TourNative’s Best Local Tips for Traveling in Vietnam

TourNative has the best local tips for traveling in Vietnam.

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As the weather warms up, our team at Wanderable is dreaming about traveling to Vietnam. A country known for its beauty and energy, Vietnam offers travelers everything from peaceful beaches to bustling cities. With a country as unique and interesting as Vietnam, it pays to have some local insight. This is why we asked our friends at TourNative to share their best local tips for traveling in Vietnam.

TourNative is an innovative company allowing travelers to book authentic experiences with local guides. They have tons of experiences in Vietnam, which makes them the de facto experts, whether this is your first or tenth trip to Vietnam. Read their local tips for traveling in Vietnam, below.

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1. Definitely try out the local cuisine in Vietnam: Bánh mì, coconut water, Pho, coffee – all these things are best savored in random restaurants and next to carts by the roads.

2. You may run into some minor scams if taking a taxi in Vietnam, especially if you hail a taxi driver who goes by the meter, so always arrange your transportation through reputable companies. Or if you’re up for a thrill, enjoy a motorbike tour.

3. The traffic in Vietnam is incredibly packed. In big cities like Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, cross roads with caution. Be confident: let cars avoid you, keep a consistent pace, and keep walking forward.

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4. Do not drink the tap water. Sometimes it is fine and sometimes it is not, but it is always best to be safe and carry bottled water wherever you go.

5. Remember to pack mosquito repellent with you. It’ll be extremely useful if you end up exploring Vietnam’s countryside trails!

6. The Northern, Central, and Southern areas of Vietnam have completely different climate, so pack accordingly if you’re planning on traveling to many different areas of Vietnam.

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Just like TourNative, Wanderable believes in enjoying authentic, memorable, and local experiences while traveling. Peek inside Wanderable’s top-rated curated experiences in Vietnam, to really bring your Vietnam trip to the next level.

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Our Favorite Lustworthy Thailand Adventures

Wanderable’s well-traveled globetrotters pick their favorite lustworthy Thailand adventures. 

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Here at Wanderable, we’ve already discovered the best Experience Providers in the world for you. Today, we spoke to some of our team’s wanderers to ask, “Which Thailand activity tops your travel bucket list?”

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Jenny, Engineering Expert

“The Floating Market Full Day Private Tour! Usually, when I travel someplace, I really like to get to know the local culture and interact with the locals. With this tour, you’re taken along the Mae Klong River before you explore the colorful floating markets! I’d pick up fresh fruit to snack on as we drive through the local villages and canals around the area.”

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Sara, BD Hotshot

“Hands down, the Koh Tao Discover Scuba. It’s completely private. You get your own boat to cruise around Koh Tao with a specialized instructor. My boyfriend and I have been wanting to learn SCUBA forever, and what better place than in one of the world’s top-rated scuba diving locations? You experience a gorgeous, secluded bay filled with corals all to yourself.”

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Ilana – Marketing Extraordinaire

“I’m such an animal person, so I instantly honed in on the Phuket Wildlife and Romance Tour. It’s really cool – you first travel to Phuket’s largest Buddha sculpture, then take an elephant trek before lunch and more sightseeing. But, I’m most excited for the last stop at Tiger Kingdom! It’s one of my wildest dreams to be able to cuddle with baby tiger cubs.”

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Marcela, Product Whiz

“Oh, definitely the Bangkok Day Dream Package. Being able to relax in an herbal floral bath before enjoying a body scrub, an aromatherapy oil massage, and a facial relaxation treatment sounds amazing. I feel like I would unwind on years and years of stress in one luxurious afternoon. It sounds like it’ll be so hard to leave afterward!”

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Jacqui, Content Guru

“It would have to be the Full-Day Phi Phi Island (By Speed Boat), naturally. I love the idea of waking up early to beat the crowds and island-hopping in the Phi Phi Islands on this incredible, sleek speed boat. You’ll visit everywhere from the Phi Phi Don to the Maya Bay. And as if that weren’t enough, you also get to go snorkeling. Literally the perfect day.”

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Vicki, BD Mastermind

“I really love the Ayutthaya Relics Tour. It allows you to get in a bit of ancient history. You’re submerged in the the history of Thailand’s past royalty while you explore these gorgeous ruins in the former capital of Siam. And you end the day tasting local sweets – what better way to wrap up a fascinating look into Thailand’s past?”

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Esther, Customer Advocate

“If I were you, I would check out this amazing activity, Discovering Rural Thai Life Over Authentic Northern Thai Cuisine. I’m a huge foodie, so spending the day cooking with a culinary mother-daughter team is right up my alley. Plus, I’m secretly looking forward to impressing all my future dinner guests with authentic Thai recipes!”

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Which Thailand activities would you love to experience? See our other amazing Thailand activities to add to your own travel bucket list, today!

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Spotlight: Women in Tech for Women’s History Month

Wanderable celebrates Women’s History Month with a spotlight on Jenny Chen, our co-founder, and her experience being a woman in tech.

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March is Women’s History Month , and what better way to celebrate than catching up with our amazing co-founder, Jenny, on women in tech (a topic close to our hearts). In such a male dominated industry, she shines some light on how she first got into the field, how her parents were an integral part of her experience, and shares advice she has for girls trying to break in to the industry.

Wanderable: How and when did you first get into technology? How did you decide this was the field for you?

Jenny: Summer of 1996, I was 13 years old and really into Sailor Moon – I wanted to build a website for my favorite Scout, Sailor Mercury. I asked my dad for help on how to build a website.  He had no idea and gave me a book.  I forget the title, but it had “HTML” emblazoned across the cover.  Learning markup was pretty weird for me, given that I hadn’t had prior experience with programming.  It’s like this strange game you play, where you’re given an instruction booklet and you try to figure out all the rules of the game in order to get to the goal you want.

At Stanford, I took the usual CS core classes. CS107 was really difficult for me, causing me to doubt whether I was cut out for this.  I really liked learning and building projects, but I felt that I was really slow compared to everyone else.  My grades in other courses were much higher – if I’d gone with my grades, I’d be a Chinese philosopher right now. I spent a couple quarters poking into other majors, but then in my last quarter sophomore year, I took CS193i (Internet Technologies) and decided that I may be slower, I may have to budget my time better, but I can figure this out and this is what I really enjoy doing – building things for people to use.

 

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W: What kind of tech exposure did you have as a kid? Did your parents help guide you in any way?

Jenny: My parents got me a Macintosh when I was 11, and they’ve always encouraged my curiosity to learn programming.  I think it really helped that both of them were programmers, so working with computers wasn’t a “boy” or “girl” thing – it was just a thing that was important to learn.

W: Tech is a male dominated industry. What kind of advice would you give to girls looking to break in?

Jenny: Back in the 1960s, programming was actually a female-dominated field.  It just happens to be male-dominated right now.  Trends and society may change with the times, but your own innate curiosity and ability to learn is driven by you.  If you want to break in, then do it – start picking up a language to learn, build a project, talk to people.  You will go as far as you drive yourself.

W: What kind of roadblocks have you experienced (if any) being a female founder/engineer? 

Jenny: Oh, pretty much the usual: having Impostor Syndrome, being the typical shy-mousey-quiet girl, hearing the off-hand sexist remark, etc.  Most of these roadblocks are internal – they’re only blocking you in your head.  Building confidence can be difficult, but as you start to figure things out, you realize that you have this ability and you can trust in it.  I really like Randy Pausch’s brick wall quote: “The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”

W: Did you have a mentor? If so, who was it and how did that affect your career/goals?

Jenny: I’ve always picked people, doesn’t matter if they’re male or female, who had qualities that I admired and wanted to achieve.  You ask them for help, you learn from them, you express your gratitude.  You go through life being helped by those before you and turning around helping those that come after have an easier path forward.

Win A Dream Wedding, from the Best in the Wedding Industry!

STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING RIGHT NOW: We’re giving away an entire wedding, from the invitations to the honeymoon.

Yup. You could win a dream wedding…

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Yes, you read that right.

Today marks our biggest giveaway yet. You could win custom, luxe invitations & stationery; top-of-the-line wedding planning advice; rings for you and your love; wedding attire for the bride, groom, & bridal party; your dream venue; a luxury photography package; an engagement photo session; and your entire honeymoon– valued at over $16,000! Feel free to shout it from the rooftops, because this may sound too good, but it is so, so true. 

Why are we doing this, you ask?

We got together with some of our friends (more on them later) and decided this would be the best way to kick off 2015 (plus, total karma points). Also, we’re sick of hearing that Pinterest-worthy weddings can only be a dream for the everyday bride. Not when we’re involved.

Here’s the prize breakdown:

Custom, Luxe Wedding Invitations & Stationery from MintedFrom Save-the-Dates to day-of decor and everything in between, Minted helps you tie it all together, connecting you with the world’s best artists to create something one-of-a-kind.

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Expert Wedding Planning Advice from Happily Wedding.  Happily brings tranquility, effervescence, and effortless organization to your wedding planning journey. “Ever after” begins as you learn to revel in the planning process instead of dreading it.

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Attire for the Bride, Groom and Bridal Party from Dessy Group. They pride themselves on chic, breezy simplicity, and have a diverse selection, so you can choose whatever aesthetic resonates with you and your wedding party.

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Wedding Rings from Brilliant Earth.  Brilliant Earth offers more ethically sourced fine jewelry then you could ever imagine. When it comes to both your wedding and your engagement rings, Brilliant Earth has got you covered.

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Venue Credit from The Hitch.  Search and discover one-of-a-kind venues, save your favorites, and book your viewings all in one simple, easy-to-use platform. Why tire yourself out running around town when you can do the research from the comfort of your own bed, espresso in hand?

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A 1 Hour Engagement Photo Session AND Luxury Photo App Package for your wedding from Eversnap.  Eversnap allows you to collect all your guests’ photos & videos in one giant online album using their smart phones! Why didn’t we think of that?

wedding_iphone (1)Read all about it on Lover.ly. Lover.ly is the one-stop virtual wedding shop. Brides, grooms, and guests can uncover the most unique wedding ideas, hidden gem venues, and renowned designers, as well as organize details and acquire expert advice. Yes please!

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And of course, the honeymoon, from us, Wanderable

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The total prize is worth over 16K. So, like we said before, stop what you’re doing and enter right now

We hope you will join us in pursuing this once-in-a-lifetime chance to snag a dreamy wedding of your own design! For free. This is not a drill. You deserve this. Enter HERE.

#WanderOn #WinAWedding

 

You Just Got Engaged… Now What?

Winter Wander-land: Your Anti-Stress Guide to Getting Engaged Over the Holidays 

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So amidst the chaos and bliss of planning parties and having some hard-earned time off from work, you’ve gotten engaged! Mazel tov!

But- seriously- you just got engaged…now what?

It can definitely be stressful to think about planning for the future when you’re trying to just enjoy the present. Well, we’re here to say relax, sit back, and drink that little glass of bubbly…we got this.

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Here are some steps to calm you once you’re on the road to tying the knot.

1. Give Yourself a Minute

Before you post about this magnificent revelation on a myriad of social media platforms, give yourself a few days to just feel the joy of it for you and your fiancé. Of course, tell your family and close friends. But we’ve found from asking around that folks derive a lot of pleasure from keeping the news close to their heart for a few days.  Do something just the two of you to honor this fleeting and interesting time of your lives, something unrelated to wedding planning and solely related to being engaged: go to a pottery class and make mugs that say “Fiancée”; go on a hike and engrave your names in the sand; or indulge in a session with an affordable & interesting photography brand like Flytographer to take photos of you as a newly engaged couple.

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2. Go ahead and brag about it!

Get your girlfriends together, pop some champs and gush over how he popped the question.  Go one step further and even submit your story to How He Asked, a blog totally dedicated to explaining just that  (especially if your fiancée pulled out all the stops–and something tells us, they did). Also, think of a sweet, clever, and EASY way to acknowledge the pending nuptials at your holiday party, especially if you’re hosting. That way you won’t be avoiding the subject entirely, but you also won’t be stressing about planning some kind of hybrid engagement/holiday bonanza. Try something DIY like these glitter champagne bottles that your guests can take home as a memento!

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3. Window Shop (via Wedding Spot)

The most daunting thing to plan…the venue: Wedding Spot  is a brilliant solution to the stress and intimidation of planning a wedding venue. Self-described as “Kayak for the wedding industry,” they are a tiny but mighty female-owned company and the first ever online site that allows you to search, price out, and compare wedding venues without ever leaving the comfort of your bed (we’re all about that).

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4. Think about Fashion

Vow to be Chic is a pretty magical idea. We admit it leaves us wondering why no one had thought of this brilliance before. You can rent the hippest designer bridesmaid dresses, as well as gorgeous wedding gowns, what they charmingly call “Little White Dresses,” online…wait for it…starting at $50. They take the stress out of adorning yourself for your wedding, so that you can look forward to the fun rather than dread the financial burden. In their words, “an affordable, convenient, and stylish alternative to the status quo…bringing an age-old tradition into the 21st century.”

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5. Get Back to Relaxing 

Now the best part: THE HONEYMOON. Wanderable takes the stress out of planning the trip of your lifetime, since we’ve done all the research for you. Name it: the destination, restaurants, beaches, bars… with Wanderable’s curated experience network, this is all done for you- you just have to click and add.  Another plus: Not having 1,000 browsers open and getting overwhelmed and throwing your computer across the room. The world is your oyster, and the sky’s the limit. Register for a honeymoon instead of a toaster…and collect experiences, not things. Whoever you marry should be the person you want to travel the world with…that’s our founding belief.

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Your loved ones want to give you a gift that really matters; and while china chips and silver tarnishes, that trip you take as a married couple is something that’ll stay bright in your memories, for life. Oh and did we mention Wanderable also has personalized postcards that act as thank you notes?  Go ahead and cross that off your list as well. But don’t just take it from us, here’s some advice from a REAL WanderableCouple on why they chose to go with experiences, over things.

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Oh and before we forget, you can enter right now to win a six night trip to Hawaii, and use THAT as your honeymoon.

You’re welcome.

#WanderOn

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