Having grown up in Hong Kong as an expat from the age of five, our family explored many countries in Asia. From the thrill of riding the rapids in Nepal, to meeting the decoratively adorned tribal people of Papua New Guinea, to traveling to Bali and witnessing a traditional wedding, these experiences opened my eyes to visiting off-the-beaten-path destinations. This immersion instilled in me a curiosity and interest in foreign cultures from a young age. I was fortunate enough to move back to Hong Kong as an expat wife and mother of two young children and that’s when I really dove in to exploring Southeast Asia; I was hooked.
I became enamored with the variety of culture throughout Asia. I love to immerse myself in each country I visit, engaging with local people for cultural exchanges, trying traditional dishes and discovering colorful markets to get a real sense of the local way of life.
I have a passion for exploring and want to share my enthusiasm for visiting other countries with others and that's why I decided to become a country specialist with Audley.
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Q&A with Rindy
Which book, film or artwork captures Vietnam the most?
The French photographer, Rehahn, does a fabulous job of capturing the beautiful faces of locals (young and old), landscapes and daily life illustrating the cultural richness of Vietnam. From the ethnic minority groups, to the rice terraces in the highlands, the delicate women dressed in traditional Ao Dai’s and conical hats, to the iconic bikes in the streets of Hoi An, the images Rehahn has captured display the true essence of Vietnam.
What's your most vivid travel moment?
While traveling in Japan, we decided to go a little out of the way to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Shirakawa-go, famous for its gassho-zukuri style farmhouses. My husband and I stayed overnight in one of these uniquely Japanese homes, sleeping on the floor on tatami mats and eating ornately displayed food. We then donned our yukata (Japanese bathrobes) and walked through the car-free village to the onsen (hot bath house). Returning to the farmhouse under the moonlit sky, surrounded by the thick thatched roofed farmhouses, made me feel alive and so far from civilization.
Your best piece of travel advice?
When you visit Hanoi, my advice would be to stay in a hotel in the Old Quarter within walking distance to Hoan Kiem Lake. Wake early and make your way over to the lake to observe this quaint city come to life. You’ll see the Vietnamese people getting their exercise by walking around the lake and practicing morning tai chi. You’ll begin to hear the increasing rumble of mopeds and see the street hawkers set-up their wares as the locals get on with their day. There is an incessant bustle in this vibrant city, which is Hanoi.