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5 Gold nuggets about Vietnam
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WAV Newsletter - 15 July 2021

1. What’s the latest Re Covid in Vietnam – 15/7/21


Trial of IATA travel Pass of Vietnam Airlines will be applied on 2 first flights from Japan:  VN301 Tokyo Narita (NRT) – Da Nang (DAD) on July 15th, 2021; and  VN301 Tokyo Narita (NRT) – Da Nang (DAD) on July 23rd, 2021.

Vietnam Airlines will reopen international commercial flights connecting Hanoi and HCMC with Australia along with several Asian and European destinations starting this week. A representative of the carrier said resumption of these international routes are meant to meet growing travel demand among Vietnamese citizens wishing to study and work abroad as well as stranded foreigners longing to return home. On return trips,

with permission to enter the country. Vietnam is NOT yet open to foreign tourists.

For the latest and most applicable news re COVID Vietnam – See this concise update here -


2. What’s there to “crow about” in Vietnam?


Vietnam is now working on a vaccine passport scheme that will allow fully vaccinated entrants to enter certain regions like Quang Ninh and Phu Quoc with the centralized quarantine period shortened to seven days. Watch this space!

In saying this, there are certain caveats. The ultimate one being that the Island of Phu Quoc would most likely ONLY open when the island’s population is fully vaccinated and only certain resorts would be offered to stay.

Danang – Offers a great walking strip along the beach. Check out this Video here  It’s one I love to do when I stay there. Da Nang City has just lifted restriction on swimming at public beaches and some sport activities, starting at 4:30 a.m on July 10. This means a lot to the locals during the heat of summer as it is their only respite from the heat of the day, and recreation with families.

3. What’s happening in Vietnam this month -


Beyond COVID and our inability to travel to Vietnam as a tourist at the moment. I love hearing about people who find ways to reach out into the world and inspire us with things that we love about the country, like their FOOD !!!!

Helen Le, the host of Helen’s Recipes YouTube channel on Vietnamese cuisine, has launched a livestream programme entitled “Mam Mam Da Nang” 

Her aim is to provide viewers with cooking instructions for typical Da Nang dishes, according to Huynh Thi Huong Lan, deputy director of the Da Nang Tourism Promotion Centre.

The programme, which aims to introduce to tourists destinations in Da Nang and its cuisine, will be broadcast live at 4-5pm on Saturday (July 10, 17 and 26) on Facebook and TikTok channel Danang Fantasticity and on Fanpage of Helen’s Recipes.

Dishes introduced in the programme are easy to cook and offer healthy meals.

Each livestream event will provide viewers with interesting information about the typical dishes of the city such as banh xeo (Vietnamese pancake filled with shrimp, pork and bean sprouts), fish noodle, mi Quang (Quang Nam-style flat rice noodle with pork, shrimp, and fresh herbs), and other local seafood dishes. Thus, she said, it is easy for them to select food when they arrive in Da Nang.

You can find more about what to order in Danang from Pedr Finn in my latest Episode and you can find all about his Food Safari tours in the Episode notes


4. What’s my focus this month?


My focus to be honest this month has been about staying positive and creating episodes to keep you,my listener audience inspired to visit Vietnam when the doors are open.


Big wins –


1 -  I hit 7,000 Listener downloads this month. A big thank you to you all for supporting the show and what I am doing. It means a lot.

2 – Reaching out to guests and asking them to be on my show, can be challenging at times. However, this month I have had lucky strikes on every occasion. So without giving the game away you can be sure, I have some amazing people lined up to come on the show and share their experiences of Vietnam from a local and visitor perspective.


Some will make you laugh and some will just bring back that great feeling travel gives you!!


5. What was my gold nugget from the latest Episode –


What About Vietnam – S3-4 – What About Vietnam - S3-4 - Find the "must try" Vietnamese local dishes in Danang


      Danang Fish market ;- “Would you like to try something?”……”It can be rough if you are wearing thongs…” Pedr Finn


An excerpt from the latest Episode, sure to bring a smile to your face –


Coffee starts early in Vietnam.
"Vietnamese coffee lifestyle is probably unlike anything else I've ever experienced.
"You can go to Rome and have coffee, but the Vietnamese coffee is-- the scene itself-- it's amazing how people just come together for a short coffee and last the entire day" with PedrFinn from Vietnam Food Safaris

A taste teaser here -



Until next time.

Be safe. Be happy and stay strong.


Kerry Newsome

WAV Newsletter - 30 June 2021

1. What’s the latest Re Covid in Vietnam – 30/6/21


Vietnam’s tourism industry is hopeful about the island of Phu Quoc opening to vaccinated tourists. However due to the increasing numbers in Saigon it is unlikely to go ahead real soon. Saigon is mostly in lockdown and it’s a bit dreary there at the moment.


The failing tourism industry is keen to see it open to those vaccinated (using the Vaccine Passport as a trial) and only to those, whose countries have handled the COVID virus well. The jury is out on what countries that pertains to. Generally speaking I think it will mostly appeal to the domestic traveller.

But wait, there’s more….

No date has been set for the opening; It is only going to happen once all of its’ islands population of ( approx 150,000 people) are fully vaccinated and it may only be offered to tourists willing to stay at certain resorts. So sit tight.


Pro tip: The catch with news at the present time is its propensity to sensationalise certain openings like Phu Quoc. It has been likened to the Bali of Indonesia.

Please always check who is reporting the news. Alas, some broad sheets may not be totally factual and using these kinds of pieces to attract readers with absolutely no foundation to back them up.


See here for the one you can mostly trust -


For the latest and most applicable news re COVID Vietnam -


2. What’s there to “crow about” in Vietnam?


The numbers:-


16,136 cases of COVID-19 have been identifies as of 29th June. However, 6,519 of the affected patients have recovered and been discharged from hospitals.

It is important to highlight Vietnam has recorded 78 deaths in total since the pandemic began. In a population of 96 million that is still something to “crow about” in my opinion.

Progress report Vaccine Passport: Vietnam is expected to trial the vaccine passports from July where vaccinated foreign travelers will be allowed to quarantine for 7 days compared to the present 21-day requirement.


The trial will be done in Quang Ninh province, however, foreign travelers will have to self isolate for another 7 days after the initial 7-day centralized quarantine. This new step has some caveats, that is to say it is NOT open to TOURISTS. Only Business and government officials


3. What’s happening in Vietnam this month?




The month of July is traditionally very hot, and nothing is happening to change that at the moment. I spoke to someone in the far north and they told me the average there was 35 degrees at the moment.

July is a month where most locals and travellers would be heading to beach resorts.

If a flop a drop holiday is what you would like to explore next July, you might like to check this list I found which I think covers the best beaches to seek out:-

Stay tuned for some exciting episodes coming up including water sports and diving in Vietnam


4. What’s my focus this month?


My focus this month is on building Series 1 and 2 into a You Tube playlist on my You Tube channel “What About Vietnam” so it may reach those who like to listen through that channel. At the moment my channel mainly features trailers of episodes, so it will be a big step up to full episodes. Watch this space!


My latest Episode this month, released just before EOFY – is with Pedr Finn talking about “Must try” food in Danang city. It’s an hilarious show where we discuss the best menu selections for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You will also find out what makes Vietnamese coffee so unique.


Listen here:




5. What was my gold nugget from the latest Episode –What About Vietnam – S3-3 – Saigon / HCMC's best districts to visit in 2021 and beyond


There is more to District 1, Saigon than you may think!


“Tan Dinh Market. If you find Ben Thanh a bit commercialized, then this one is a very local one. They've got things like a martial arts center. You can watch them practice their martial arts at a temple in the evening. You can just wander around cafes and street food in the marketplace. It's a wonderful-- it's an authentic slice of Saigon, but it's still in District 1.” Samantha Coomber

          Saigon is safe to wander around solo if you use common sense!


“I found it very safe to wander around on my own as a single female. Wandering around the city, as long as you use your common sense and not dress ostentatiously, and as you said, stick your hand out and taking lots of photos and everything, but I find it very safe and very welcoming. It's a great place to just-- people are very friendly. If you wander down an alleyway-- I think when the borders are open again, I think people are going to be more welcoming because they'll be so happy to see tourists back again.” Samantha Coomber


“I too have found Vietnam generally very safe to travel solo. However, in saying that I don’t push my luck by drawing attention to myself and being careless with my handbag.

“Kerry Newsome


Until next time.

Be safe. Be happy and stay strong.


Kerry Newsome

WAV Newsletter - 14 June 2021

1. What’s the latest Re Covid in Vietnam – 14/6/21


The state of the Vaccine Passport in Vietnam


While the Vaccine Passport is being raised on the main agenda at party official meetings, it is still getting a lot of resistance due to the country’s own efforts in rolling out a vaccine to their general population.


The Vaccine Passport is talked about in this recent article and typifies the governments concerns;-


“It does not address the use of certificates for signifying a person’s immune status, which reflects whether a person has developed antibodies in response to SARS-CoV-2 infection; whereas vaccination status reflects only whether someone has received a Covid-19 vaccine,” WHO stated.

At the meeting on June 11, the *Politburo required local authorities to make a public Covid-19 vaccination roadmap amid the increasing infections.

The Politburo made the request after the fresh outbreak in Vietnam enters the sixth week with the infections approach 7,000 or two-third of the country’s total caseload since early 2020.


So far, Covid-19 has swept 39 out of 63 cities and provinces nationwide.

To facilitate the inoculation, individuals and organizations are encouraged to join the vaccine import and development to serve the only mission of vaccinating as many people as possible.

The vaccination priority list remains those who are frontline workers, high-risk groups, workers at industrial parks, and children.

As of June 11, more than 1.5 million doses have been administered since the launching of the inoculation on March 8”.

Note: The *Politburo is the highest body of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) between Central Committee meetings, which are held at least twice a year. According to Party rules, the Politburo directs the general orientation of the government and enacts policies which have been approved by either the National Party Congress or the Central Committee.



Light at the end of the tunnel with Vietjet trialling the IATA Travel pass


Nick Careen, IATA’s Senior Vice President Airport, Passenger, Cargo, Security, said, “We look forward to working with Vietjet to trial IATA Travel Pass and demonstrate that digital health apps can securely, conveniently, and efficiently help manage passenger travel health credentials. This is a positive step forward towards restarting international aviation.”

The IATA Travel Pass team has been working closely with the airline – an IATA member – as well as significant Vietnamese authorities and governments to ensure the application product can readily support and facilitate safe international travel.



2. What’s there to “crow about” in Vietnam?


Vietnam makes the “Amber List”


In the current environment of travel, it is the small wins that we look for. Vietnam making the UK Amber list is one of those wins, and testament to the country’s ability to manage the Covid Pandemic over the past 15 months.

However, it is important to note that while the country is named on the list, it is NOT open to tourists at this stage. Please have a look at this article as it outlines very clearly the status of entry to Vietnam as of this date.

Stay positive people. The day will come.


3. What’s happening in Vietnam this month?


June 2021


One thing you will find out about Vietnam when you travel there is the priority and reverence the Vietnamese people show to family.


The 28th of June is “Family Day”. Vietnam Family Day 2021 offers Vietnamese across the country a chance to reunite, throw a feast, and embrace the values of family bonds. While it is NOT a public holiday you will find many events held across the country to celebrate family traditions.


Various activities will be organized from June 17 to 28 to celebrate the Vietnam Family Day, which is organized annually on June 28.

Hanoi will feature a special exhibition.

Accordingly, from June 17 to 28, a photo exhibition entitled “Preserving and Promoting Hanoi's Family Traditions – Past and Present” will be held, introducing the old customs of Hanoians such as the ways they have meals, wear clothes, adorn houses as well as the good behaviors among family members and in the society.



4. What’s my focus this month?


It may be hot in Vietnam, and I mean sweltering. However, its been very cold in Australia and in talking to some future guests I hear Europe is gearing up for Summer and escaping into the “great outdoors” after months of restrictions.


While travel in Vietnam is always my focus, this month has proved to be a challenging one due to the spike in cases in Vietnam. While the spike has not been alarming in comparison to some countries, it has set the country into a lockdown similar to the style initiated back in March 2020. 


On a positive note, Vietnam is staying very focused on manufacturing and keeping the economy strong.

I am seeing a huge investment in sustainability and infrastructure which will benefit us all when we visit.


So, this month is all about creating inspiring podcasts for you my listeners to enjoy, and I have some great ones coming up:-


Watch out for new episodes covering:


Danang – street food for foodies!

Saigon – The best Districts to visit



5. What was my gold nugget from Episode – S3-2 – Mu Cang Chai –

A landscape of beauty and ingenuity with Jesse Pearlman


Differentiating pictures of Sa Pa and Mu Cang Chai


“One of the confusing things at first was differentiating Mù Cang Chải from Sa Pa. You've probably had multiple people on your podcast talk about Sa Pa, which is the most well-known rice terrace area in the world, I would say, other than perhaps an area in Bali. What happens often is Mù Cang Chải pictures will actually be taken and used for websites in Sa Pa. You'll see this all over Hanoi. There's a beautiful rice paddy made into the shape of a circle, which is famous in Mù Cang Chải. It's known as Mam Xoi Raspberry Hill. But Sapa travel agencies are constantly stealing this photo and labelling it as a suburb.” Jesse Pearlman


How infrastructure in coming years will make more places accessible


“I have a lot of friends who are like-minded, who I just can't convince to go because it's too far for them from Hanoi, especially if you want to go on a weekend. I know people who go. They have 12 hours there, and then they go back. The driving both ways is sixteen hours, so they just don't have the infrastructure in place.

I did read an interesting article about how the government is planning to increase tourism there by 2025, including an extension off of the superhighway that runs from Hanoi to the Northern border of Lao Cai. And according to the article that I read, it will be able to connect you to Mù Cang Chải in just four hours from Hanoi. Now, that's certainly a more manageable trip”, Jess Pearlman


Full Transcript of this episode is here:



Until next time.

Be safe. Be happy and stay strong.


Kerry Newsome

WAV Newsletter - 06 June 2021

1. What’s the latest Re Covid in Vietnam – 1/6/21


Vietnam is feeling the pinch as Covid numbers increase


Vietnam has had relative success in controlling the virus but cases have been rising over the past weeks. Overall, the country has registered just over 7,000 infections and 47 deaths, but the latest spike accounts for more than half of the total number of cases.


Over the weekend, officials warned of a new "very dangerous" hybrid variant discovered in the country. The government says the new variant combines features of the variants first identified in India and the UK, and is easily transmissible by air.


The latest outbreak in Ho Chi Minh City is centred around a Christian mission and a chef from the Sheraton Hotel, which had seen at least 125 positive cases, and accounts for most of the city's infections.

Those living in the vicinity of the cluster have already been tested and are in lockdown.

Officials now plan to test the rest of Ho Chi Minh City's 13 million people which is estimated it will take 4 months at a ratio of 100,000 per day.

It is important to note the following new key restrictions:

  1. New social distancing measures across the city for 15 days, starting from 31 May.

  2. Shops and restaurants are closed, and religious activities have been suspended. "All events that gather more than 10 people in public are banned city-wide, but the city is considering to lower the number of people to just five," the government said.


2. What’s there to “crow about” in Vietnam?





Vietnam Airlines has signed an agreement with the International Air Transport Association to trial a vaccine passport next month.

It will implement the IATA Travel Pass initiative that allows people to store verified Covid19-test and vaccination certificates on a smartphone app.


They must be issued by authorized facilities registered with IATA.



3. What’s happening in Vietnam this month?


June 2021


June is HOT with a good deal of rainfall and high temperatures in most parts of the country. Central and southern Vietnam enter into the steamy wet season, while in the far northern regions of Vietnam remain relatively temperate and perfect for active adventures. This year will see some real changes for travellers as their plans to enjoy the beaches and islands will be stimmed due to travel restrictions initiated this last week. You might like to listen to the Podcast Episode –


When is the best time of year to visit Vietnam –

This is where I talk openly about my experiences with travel during certain months of the year and when is the best time to go. Even Covid can’t change weather patterns.



4. What’s my focus this month?


The launch of Season 3 is my focus this month.


1 year on and 25 episodes released in Season 2, the interest in the program is growing at a rate of between 130 - 200  listeners per week on average. It is so inspiring.


I am also talking to some travel agents in Australia and New Zealand as they are keen to start planning and designing tours and experiences for 2022. In particular for Golf.


Oh, and I had a great opportunity to be on the The South East Asia Travel show Where I sat on the opposite side of the desk, as the guest talking about Vietnam, 16 months on from the borders closing; my experiences during that in Vietnam in 2020, and what I see for the future.



5 What was my gold nugget from Episode – S2-24 –

Bac Ha Markets – Rich in colour and tradition with Mike Pollock from


Umbrellas, worth their weight in Gold, September best time of year…

“September, you have all the rice. The rice is maturing and you have the beautiful rice fields, so I love September, but there's a good chance you're going to get a little wet now and again. Did you notice all the ladies in all carry an umbrella? Everybody carries an umbrella. I do, too, because when it's not raining, the sun comes up, the sun cooks the back of your neck, you break out your umbrella.” Mike Pollock


Great advice. I highly recommend bringing one of those “two way” umbrellas to Vietnam. One that keeps the rain off and cuts down the suns’ rays at the same time. Very handy as Mike mentions in this episode. Kerry Newsome


          Locals like hot water in Homestays as well!....


“Anybody in North Vietnam who's serious about doing any sort of homestay has built a structure. Separate from the main house that contains a shower with hot water and a western toilet and a proper sink, pretty much every home stay in that area is going to have those basic amenities because the locals like hot water too.” Mike Pollock


Good to know when you are looking at a homestay accommodation. Kerry Newsome


Until next time.

Be safe. Be happy and stay strong.


Kerry Newsome