The resilience and strength of human beings can be tested in many ways, and the way that certain people respond to testing times differs often as well.
I have travelled to Vietnam six times over the last 10 years and even knowing the little amount I do about their history and in many ways the heartache and tragedies many Vietnamese have suffered I have always been blown away by their welcoming and open- hearted acceptance of outsiders visiting their homeland.
Turmoil and upheaval seemed to dog the country for over a century and between themselves, the Chinese, French, Japanese and of course the Americans, a stable and happy existence was certainly never a given.
So, seeing how these spirited people have risen above such events and continue to thrive with smiles a mile wide while welcoming travellers like myself from all corners of the globe with friendship and feeling is quite amazing and refreshing.
In October I will be returning for adventure number seven on a small group personalised tour that will take in a mix of some tourist standards and some special favourites of mine that are not always on the standard tourist track.
If you are a lover of the wanderlust and you are open to fun, adventure, culture, history and some of the most delicious healthy cuisine on the planet, then maybe you might like to join me?
Flying with Vietnam Airlines (who have always delivered) we will get a taste of over seven different locations. With our own personalised transport, we will explore with gusto and if my last trips are anything to go by, we will have a journey that will satisfy and excite.
Here are some of the highlights for you to think about:
Ho Chi Minh City, and the lifeblood that is the Mekong River. I have to be honest and say you won’t see me going for a dip in theses waters anytime soon, but the fishing villages and stilt houses that line its banks contain many an interesting story or two. A highlight for me is an on-river jaunt in a hand rowed Sampan. We will also take to the streets of Saigon on a form of transport known as a “Cyclo”, a three wheeled bicycle taxi that was introduced in the French period as a form of luxury transport and is a really cool way to visit some of the iconic landmarks of the city.
Hoi An, is definitely one of my favourite parts of Vietnam and this trip. So much so that I added an extra day onto the tour here. A free day for you to really explore and get in amongst its welcoming locals.
While in Hoi An we will visit the World Heritage site of My Son. You will take part in an absolute cracker of a half day gastronomical adventure on a guided tour of Hoi An’s colourful central market, a boat trip on the Hoi An River, and then a two hours hand on cooking class, where you will devour your creations at lunch. Hanoi, the country’s capital and what I like to describe as controlled chaos that doesn’t intimidate, seems to draw you into its excitement and manoeuvring. A highlight for me and you I believe, will be the walking foodie tour, where we take in Hanoi’s old quarter which has an amazing history. Sometimes it’s difficult to find some local food stalls and mini restaurants in hidden alleys and sidewalks, and this night in town gives you a taste of cuisine, culture, the people and the language. Finishing off the night in “Beer Street” also has its bonuses!
Lan Ha Bay, where we will be enthralled by the majestic jaw-dropping landscape of towering karst outcrops and ever-present limestone cliffs, while we cruise the waterways on an overnight exploration of this amazing natural phenomenon.
I could go on teasing you with more from the “land of the ascending dragon”, but I would rather show you first hand.
Only 10 travellers tour with two more in season 2023, but if you are sick of being denied international travel over the last three years then this journey is the perfect way to dip your toe back in the travel waters again.
Head straight to www.thetravellingguy.com and click on Travelling with Scotty.
Scott McRae is an accomplished actor, entertainer and travel writer. Scott is ‘The Travelling Guy’.