Anyone who knows of Anthony Bourdain knows of his enthusiasm for food and passion for discovering exotic tastes on his global travels. Exotic Voyages just launched a new tour that not only guides travelers through Vietnam but also specializes an exciting experience for adventurous foodies, including visits to some of the local eateries Bourdain had showcased on episodes of his multiple programs.
I’m writing this review as I’m living through the last few days of this very tour, and I’ve had a remarkable time with both the sights and tastes of this beautiful country. I’ve got to have the exact meal that Bourdain shared with former US President Barack Obama. This Hanoi establishment’s specialty was absolutely delicious and is highly recommended as a typical dish of the region. Then I’ve seen the contrasts of central and southern Vietnam, especially at a hole-in-the-wall kind of Saigon street stand, owned and run by a little but happy woman with a lot flavor in her cooking. And all the while, I’ve got to see and sometimes participate in or with the many different landscapes, the many kinds of people and their daily tasks, some of which were lessons on how things are made, and the many activities, some unique to the country.
Getting me to this point took a bit of planning, and I couldn’t have done it without the dedication and diligence of one Diep Nguyen, designer of the tour for Exotic Voyages. She has been with me from the beginning, customizing exactly the kind of fun trip I like while providing all the options one can add that make it extra memorable. Even as I was experiencing the trip, she was always reachable to make sure everything is running smoothly and that we have what we need. Though she’s not there in person all the time, our guides were there. And all of them were thorough experts of their regions, showing exactly how friendly Vietnamese people are.
All around, I will miss Vietnam for its hospitality and beauty as I take fond memories back home with me.