Slow Travel: Making the Most of Each Moment
Have you ever returned from a vacation feeling more beat and exhausted than you were before you went away? Many of us live hectic, stressful lives, but this frantic pace often continues while we’re on holiday, as we rush from one ‘awesome’ tourist attraction to another. Rather than crossing things off a to-do list, slowing down may be the answer.
Imagine you are exploring village life around the charming Vietnamese city of Hue, buying vegetables at a local market, trying your hand at farming, or taking a leisurely stroll through the rural countryside. This is the essence of slow travel, where the emphasis is less on frenzied sightseeing and more on taking in your surroundings at a relaxed and easy pace. Instead of trying to cram in four temples or monuments in a single morning, you explore new cultures and see new places in a way that’s less stressful, more respectful of the local people, and is easier on the environment.
Slow travel is not so much a particular mode of transportation as it is a mindset. Instead of attempting to squeeze in as many sights as possible, the slow traveler takes time to thoroughly explore each destination and to experience the local culture.
Here are three slow travel experiences you can do with Khiri Travel that allows you to escape the daily grind and slip naturally into the slower pace of local Vietnamese life:
Evening Foodie and Cyclo Tour
Explore Hue’s street food with our evening tour using cyclos. Meet with your guide for a few drinks and some snacks at a charming bar and listen to his introduction about Hue cuisine. Learn some useful Vietnamese phrases before moving to a vegetarian restaurant, where you can see Buddhist traditions present in Hue’s food etiquette. Travel by cyclo down side streets and alleyways to places not often visited by foreigners – well off the tourist trail. Among the choice of delicious street foods you encounter, try the crispy Hue-style pancakes, noodle soups, desserts and many more. The variety of new flavors, textures, and methods of preparation you experience, will make this a night to remember.
A Taste of Rural Life
Start the day by cycling to Thanh Toan village, which lies only 7 km from downtown Hue. Thanh Toan is a peaceful rural locale where the scenes of an ancient village founded in the 17th century are still visible in the landscape. The tour, designed to demonstrate the deep-rooted history of Vietnam’s wet rice culture, provides some fascinating insight into farming life. Learn about the village’s culture and institutions, and experience some fun farming activities, including fishing, preparing a home-cooked meal and making local handicrafts. Hang out with the locals at the village’s intriguing roofed bridge and listen to them chatting or chanting. This tour is an excellent opportunity to get some off-the-beaten-track insight into Hue’s rural way of life.
Hue’s Royal Legacy and Rustic Harmony
Bridging the gap between the grand architectural richness of Hue’s Imperial City and the simplicity of life in Vietnam’s rural countryside, Thuy Bieu is an ancient village long recognized as a symbol of transition and harmony. Its well-preserved communal houses, the nostalgic beauty of its garden-houses and the aesthetic wooden architecture, demonstrate a mingling of royal legacy with a rustic lifestyle. Explore the village’s original monuments closely attached to the rise and fall of the Nguyen dynasties: the amphitheater, hosting duels between tigers and elephants; the unique temple-cemetery, dedicated to the Kings’ pachyderms; and the long-established bronze casting village. Cruise down the majestic Perfume River to visit the famed Thien Mu Pagoda and the Purple Forbidden City, constructed by Emperor Gia Long in the early 19th century.
Taking it slow and getting up close and personal with a different culture is a challenging and rewarding experience. Overcoming language barriers, differences in customs and other potential stumbling blocks is all part of the reward of slow travel, not to mention the connections you make and the new people you meet.
For bookings and more information on slow travel experiences in Vietnam, get in touch with us at: [email protected].