Finding my roots in Vietnam

My first stop

Vietnamese culture is full of exciting folklore, many of which my grandfather used to tell me before bedtime. As I grew up, I realised they were more than just stories, they were revelations about my heritage. So one day out of curiosity, I packed my bags and flew to Vietnam to discover the inspirations behind the legends.


If there's one thing I love most about my American Express Cathay Pacific Credit Card, it's the complimentary Marco Polo Club Green Tier membership. On the day I was to fly out some urgent business came up, but I still made my flight in the nick of time because I didn't have to wait in the long lines at the airport. That's because my membership gives me access to designated check-in lines.

My first stop was the Temple of Literature in Hanoi, the site of Vietnam's first university. While no longer a 'library' or a university, it is still where many students go to pray for luck in upcoming exams; so it was the perfect place to start my cultural education. There I spoke to a tour guide who recommended me a place to meet some of the city's skilled storytellers.


My first stop was the Temple of Literature in Hanoi, the site of Vietnam's first university. While no longer a 'library' or a university, it is still where many students go to pray for luck in upcoming exams; so it was the perfect place to start my cultural education. There I spoke to a tour guide who recommended me a place to meet some of the city's skilled storytellers.


I made my way to a tiny local cafe where groups of old men drank coffee, laughed and even cried as they reminisced about the old days. In a mix of broken French, English and Vietnamese, they told me the best folklore they knew and talked about how literature had formed Vietnam's national identity. I discovered just how incredible the history behind Vietnamese folk literature is – it praises beauty, humanism, and the love of goodness. And in the midst of all the stories and life lessons, I even tried a Vietnamese coffee with a beaten raw egg and sugar mixed in – it sounded odd but it was an experience in itself.


Even though I spent days talking to new friends around town getting to the roots of my culture, I thought I needed more time for more stories. So I decided to extend my trip and thanks to my Card I earned 1.5 Asia Miles for every HK$8 I spent on the extension on my hotel stay.


All in all, Vietnam was such an eye-opener for me. It truly is a place that's full of amazing stories and experiences that I won't soon forget.

Travel Tips:

Cathay Pacific Airways operates daily direct flights to Ho Chi Minh City. The flight time is approximately 2 hours.

To really get down to a country's culture, skip the museums and landmarks and head straight to the coffee bars! - Amy

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