Podswap: Secret Cocktail Experiences in Saigon with Natalya Wissink

This is a Podswap with the Vietnam Is Awesome podcast. I wasn’t in a studio as normal, but I was in a cocktail bar called “The Trieu Institute”. This is because the topic we were going to discuss is the cocktail experiences in Saigon. 

Our guest – Natalya Wissink – has been in Vietnam since 2013 and has founded Secret Experiences, a company that curates unforgettable adventures in Vietnam, focusing on uncovering Saigon’s hidden cocktail gems.

This blog will discover the unexpected gems and unique experiences that Vietnam has to offer beyond the traditional tourist attractions. From the Trieu Institute’s signature cocktails made with Lady Trieu gin to the art of storytelling behind each drink, we will show you the modern, fast-growing economy of Vietnam.

Lady Trieu Gin – Empowering Females and Spreading Vietnamese Culture

One of the first things that caught my attention while chatting with Natalia about secret cocktail experiences was her mention of Lady Trieu Gin. Now, living here in Saigon, I was familiar with the brand, but Natalia’s insights piqued my interest.

It turned out that Lady Trieu Gin was a major player in Vietnam’s booming craft alcohol scene, particularly popular in the last half-decade or so. They’ve even opened their own bar near the Cu Chi Tunnels to showcase their gins! But what truly impressed me was their brand philosophy.

Lady Trieu Gin was all about empowering women. Their head bartender was a woman, and many of their bartenders were female as well. This theme extended to their decor – all the posters and decorations celebrate Vietnamese women from history. I loved this commitment to supporting women and highlighting their achievements.

On top of its social impact efforts, Lady Trieu Gin also offered a delicious selection of gins. They had 5 or 6 varieties, with four being named after specific regions in Vietnam. Each regional gin cleverly used botanicals specific to that area. For instance:

  • Hoi An Spice Road gin incorporated spices from Hoi An, 
  • Mekong Delta Dry Gin featured herbs from the Mekong Delta.
  • Dalat flower Boom

This approach not only enriched the guests’ experience but also contributed to the growing narrative of modern Vietnam, where tradition seamlessly intertwined with contemporary influences.

My enthusiasm soared as the bartender unveiled our cocktails, each with a story steeped in Vietnamese history and culture. The “Heart of the Mountain” drew inspiration from a legendary female Vietnamese general. Another drink, the “Elephant Charge,” paid homage to a funny Vietnamese folktale. The flavors were delightful, but the stories behind them truly elevated the experience. 

They also catered to non-drinkers, offering amazing mocktails on their tours. Ultimately, Secret Experiences was about more than just food and drinks; it was about connecting people, learning about Vietnamese culture, and making new friends.

A New Perspective About Vietnam

We both agreed that while Vietnam was known for its rice paddies, buffaloes, and lanterns, there’s so much more to this modern city. People might not expect to find amazing places like this gin bar. Tourists tended to focus on the classic experiences – Cu Chi Tunnels, Mekong Delta, and War Remnants Museum. However, Saigon offered a vibrant nightlife scene that many visitors missed out on entirely.

“Vietnam is actually different. Yes, it has rice fields, the Cu Chi tunnels, and the Mekong Delta. But it’s a modern country, the fastest-growing economy in Southeast Asia.” – Natalya Wissink

Vietnam was a modern country with a rapidly growing economy, and Saigon had been a hub of innovation. Even in smaller towns like Hoi An, there were hidden gems to discover. The city was constantly evolving. Alongside the delicious traditional Vietnamese food, there was a whole new wave of modern Vietnamese cuisine that had taken root. This exciting trend was all about experimentation and fusion, and the Trieu Institute was a great example of this. They used local ingredients in new and creative ways, even pairing their gins with these modern dishes.

Secret Experiences – Exploring The Hidden Gems 

This is where Secret Experiences came in. Natalya explained that when they launched their secret cocktail tours in 2018, many people thought they were crazy. After all, who went to Hoi An for a cocktail experience? But that was exactly the point – to show visitors the lesser-known sides of Vietnam.

Secret Experiences isn’t just about cocktails, though. They offer a variety of experiences, including:

  • On-demand craft gin-tasting experiences in Saigon
  • Modern culinary experiences in Hoi An, focusing on young Vietnamese entrepreneurs and new takes on Vietnamese cuisine
  • Street photography experiences in Saigon
  • Art experiences in Saigon (in development)
  • Upcoming experiences in Hanoi

For those who are new to Vietnamese food, Natalya recommended starting with a street food tour. If you’re looking for a sit-down meal, Quan Bui is a great option. And for cocktails after dinner, head to PK Malt Room, which boasts an impressive whiskey selection and excellent cocktails.

The Evolution of Vietnam’s Hospitality Industry

The rise of local establishments frequented by Vietnamese youth reflected the changing dynamics of Vietnam’s hospitality industry. As Natalya had mentioned, popular spots like PK Malt Room boasted an impressive selection of whiskey, catering not just to expats but also to locals seeking unique experiences. The fusion of traditional Vietnamese hospitality with modern trends had underscored the industry’s adaptability and relevance in a global landscape.

Moreover, the democratization of the cocktail scene, where craft gin tastings and art experiences became available on demand, signaled a shift towards inclusivity and diversity in Vietnam’s tourism sector. By offering tailored experiences that catered to a wide audience, the industry had not only attracted tourists but also fostered a sense of community and exploration among locals.

Conclusion

Saigon offers more than just rice paddies and water buffalo.  As we discovered with Natalya from Secret Experiences, a vibrant modern scene thrives beneath the surface.

From craft gin tastings to street photography adventures, there’s something for everyone.  These experiences go beyond the typical tourist fare, fostering a sense of community and exploration among both visitors and young Vietnamese with a growing appetite for new discoveries.

So if you are going to visit Vietnam or Saigon, simply seek recommendations from A Vietnam Podcast, Vietnam Is Awesome or Secret Experience.

Follow us for the upcoming sharing about Vietnam!

Discover Secret Cocktail Experiences in Saigon with Natalya Wissink | Vietnam Is Awesome PodSwap

Niall: 1:06

What I love is… how surprising Saigon is to a lot of people. So When you come here, There’s so much to do that you wouldn’t expect, which I think is really exciting explain where we are, what we doing and why are we here? So

Natalya: 1:18

we are sitting right now. at the Trieu Institute. All their signature cocktails here are made with Lady Trieu gin with Five different, five or six different types of it.

Niall: 1:28

This one’s already going to my head. I don’t like to pod and drink, but I’ve made an exception today. Welcome to another episode of the Vietnam is awesome podcast with me. Your host new MCI. I came to Vietnam for a vacation back in 2015. Absolutely fell in love with the police. Went back to New Zealand, couldn’t stop eating Vietnamese food, drinking, Vietnamese coffee, and nearly even drank some Baba. But I decided against it because it was 10 times more expensive back in New Zealand. And my wife and I decided to come back to Southeast Asia for a year long trip. A third country in, we came back to Vietnam and we’ve been here ever since, which has no been eight youth coming on a decade. During that time I started my own podcast and I’m now the host of the Vietnam is awesome podcast where we want to share amazing experiences with you about Vietnam. So my guest today has been in Vietnam since 2013. She has a living years of experience in the tourism, food, and beverage and event planning industry. She started her own company in high-end code, secret experiences, which bring unique experiences to you. In Vietnam. I’m excited to introduce my guest today is Natalia with Nick.

Natalya: 2:57

hi Niall, Thanks a lot for introduction. yeah, I’m excited. to be here. I told you earlier, it’s my first podcast ever. I participated in different events and I’ve been a public speaker before. but never on a podcast. It’s

Niall: 3:11

Welcome then to the Vietnam is awesome podcast. I’ll let you explain, where are you with not doing a normal interview. We often interview in a studio in Saigon, and I thought today, because Natalia is an expert on secret experiences. We’re going to give you a real flavor of what those means. We’ll explain where we are, what we doing and why are we here? So

Natalya: 3:32

we are sitting right now. at the Trieu Institute. this place has been around for, less than two years. actually. They opened late 2022. I love, this place. I love. this brand. they’re all focused on. Lady Trieu gin, and all their signature cocktails here are, with, made with, uh, Lady Trieu gin with, Five different, five or six different types of it. we Also because as you mentioned, I’m running. a company Called secret experiences. One of the signature experiences. we’ve been Organizing for last six years. initially in Hoi An and now also in Saigon, is called Secret Cocktail Experience. we do work, with the Trieu Institute as one of our partners for Secret Cocktail Experience.

Niall: 4:20

So you may be able to tell I’m very excited about today’s episode. When we organized with Natalia. One of the first things I thought was, let’s not do this in the studio. Let’s get out and let’s go to a cocktail bar. So in this episode, you may have guessed, we are going to be talking mostly about cocktails and what the secret experience can do for you. if you’re a cocktail fan like me, you appreciate how excited I am right now. I’ve talked about cocktails quite a lot on my other podcast. Vietnam podcast. And I thought let’s get out here. There’s something close to my heart. Before we get started, we’re going to order a cocktail. No, tell me, first of all, you, mentioned lady to gin. I obviously live here. I know what that is, but. Can you explain what is Why is it special?

Natalya: 5:05

last. few years, I would say around five or Six years ago, Vietnam. started booming with craft alcohol. And gin is. The most popular. craft alcohol nowadays. There are a few really cool brands. and, the Trieu Institute, the Trieu, Lady Trieu Gin, sorry. has been doing really well, they built this bar to promote their brand. They have distilleries that you can now visit, it’s located near Coochie Tunnels. their, philosophy? Is. actually pretty cool, they are, supporting women, first of all, so their head bartender. is a woman. A lot of the bartenders here are women. All these designs, these decorations, these posters are, Actually. they’re all women from Vietnamese history. so that’s what I like, about them. quite fun. it’s really cool that they’re, like, all supported women. They are having guest shifts. normally. Also they’re invited by female bartenders. and the gin itself, I think. they Five, if not six, different types. four of them are named after different areas. in Vietnam. and, let’s say for example, they have, Hoi An spice Road. it’s made with Hoi An spices. They have Mekong, Delta dry gin. I think it’s with some, herbs from Mekong Delta. Dalat flower Boom.

Niall: 6:24

I’m pretty thirsty now after that description. So should we order a drink from the menu here? Yes. Do you have a particular favorite?

Natalya: 6:32

they have really cool signatures. They have some interesting drinks here. I just realized I was just thinking. what I would suggest to order. if you want to, be surprised, I think. they have one drink? I don’t remember the name but I’ll recognize it on the menu. It has ant salt, So it’s pretty

Niall: 6:51

And

Natalya: 6:51

if you’re not vegetarian.

Niall: 6:53

I’m not vegetarian. No.

Natalya: 6:55

I think they like to recommend, Elephant charge. It’s one of their signature drinks as well. Let’s see. Yeah, I think also naked. Battle. They’re quite proud of this one. Very interesting. So Hoi An Spice Road, Gin, Peanut, Pepper, and Peanut Biscuit. this is the one, the Elephant Charge. Here is, Sugar cane, kumquat, ah, this one is with

Niall: 7:22

All right, I’ll try this one. So the elephant child has me calmed. Out to dry gin, honey sugar cane come quote, shrub. And a rim of Ansul. All right, I’ll go with that one. What are you going for?

Natalya: 7:34

I think. they added on. their menu of signature drinks, because I. Tried their original. menu, like all of their signatures, but now they have even more, so it’s, I’m always trying to try. I want something that I haven’t tried before. I think. I’ll go with Heart of the Mountain. it has, Sapa Citrus tea gin, Rauram, golden berry, Oolong. I love. cocktails with tea, actually. I think, tea works very well on cocktails. we talked Earlier about, before, before. we started this. podcast, we talked about 86proof, and, one of my favorite drinks there. is, tea based, cocktail.

Niall: 8:15

the nudity, I think so. yeah, That’s one of my favorites as well. All right. we all do that. I love to talk about. With Vietnam is. Liquid we are right now. So we’re in the middle of district one. So it’s nice area district one Saigon biggest city in Vietnam. One of the biggest cities in Southeast Asia. We’re in a really nice gin bomb. What I love is. How surprising Saigon is to a lot of people. So you’ve been here about the same amount of time as me. I’ve talked about this a lot recently. People think of Vietnam has rice patties, buffaloes lanterns, and all of those things exist and you can go and see all of them. But I think what is probably people overseas don’t think about is. This is a really modern city with amazing places to visit that you wouldn’t. you’re not going to come all the way to Vietnam to come through the Chu Institute. let’s be honest, nobody’s booking a holiday to come to a gin place, but when you come here, There’s so much to do that you wouldn’t expect, which I think is really exciting because everyone comes to say gone, they do the coochie tunnels, do the Mekong Delta, the independence powers. And I feel when I may be wrong because I’m not involved in the tourism industry, but I feel then a lot of people. They don’t know what to do at night. And maybe that’s the secret experiences comes in. you can tell me more about that. what I think for one is exceeding Chu Institute was just one of many places to go to. But what I think is the coolest thing is what you’ve already talked about. And I want to talk more about that one. It’s empowering females talking about female history in Vietnam, but all of those gins that you mentioned, you had five gins. They’re all using local ingredients. And that’s one things I love about pastor street brewing as well. Pesto street brewing uses like pomelo IPA mango, IPA, Jasmine IPA. IPS passionfruit. We do. They use local ingredients to meet craft beer. They don’t just bring over ingredients from overseas. And that is what I love about this modernization of Vietnam and Saigon in particular with. They’re taking these traditional, ingredients and traditional paintings, and then bringing into the modern era.

Natalya: 10:17

That’s Trieu. A lot of people coming here, traveling here, or planning their trip to Vietnam have no idea what’s going on here. nowadays. answering your question about secret experiences. Why we started it, I think, People thought we were crazy in 2018. I used to live in. Hoi People thought, are you crazy. Running a secret cocktail experience in Hoi An? no one comes for this to Hoi An. it’s a lot about, Actually, yes. spreading the word, people learning that Vietnam is actually different. yes, it has rice fields. it has kucha tunnels, it has Mekong Delta, It has mountains you can actually, Yes. experience, that, unspoiled Vietnam as well, traditional. But it’s not. It’s a modern country. it’s growing. It’s the fastest growing economy in Southeast Asia. Saigon, For example, is a hub. But even in smaller towns. like Hoi An, you can find a lot of cool things to do. And, it’s evolving. let’s say there is a lot of traditional, amazing. Vietnamese food that I personally love, a lot of people love. But, lots of cool things are happening nowadays as well. There, there is a whole trend, not Just trend, it’s Just evolving and growing. There is a modern Vietnamese cuisine, which is in a way could be a fusion, it. could be experimental. Also speaking about this place, they have this type of cuisine at the Trieu Institute, they have local ingredients, but they’re made in a special way. They also pair with their genes. And things like, yes, it’s very important to highlight local traditional ingredients. in something that’s more global, making craft alcohol, making, craft gin, craft beer. another example, of, craft beer breweries is, Seven Bridges, which I actually love. It’s My favorite. Because, okay. they’re originally from Da Nang, so it became popular in Hoi An early on, now they expanded to Saigon and to Hanoi, so yeah, what they do is also pretty cool, also using lots of local cool ingredients, trying to experiment, and I think it’s very important. to, show modern Vietnam to people, and of course it’s a lot of, like we need to spread this word, people should know that it’s, different nowadays, And you can get this as well,

Niall: 12:46

Denang originally. No, they’ve moved down to Saigon and recently spoke to Peter vendor. Who’ve been from the wifi. And we talked a little bit about the food and beverage scene in Hawaiian. I was there last year. One of my favorite police. HES is, the Market Market Bar. Market Bob, which is a. You would not believe it’s right near the market. But it’s an amazing sports above the market. And I had the pho gin and tonic there. And I don’t even like far that much to be heavily on his, but I love the fudge gin and tonic and the man is. To make it tastes like fall without being like cheesy, And the other place is I keep forgetting the name it’s down the road from marketplace and sales craft beer. If we can old. Distress building. The hill station I’m so bad. I always forget the hill station in high-end as well. So it is amazing. I think. When people come to Vietnam, hopefully there’ll be surprised. Maybe they’ve done some resets. Hopefully you’ve listened to this podcast. That’s the whole point of this podcast is to share these experiences with you. So that before you come here, one of the most exciting things I’ve had is when people have actually emailed me, asking for advice. Somebody emailed me asking for advice about Hanoi. And I was like, I believe if I’ve been only twice, so I couldn’t really help them there. But if you do have any questions, please add, obviously get in touch. So tell me more about the secret experience cocktail experience. You can’t share the balls you go to and you can explain why, and that’s fine, but tell me more about that. The cocktail experience.

Natalya: 14:12

Secret Cocktail Experience has been our long, longest, running experience. which is Almost six years old now. and yes, as you mentioned, we do not Share publicly. the names. of the places we visit. I can also tell you a little. bit how it runs, what it is, because it’s one thing to just, people can imagine whatever. It sounds cool, but, what do you get actually? so it’s our. regular experience. that is available on a daily basis. that’s now, actually we are running Hoi An And Ho Chi Minh City and expanding to Saigon. very soon, to Hanoi very soon. we visit the four hidden locations during. Three hours. Normally it starts at 5 p. m., Ends at 8 p. m. unless, It’s customized. And, we, don’t just visit bars. we Also have some special partners, for example, in, in Hoi An we work with one tea house. That’s closed normally at this time when we come. But for our customers, we worked with them together. They made a special tea based drink for us. And we talked earlier, I’m a fan. of tea. Tea based cocktails. let’s say for example, in, in, Saigon, we have one of the partners, that, is a flower shop and they make amazing. they do have some drinks. on the menu, but people normally do not know about it, but for us, they made something special. we like to

Niall: 15:33

surprise all guests. So I’ll have to take a break there where we get our cocktails. I’m so excited. The mountain cocktail. the smoky cocktail. and this one the Heart of The Mountain. This one is the Elephant Charge. Now I will, burning star anise with the smoke. Yes, may I? Yes, please. Yeah. and about the heart of the mountain cocktail the reason I guess by the story of the female general in Vietnam. And this like the outlook.(indecipherable) Yeah. This slide the morning. The mountains. Yeah. When you visit the mountain, you can see the cloud. And you can smell like this. And as the bottom of this cocktail, we recreate the mountains. Yeah. Represent her hometown. The mountains. Yeah. About this cocktail, the Elephant Charge. About a story about this. It’s the like this. The funny story. That then the traditional story of Vietnamese. Yeah. The battle between the ants and the elephant. Yes. At this battle, the ant’s very smaller than the elephant and they attack to the ears of the elephant. Then the elephant lost in this battle. Yeah. And the other reason we rim the ant salt on the glass. Yeah. The ants attack to the ears of the elephant. Awesome. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Enjoy your drinks. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Thank you. Wow. Cheers. I was killed about the answer. Oh, my goodness. Let me try a bit of the answer. Really good. Oh, my God. If you are watching or listening to this and you have not yet decided to come to Vietnam. I hope this is completely convinced you already. Vietnam and Saigon. It’s a cool place. That is amazing.

Natalya: 17:43

Yeah, you can do podcasts here and drink cocktails.

Niall: 17:46

Amazing I’ve been here before and I forgot that they give you the story. There’s a reason for this account. I don’t know if you can see, but like the bottom of the glass looks like a moat and that’s obviously designed properly designed purposely for that. They tell you a story. It’s just so much more than.

Natalya: 18:04

Yeah. actually, story. That’s the last thing I was talking about. before we got our drinks, was why we select, certain places and why we don’t share where we go with our guests in advance. so we select places that tell a story. So this is An exception. And we’ll share with our listeners and viewers that this is one of our partners for secret.

Niall: 18:30

You held it here. See, you got a bit of insight information by paying attention to this podcast.

Natalya: 18:35

Yeah, and. we really love working with them. We’ve worked with them since they opened. we, do not always. follow the same exact route. we sometimes change the places, switch them around. We also keep an eye on what’s. new in town and what fits in. The, The main idea is for, is. To surprise our. guests. that’s why we have places like a flower shop, Because no one would expect to have a drink there. And the place always has a cool story. behind, we really to share with the guests about the background of, the Trieu Institute And, Vietnamese craft gin as well. and, yeah, We don’t want our guests to, Although we support our partners, but we don’t want, them. to discover places. too early. we want them to be surprised. and not know where we’re going exactly. Again, it could be a different route. We do not always come here. For example, we often do, but not always. even some guests can join a few times. We can make sure we bring them to slightly different places as well. So that’s the idea.

Niall: 19:41

I love it. And we were talking before, so you have told me some of the police he’s don’t worry. I won’t, I wouldn’t review. I’ve been to some of them and some of my favorite places to go to. But even some of you told me, like this city is so big. There’s so many places to go. So many things to do. And there are so many hidden spots, like hidden gems. That. I don’t go out and seek them. But if you knew that if you knew about them, like it’s amazing. And if you don’t know about them, then I guess you don’t know, but you mentioned one. I wouldn’t see what the shop is, but you have to go through a shop. To get them. So if you’re coming to Vietnam to go to the coochie tunnels and see a water Buffalo, then come, but there’s so much more to do at night.

Natalya: 20:20

That’s Trieu. Go to Kochi Tunnel with a drink. in your hand and see a water buffalo also with a bottle of craft gin. You can combine things. Yes, speaking. about the places. you mentioned, I do ATM. I like to, it’s not part. of our cocktail experience. And I do like to bring. visitors who come to Saigon to surprise. them. I’m normally bringing them there, to the area. and I tell them to find the entrance. I don’t say it’s. an ATM bar or anything. so I think. It’s pretty cool. Another place where I like to bring visitors to Surprise. them is the Ministry, Ministry of Men. Now, I think they changed their name to Ministry Concept Bar, if I’m being correct. I like how people get surprised with their signature cocktails. Everything is something different, so that’s pretty cool too.

Niall: 21:12

that’s, what’s so Kuhn in Vietnam, Saigon, because there’s these big bustling roads. And then you’ve no idea what’s off of them and it’s like that all over the place. But the other one, I can’t remember the name. My wife and I went in there about a year or two ago, and we were given a recommendation by Makey Brinker. I believe is involved with

Natalya: 21:29

Shout out to Mikey Branker. He always gives us good recommendations. He’s actually one of our curators for a special. craft gin tasting experience that we have, that we do at his apartment. So if anyone wants to get to Mikey Branker’s apartment, contact us.

Niall: 21:48

Saigon is a small world as well. If you listen to this, does. One degree of separation. I think between all ex-pats, if you don’t know the person, somebody who knows them, it’s really common. We’ll make you bring Kahoot. I think he’s a president of the Saigon whiskey association as well. Which again, you would never think this Teigen has a whiskey association, but it does. he recommended this bottle. You can tell me the name. You have to go down. This him. And a woman will yell at you. And then when you, when the woman yells at you, you’re in the right place. And then it’s one of these ones, it’s a vending machine. I think. And once she yells you over, you walk up and then somebody opens the vent. the vending machine is actually a door. And you go through,

Natalya: 22:29

I think I might know, but I’m not sure if they’re still around.

Niall: 22:32

Really? Yeah, it was a couple of years ago and it was, so again, one of these places, if you walked down this hem. Unless the leader yells at you, you wouldn’t know there’s a cocktail bar and then you go in and it was two levels. It was packed as well. And this other thing, the misconception about Vietnam people think I know because we are ex-pats. That these places are filled with old rich ex-pats or young rich ex-pats. Experts in Vietnam. I’m not that rich for one, anyone driving a Mercedes or a Lamborghini or a Ferrari, they’re all Vietnamese. And that’s amazing. there’s a lot of wealth in Saigon and you go out to a cocktail bar it’s full of Vietnamese people. You’re not going to go to any of these cocktail bars. And think that you’re just going to meet the stereotypical. Old rich white guy. Who’s there. It’s. It’s really cool because you will be the minority, which is what you should be.

Natalya: 23:18

So there are certainly are bars, where They’re only, or mostly expats, Certain type of expats, But that’s, what’s exciting about Vietnam, food and beverage scene. Nowadays. Because it’s actually not. for expats. it’s not that much. For tourists, it’s for locals. It’s for young locals because they like to go explore. that’s why all these Bars. are Booming. It’s because It’s all. Yes. young Vietnamese are coming There and they might. not, they don’t have to drink there all night, but they might come for one drink, for a glass of whiskey, just to enjoy it, really. yeah, it’s very exciting what’s

Niall: 23:59

And I think that’s where it’s amazing. Businesses like yourself, secret experience. Because it is good for tutors, because if you are a tourist you’re coming here, you may only be in Saigon for one night, two nights. It’s going to take you a long time to research all these pleas. He’s paying them. even though, like I said, finding them, you’ll be walking down an alley. We. My wife and I’ve definitely done that before. They were like on Google maps, like this. We’re still, this is here and then you can’t find anything and sure enough, it’s probably because it’s behind some hidden doors. So our business like you, that makes life easy for tourists. Hey, come and join us. We’re going to show you shear. Expertise and our knowledge and show you some cool things along the way. So you do more. we are going to talk. We are talking predominantly about cocktails. This one’s already going to my head. I don’t like to pod and drink, but I’ve made an exception today. tell us more. What else that secret experiences offered, because it is more than just cocktails.

Natalya: 24:53

That’s Trieu. yes. Again, Our signature experience, the secret cocktail experience. even to a point that during the six years there have been cases when someone tried to copy us because they’re not As crazy as us, didn’t work out As well. So we’re still doing it. because we love it. But, we also have, in Saigon, for example. we have on demand, craft gin tasting experience that I mentioned briefly. You cannot book it the same way. in one step as. a secret cocktail experience, but you can request. And we can organize it. special. Interesting. tasting for you we also have in Hoi An modern culinary experience, which you can see it’s modern, we focus on modern Vietnamese, on young entrepreneurs. on really cool, also Vietnamese people, what they do nowadays. It’s not just Banh Mi, Cao Lau, Mi Quang in Pho in Saigon. There’s so many more interesting things. So that’s one of our experience We actually just built it last year and right away It got a lot of interest. It’s to be like. Good, we built a good product. We also organize, We are trying to expand more to Culture focused experiences. We have, in Saigon a street photography experience. Which is also built up to our standards, even it’s not F& B, but it’s a lot about Culture like. all other experiences. And even secret. Cocktail Experience. Yeah, you would think it’s more. of a pub crawl. Not really. Yes, we go to some nice places, but it’s a lot about, connection. with people. our guests like to make friends with each other. They like to make friends with our hosts. They like, to connect with the bartenders, bar owners, and other venue owners as well. So that’s pretty cool. also, we are building currently art experience in Saigon, and we are planning to expand to Hanoi this year. We’re building some, special products there as well. So that’s pretty much what we do. and also the secret cocktail experience we don’t, We do not want to only target people who are into cocktails. We make amazing mocktails. and we regularly have Someone who’s not drinking alcohol. but they want to join. It’s more, social activity. It’s also learning about Vietnam, meeting people. So I would recommend that. Of course there are some food tours as well. there, if you’re adventurous, you can do a motorbike food tour. I think a lot of people do that. Jeep tours as well.

Niall: 27:21

Give us your number one recommendation to eat dinner. And then number one, recommendation, they go have a cocktail after.

Natalya: 27:28

That’s a good question. Of course there is a lot of amazing, street food. But again, because I have a tourist in mind, I’m thinking, would they be ready right away to go to eat on the street? That’s why maybe safer for them to do a street food tour so they can try a lot of things at, one should and see the city, I think, Kwan Bui is, is great. Kukach Kwan, of course. Yeah. Sorry. I have an itinerary for you for that evening. dinner in, at Kukach Kwan, and next door there is PK Malt Room, with Amazing. best Whiskey selection. not just in Vietnam probably like in Asia. And they have great cocktails.

Niall: 28:05

Awesome. There you go. We’ve planned out your trip for you. Come to Saigon. All you need to do is look up secret experiences, go to the Vietnam is awesome. Website. Vietnam is awesome. Dot com. You’ll find all of the secret experiences there. We’ll put the link in the show notes in the description, so you. can find that easy enough. Natalia. Thank you very much.

Natalya: 28:25

Thank. you, Niall. time passed so fast. Oh my god, we already finished.

Niall: 28:29

Thank you. We knew that secret experience. He has many different tools, many different things. So I definitely think we’re going to be having you back on in the future to discuss more specific topics. we’ll have to go find another cocktail bar to drink at. Thank you very much. The lady Chou and all the staff here for. Hosting us and making delicious cocktails. don’t forget. Like subscribe, follow, share all of that stuff. Best of all. If you can share this podcast with somebody else who might benefit from it, then that would be really, helpful for us. So thank you very much for listening. Thank you, Natalia. This is the Vietnamese awesome podcast. Cheers.

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