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In the fall of 2018, The Travel Team took a small group of travelers on a highlight tour of Vietnam. The tour began in the ancient city of Ho Chi Minh, with tours of its Mausoleums, the Temple of Literature and the Old Quarter. Guests enjoyed a drive through green rice paddy fields on route to Halong Bay where they boarded a traditional Vietnamese sailing boat to tour the countless islets of this remarkable UNESCO World Heritage site.

“It’s always our goal to take our travellers beyond the surface of a country and find unique ways to truly experience life in a particular part of the world,” said Ron Luczak, Travel Team host. “In Vietnam, we planned T’ai Chi classes with local experts, enjoyed chef-prepared meals of traditional fare and toured fishing villages and floating houses.”

Day five of the 10-day journey found the group in Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage designated town, exploring well-preserved buildings, pedestrian streets and colorful markets. In Tra Que Organic Village, local farmers gave travelers a glimpse into their daily routines and work life.

“Experiencing the traditions of a city is often the best way to understand the local culture,” said Ron. “In Hoi An, guests had the chance to join a lantern making workshop or a fishing life tour led by locals. We also visited the Red Bridge Cooking School to learn about traditional Vietnamese cooking before savoring the dishes we prepared.”

Guests enjoyed visits to various historic monuments and sights in Hue, before boarding a dragon boat for a trip along the Perfume River. At the house of former Princess Ngoc Son, travelers had a rare encounter with a family member who shared stories of life in this historic house and enjoyed a traditional lunch prepared by the family.

The Vietnamese tour concluded with three nights in Ho Chi Minh city, formerly known as Saigon. Tours included visits to Notre Dame Cathedral, local markets, museums and a speedboat tour of the ChuChi tunnels.

“One of the most impactful experiences for all was our ride through the maze of canals along the Mekong River,” said Ron. “We arrived at a small village and walked to the home of former soldier where he and his wife, who now make a living producing rice paper, shared their fascinating story.”


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