• The Curious Traveler

A fascinating side trip, Boundless Journeys-style – Vietnam

– Written by Boundless Journeys’ Vietnam guest Barbara H. Travel to Vietnam

Because my husband is in the furniture business, our Vietnam tour guide Elske arranged for a visit to a village that makes heavy, traditional Asian furniture. Dong Ky was a real highlight for all of us with its narrow muddy streets, open-air workshops with craftsmen at work, houses under construction, herbalist conducting her business on the street, another woman plucking gray hairs out of her customer’s head — all the sights of daily life and definitely NOT a place that sees tourists!

We walked around the town for about an hour and then drove on to a roadside tent where the locals stop for bean curd wrapped in banana leaves, peanuts wrapped in sugar and rice wine that is really more of a liqueur. We squatted like the locals (ouch!) and had a unique and very authentic experience. Our driver was somewhat shocked that we wanted to do this, but then was quite impressed by our curiosity and enthusiasm. It is precisely this kind of custom-tailoring — adapting the trip to the style and spirit of the travelers — that keeps us coming back to Boundless Journeys. It was one of the most exciting days of our wonderful Asia vacation.

Vietnam Local PharmacistVietnam Family LifeThe left photos show the local pharmacist prescribe the proper herbs for her patient on the side of the road. On the right shows a woman selling soupy rice. Mothers and grandmothers with their babies come to this shop for this dish that is put into bowls or baby bottles.             



 Handmade Furniture in VietnamThis woman is carving the ornate wood furniture that is sold all over Vietnam. Workshops are open to the street and offer us a glimpse of the private living space upstairs. The muddy, crude working conditions downstairs do not match the colorful private homes that sit directly on top of them.   


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