David H, From Melbourne, Australia

David H, From Melbourne, Australia

We did the twilight foodie delight and it was by far the best experience in Vietnam, this is the real deal, an authentic experience of REAL Vietnamese food and family life and the cruising around on vintage Vespa’s in the cool of the evening is an added bonus. The team at Vespa Safaris have really put some effort into delivering an authentic experience. We went places we would have never got to the Tu, including having dinner with his family at their home it was a really friendly and wonderful experience. I’m definitely going back to Hue and doing another tour with Vespa Safaris.

Reviewed on TripAdvisorAmazing experience – you will not have a better experience in Hue!!

Bjomen From Lorenskog Municipality, Norway

Bjomen From Lorenskog Municipality, Norway

We had an Twilight foodie delight for 4 hours. It was great! It’s a perfect way to experience Vietnamese culture and lifestyle! We visited two very nice families and tasted their lokal food which was very good. We recommended Vespa Safari!

Reviewed on TripAdvisorFantastic evening -we loved it!

Randy808

Randy808

Neither one of us are scooter riders. Our guide/drivers were always looking at for our safety and if you have tried to cross a street in Vietnam you know what our concerns were. The Vespas were well maintained and comfortable. The countryside tour took us to areas, markets and people’s home that you would never see or experience otherwise. The food tour was also the same eating and experiencing local fare, and in some cases interactive. The guides were well informed and taught us a lot about Hue and history/culture, besides being just great fun guys. So JUST DO IT on your next trip to Hue! Aloha

Reviewed on TripAdvisor: Did the Countryside and Food Tours, both fun, informative and safe

Indochina – Chapter 3: Hue and Hoi An

Indochina – Chapter 3: Hue and Hoi An

Steve Aldridge
Silver Travel Advisor, Forum Moderator and Award-Winning Travel Write

 

 

The Vespas and the Lanterns

Our second night in Hue was amongst the most enjoyable we had spent in Asia. We were picked up from our hotel by two drivers with Vespas and taken on a food safari. Riding pillion on a scooter in Vietnam is an experience in itself but by now we were used to the ‘road etiquette’ (such as it was). So we relaxed and let our drivers guide us through the city lights. Chaperoned by our guide Tu, we stopped first at a family home for courses one and two. It was lovely to see this family’s home and interesting to chat about each other’s lives and children. We learned how the food was prepared and saw it ‘on the stove’ and then tucked in to the delicious fare. A sociable glass of rice wine later, and knowledge of how to say cheers in Vietnamese (Yo), then it was time to thank our hosts and bid them farewell before moving on to our second venue. A local restaurant owner hosted us at his own home/restaurant and let us get ‘hands on’ preparing the next course. To be fair, I’m not sure if he was entertaining us or me him with my ineptitude at folding banana leaves into food parcels (that were later streamed). Much laughter, good food (including eating our own creations) and a local beer, then it was ‘on your bike’ to venue 3. A favourite pancake house packed with locals (always a good sign) provided the next course, fortunately without my help in the preparation process. Our final stop was at the local apothecary for ‘medicine’. We learnt that 29 ingredients go into making the herbal wine that, taken after meals, will help with digestion and pretty much any other ailment known to man. One thing is for sure, having enjoyed some and the owners delightful company, we felt no pain. What an amazing evening out. 

Home at Hue was the Pilgrimage Village where they treated us to a magnificent upgrade to the Honeymoon Suite. A huge bungalow with secluded private pool; we were a little sad that we hadn’t added a day in our itinerary to simply enjoy the facilities. More like a woodland retreat than a hotel, the staff were wonderfully attentive and we’d love to return here. 

It was time to move on from Hue and we headed for Hoi An via the picturesque Hai Van (Ocean Cloud) Pass. We also stopped off for lunch in Danang and visited the Cham Sculpture museum, with over 300 artefacts dating from the 5th to 15th centuries. I worked off a bit of my lunch by climbing the many steps up to the Ong Chon gate (pockmarked with bullet holes) and the Buddhist shrines atop the Marble Mountain.  

Our upgrade luck continued when we arrived at the Boutique Hoi An Resort and we were treated to a spacious sea view room, just steps from the lovely pool and sandy beach (should have done the lottery this week). The hotel runs a free shuttle bus to the historic old town, which is listed by UNESCO. Apart from having more tailors than you can shake a stick at, the historic buildings and the Thu Bon river make it a lovely place to stroll around and take in the sights. Preserved to a certain extent when the river silted up in the 19th century and its property faltered, its reinvention as a tourist spot has made it one of the wealthiest towns in Vietnam. To get the most out of a visit you need to purchase a ticket that gives you access to the old town and five of the buildings (relatively cheap and helps fund preservation). We attended a great traditional musical/art performance at the Xu Dang Trong (fortunately there was an English speaking compere to tell us what we were seeing) including a game of Vietnamese Bingo (I kid you not). The Assembly Hall of the Fujian Chinese Congregation was also an impressive place to visit. A riot of colours and dragons, this is now a temple to worship Thien Hau. Just as we were exploring the market, the heavens opened and we took shelter in a nearby coffee house. It was marvellous to watch the magical production of plastic from every nook and cranny to cover both goods and humans, but we particularly loved the huge ponchos to cover both scooter and rider. Also getting quite used to paying £2 for a coffee and a large fruit juice, Costa is going to seem really expensive when we get home.  

It’s at night though that Hoi An really comes to life and explodes in a kaleidoscope of colours. The beauty of the town goes up a hundredfold as lanterns of all shapes and sizes come alight on streets, shops, taverns and stalls. The colours reflect on the gently flowing waters of the river, further enhanced by floating lanterns bobbing along. Brides and grooms, with their entourage of lighting and cameramen, taking advantage of this photogenic backdrop for their wedding album and there’s a gentle party atmosphere in the air. With reluctance, after admiring the illuminated sculpture park beside the river, it was time to get some rest in preparation for an early flight to Ho Chi Minh City the next day. 

 

 

Source: Silver Travel Advisor

Michael Dao

Michael Dao

I went on the Rural Life Discovery with one other friend and we had a great time. I’ve been to Vietnam a couple of times and know the country pretty well, but it was my friend’s first time to Vietnam. For him, it was like seeing a whole new Vietnam that was different from the normal tourist attractions. The tour was an amazing opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle of Hue city. We were able to see a part of Vietnam that many wouldn’t be able to see without our trusted tour guides. Our tour guides took us to a village market, village communities, inside a home to make a special cake, and then to an old bridge. As we sat on the back of Vespas we cruised through the countryside taking pictures and enjoying the beautiful scenery. It was awesome. Overall, I would recommend doing this tour if you are looking to get away from the city and to experience a calmer and truer Vietnamese life.

Not-to-be-missed experience

Not-to-be-missed experience

Thank you so much for your most wonderful tour of Hue. It is a true highlight of our visit to your country!

We greatly appreciate the thrill of viewing Hue from vespa tours. We thoroughly enjoyed our twilight tour of Hue, from a Vespa in the swirl of motorbikes through the narrow streets of The Citadel, relaxing over the stunning vista of the Perfume River, of course, the opportunity to meet your hospitable and charming people!  We recommend this not-to-be-missed experience to see Hue in the way that the locals do.

Debbie and Brian Madson, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

THE KIRKLAND FAMILY

THE KIRKLAND FAMILY

Thank you for a wonderful visit. We enjoyed hearing about your family history. You are all so kind and beautiful! The lunch was very delicious. Come visit us in San Francisco, USA

THE NIEMEYE FAMILY

THE NIEMEYE FAMILY

My family and I are infinitely grateful for this wonderful experience. We would like to thank the entire family for the warm welcome. The meal was delicious and we feel we had an incomparable experience in your wonderful home.