The Spotlight On: Ms. Thao, Patriotic and Proud Saigonese
Every month, we put the spotlight on one of the key players who make it happen for your privileged clients. This month, get to know Ms. Thu Thao, Assistant Reservations & Operations at Khiri Travel Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City head office.
What do we need to know about you?
My hometown is Saigon as it is for my parents. I am proud to be truly Saigonese. Some people may not like this crowded city but I love the familiarity of rushing to work in the early morning, watching the traffic crawl back home and just observing people on the road. In my free time, I am learning to speak German. To me, one of the best ways to know about a culture is to learn the language.
How long have you worked with Khiri Travel?
I have been working with Khiri Travel Vietnam for almost four months since graduating from university. I am the assistant for reservations and operations in charge of accommodations, tours, guides, transportation and all other services for an itinerary. I also have the responsibility to make sure that everything is set and runs properly.
What do you like to tell us about Vietnam?
I recently had a trip to Dalat with my classmates. The special thing about this place is the slow-paced lifestyle. Visitors will rarely experience a car horn or traffic light. In the center of the city, surrounded by walking paths is the crystal clear Xuan Huong Lake where one can try a taste of delicious soybean milk from vendors at the lakeside.
The festival I like best is our National Day holiday that takes place annually on 2 September, the day in 1945 when Uncle Ho (Ho Chi Minh) declared Vietnamese independence at Ba Đình Square, Hanoi. There are fireworks and parades across the nation to promote patriotism, especially for the younger generation.
What food related traditions does Vietnam have?
There are endless traditions regarding food! Banh chung, or sticky rice is an important tradition of the Lunar New Year for eating and placing on the family’s ancestor altar. It is made with rice, pork and green beans wrapped inside a special leaf called dong. The preparation is relatively complicated and it takes more than eight hours to produce one rice cake, but it is a special time for the elderly to tell some folklore to the children.
Talking about Vietnamese cuisine it would be mistaken not to mention pho. This simple and tasty staple consists of a salty broth, fresh rice noodles, a sprinkling of herbs and chicken or beef. Pho Hung restaurant at 10 Nguyen Thi Nghia, District 1, HCMC is famous for pho.
What is the best thing for a traveler to bring back from Vietnam?
The best thing is the joy of discovering a new culture and capturing some stunning photos of wandering around and enjoying some amazing dishes. From my viewpoint, the national costume or ao dai and the conical hat or non la are the traditional souvenirs for the majority of tourists coming to Vietnam. More than indispensible clothing for special events, the ao dai tunic dress is a symbol of my country.