This Week in Travel: Obama and Anthony Bourdain Take Vietnam

Laters, May!

#1 Want to Rent Julia Child’s French Home?

“I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate.” ― Julia Child

Who: Good cooks (or bad ones too — practice makes perfect).

Where: Julia Child’s charming little cottage in the Provence countryside.

What: Now you can book a stay at the very cottage Julia and her husband Paul lived in during the 70s, where they entertained famous guests like James Beard and M.F.K Fisher. Christened “La Pitchoune”, which means ‘little one’, or “La Peetch” for short, owners Yvonne and Makenna Johnston are now turning it into a culinary retreat, unexpectedly included with yoga classes. The retreats don’t begin just yet, so if cooking and yoga aren’t your thing, you can buy a few nights here for a peaceful getaway.

#2 Napoleon’s ‘Prison’ Now a Beach Destination

Home to the world’s largest population of whale sharks

Who: Napoleon, the French military and political leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution.

Where: Saint Helena.

What: When Napolean was finally defeated in 1815, he was sent to a remote island off the coast of Italy called Elba. He returned and led another rebellion, so he was sent off for the second time to an even more isolated paradise ‘prison’, the barren volcanic island of Saint Helena, 19,000 km west of the Namibian coast. The island has a population of some 5,000 people but is now open to tourists. Interesting attractions include a tortoise aged about 187 years old — hatched 11 years after Napolean’s death in 1821 — and a stone that sounds like a bell when struck.

#3 Dinner With Obama and Anthony Bourdain

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The president’s diplomatic visit to Hanoi was also an end-of-term treat-yourself trip

Who: President Barack Obama and Anthony Bourdain.

Where: Hanoi, Vietnam.

What: No stranger to pop culture or cameo appearances on shows like Saturday Night Live, Obama’s last hurrah was over grilled pork, noodles and beer with Anthony Bourdain for his show ‘Parts Unknown’. The two turned up at Bun Cha Huong Lien Monday evening as other customers tried their best to appear nonchalant while being filmed. Bourdain later tweeted: “Total cost of bun Cha dinner with the President: $6.00. I picked up the check.”

#4 Tarantulas On a Plane (Nope, Nope, Nope)

Arachnophobia: the fear of spiders

Who: Two tarantulas and a plane full of passengers on alert.

Where: On an Air Transat flight from Punta Cana to Canada.

What: What’s worse that backseat-kicker or the kid that won’t stop starring at you? Discovering a tarantula tickling against your leg, probably. That’s what happened when two creepy crawlies were found roaming about, to the dismay of a very frightened passenger. The crew managed to safely capture one tarantula, but the other managed to sneak around until the plane landed in Montreal. No word on why the spiders were catching a flight to Canada.

#5 Save Up For Samui

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Beautiful bougainvilla blooms cascading from upper level planters

Who: Families or a group of friends seeking to getaway to a gorgeous holiday abode.

Where: Summitra Panorama Villa in Choeng Mon.

What: The stately three-storey Summitra Panorama Villa lives up to its name by offering unobstructed panoramic views of the sea and hills from its locale. Sporting modern tropical architecture that blends with traditional Thai décor, this five-bedroom villa boasts ample living and common areas that comfortably fit up to 10 guests at any time.  Each of the five spacious bedrooms come with en-suite bathrooms, floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door, quality furnishings and stunning views.

Live it up this weekend. 

Photo credits: Main, 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Diandra Soliano

Our resident Wander Woman with a passion for languages, big cities and bronzer. When she's not listening to The Smiths a little too loudly at the office (after hours!), she can be found singing along to the soundtrack of Les Miserables with her two cats for an audience.

  1. Hi…. Keep up the great work, the pictures are FANTASTIC…. As the saying goes ‘ pictures tells 1000’s words’… Planning to travel soon, always there case, have annual leave BUT lacking funds… Salut Hefnie..

    1. Where are you planning to travel to? We’re excited for you! And if you need a few tips on how to score cheaper flight tickets, we have a guide for that. Hope it helps!

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