being a cashier, and even cleaning up the tables. Banh Xeo, also…
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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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7 Reasons to Eat Street Food in Vietnam

You're coming to Vietnam - you've read about the street food, you've heard about the street food, but will you try it? You may be on your way here, telling yourself "Of course I'll try it!". But to be honest, upon first arrival, you may become wary of what you'll actually try. There's not likely to be a menu in English and it is more unlikely that the staff will speak great English. We've come up with 7 reasons to eat street food in Vietnam to help ease your worries!  1. It's great value. Street food exemplifies the phrase "bang for…
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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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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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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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The Nomadic Boys Take a Foodie Adventure!

  The Nomadic Boys are big foodies. Stefan & Sebastien have been travelling & eating their way around Asia since 2014, so they've tried a massive variety of cuisines, delicacies, and experienced many cultures (they even have great recipes!). So obviously we were thrilled to have them on our Streets & Eats of Hoi An tour to see what they had to say about our foodie adventure. These guys were ready to hit the streets on our vintage Vespas for an evening packed of delicious Vietnamese dishes. "Our favourite part of Vietnam for local food was around the centre of…
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No Springs Attached

  Take a second and think of a bed. Any bed. Your bed. You’re probably thinking of a sumptuous, thick, comfortable mattress, right? Well, in Vietnam, things are a little different. Your typical mattress here is a thin handmade sleeping mat made out of dried reeds and laid either on the floor or on a raised platform. This helps keep the ‘sleeper’ cool in the tropical heat and ‘beds’ can be quickly assembled and therefore put away to make more cooler space indoors during the day. Take our ‘Countryside & Islands Explorer’ into the beautiful Hoi An countryside and see…
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Being Vegetarian in Vietnam

  For all the vegetarians worried about not being able to eat anything but rice in Vietnam- don’t worry! Believe it or not,  Vietnam has a variety of vegetarian dishes. One reason for this is the main religion of the country. A majority of Vietnam is Buddhist, and on the 1st and 15th day of each month (on the lunar calendar), the Buddhist population eats “An Chay” – which means vegetarian in Vietnamese. You may notice many restaurants are closed on these days since they don't offer vegetarian dishes.  There are many restaurants that make classic dishes in vegetarian or vegan…
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Coffee & Sugarcane Juice in Vietnam

Coffee is a huge part of Vietnamese culture, economy, and cuisine. Introduced by the French, the production of coffee in Vietnam has increased so much that it is now the second largest coffee producer in the world (Brazil is the top producer). The most common thing to do when you have free time in Vietnam is go to a cafe with some friends, sit back, and relax with a strong cup of coffee. The most famous style of coffee in Vietnam is "cà phê sữa đá", or Vietnamese Iced Coffee. Cà phê sữa đá is made with sweet condensed milk and…
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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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Meet the People of Vietnam – Thanh the Bridge Builder

Meet Thanh. He builds an astonishing 300 meter bamboo bridge every year in Hoi An, Central Vietnam. This bridge must be well maintained and rebuilt yearly due to the large amount of flooding that occurs during the rainy season in Hoi An- around October through December. Since this river can be dangerous to cross by boat or ferry, the government allows Thanh to build this bridge to give people a safe crossing in the countryside. Him and his family live right next to this bridge, and charge a small fee for people to cross.  Want to see this bridge for…
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Mì Quảng – Central Vietnamese Noodle Dish

The Noodles of Quảng Nam If you're in Hoi An, you have to try Mì Quảng. This delicious noodle dish is famous in the Quảng Nam Province (hence the name Mì Quảng, or "Quang noodles"). You can find it in other cities such as Saigon, but if you're coming to Central Vietnam we suggest you hold out on trying Mì Quảng til you get here. It's a popular breakfast dish, but you can also find Mì Quảng for lunch before 1:00pm. One bowl of this deliciousness typically costs around 15,000-20,000VND (about $1 USD!).    Meet My. My runs a classic Vietnamese red tabled street food vending spot…
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The Ao Dai – A Traditional Vietnamese Dress

-The Traditional Vietnamese Dress- Ao Dai's (pronounced like "Ow Zai" or if you're in the Quang Nam Province- "Ow Yai") are the traditional Vietnamese dress for women. If you've ever been to Vietnam, you've probably seen a lot of these traditional dresses, whether it was on locally made artwork, girls biking home from school, or even at your hotel reception desk. It consists of silk pants and a matching silk top that has long panels on the front and back.  -High School Uniforms- Girls are required to wear Ao Dai's once they go into High School- Year 10. I don't…
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Vietnamese & Cambodian Holidays

Vietnamese & Cambodian Holidays Here's a calendar of all the major holidays and celebrations in Vietnam & Cambodia. Make sure to look out for blog posts detailing more about the holidays!
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