With our Zoom Vietnam and Cambodia tour right around the corner, we thought we would share some of our favorite fun facts about these incredible countries to get our travelers excited for the journey to come! These are just a small sampling of the many amazing things our travelers will experience and learn while on our adventure!
- The Forbidden Purple City, located in the imperial city of Hue, was once only accessible to the Royal family, the eunuchs who served them, and the emperor’s concubines. Today, it is a major tourist attraction for travelers visiting Vietnam.
- In the city of Hanoi lies Hoan Kiem Lake, which according to local folklore is home to an amazing creature of legend. It’s said that a giant, golden tortoise lives in the lake, who once gave a divine sword to a king to help defeat the Chinese after 1,000 years of occupation.
- There are around 1,600 limestone islands and islets that make up Halong Bay, with some of the formations dating back more than 20 million years! Many of the islands have caves and grottoes that you can explore; one of the most popular, Surprise Cave, is located inside Bo Hon Island, in the middle of Halong Bay.
- The Cu Chi Tunnels of Saigon are an immense network of underground passageways that the Viet Cong used as a base for the Tet offensive during the Vietnam War. Today, tourists can enter the tunnels and crawl through the safer parts of the system.
- The Mekong River, which flows through China, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar, is known by many names. In China, it is referred to as Lancang Jiang, meaning Turbulent River; in Laos and Thailand it’s called the Mae Nam Kong, meaning Mother Water; in Vietnam it is referred to as Cuu Long, meaning Nine Dragons.
- Angkor Wat, which translates to City of Temples, stretches over more than 248 square miles, making it the largest religious monument in the world.
- The national flag of Cambodia features Angkor Wat, making it one of only two countries in the world that feature a national monument on its flag. Images from Angkor Wat also appear on many denominations of Cambodia’s currency, the riel.
- In the floating village of Chong Khnies, classrooms sit on floating platforms, and children row themselves to school on small sampans, the same means by which vendors go “door-to-door" to sell vegetables or noodle soup.
- In Cambodia, birthdays are not traditionally celebrated, so it’s not uncommon for an older person to be unaware of how old they are.
- Cambodian cuisine is famous for its adventurous nature; travelers can enjoy spiders, snake skewers, fried rice with ants and more!