Emerald Harmony

5 Fun Fact about Southeast Asia

Vietnamese Fan Dancers

1. Vietnam fan dance

The Vietnamese fan dance is done with multiple fans. This Dance is normally carried out with 4 to 5 dancers. The aim of the dance is to entertain while also mimic flowers riding on the breeze and was done in ancient times. Back then, fan dances were performed at festivals and the imperial courts. Fan dances have been spreading to Korea, China and even in some cases Mongolia.

2. How to make beef pho

Pho is just one of many, many, MANY noodle soups in Vietnam. It’s become synonymous with the staple soup served with various meat parts (usually beef or chicken), bean sprouts, lime wedges, the essential greens (basil, mint, cilantro, and onions), and whatever chili sauce and fish sauce you need to doctor up the broth to your liking. It’s tasty and especially popular for breakfast in Hanoi.

Emerald Harmony, Horizontal Lounge


  • Beef Knuckles (beef shank/ beef “soup bones”)
  • Flank steak
  • Fish Sauce
  • Brown sugar (optional)
  • Rice Noodles
  • Onions
  • Ginger
  • Herbs of choice: Scallions, cilantro, & chili
  • Bean sprouts
  • Limes
  • Sriracha and/or Hoisin 
  • A wide deep bowl for your Pho!


  • Start on your broth, boiling the beef bones 
  • Char your onions and ginger to then add to boiling broth. 
  • Once at a boil, simmer for 5-6 hours
  • Strain ingredients from broth and set broth aside. (Pho is all about the broth!)
  • Feel free to add sugar and fish sauce to broth
  • Cook the rice noodles and then discard drained water
  • Slice your flank steak very thinly
  • Prepare a small tray of your herbs, limes, and sprouts
  • Prepare your pho bowl. Place in noodles on the bottom, and divide your flank steak, herbs and limes on top.
  • Boil your bone broth again to then pour over your prepared bowl.
  • Enjoy!
Emerald Harmony, Horizontal Lounge

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

Emerald HArmony Ship

3. Life in the Mekong

The Mekong River basin has a level of fish biodiversity that is rivaled only by the Amazon River basin. endangered freshwater Irrawaddy dolphins, the world’s largest freshwater fish – the Giant freshwater stingray - giant turtles, Mekong giant catfish, waterbirds, and Siamese crocodiles.

Common life found:

  • Giant freshwater stingray (Himantura chaophraya
  • Mekong giant catfish (Pangasianodon gigas
  • Giant pangasius (Catlocarpio siamensis

Endangered species found:

  • Irrawaddy dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris)
  • the Giant Ibis (Pseudibis gigantea)
  • Siamese crocodile (Crocodylus siamensis)
Giant freshwater stingray (Himantura chaophraya)
Vietnamese person at the Mekong River
Mekong giant catfish (Pangasianodon gigas)

4. Performing Sampeah

Greeting in Cambodia is “performing sampeah.” Sampeah is an important part of the Khmer culture. It´s not only a form of greeting but also used to say thank you or apologize. Presenting Sampeah is a sign of respect and politeness and it is considered impolite not to return Sampeah. The level of where you place your hands reflect who you are greeting. Hands rise in levels from your chest, face, and forehead. One example of sampea with friends: place both palms together at the chest level and bow.

Performing Sampeah
Angkor Wat

5. Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat remains the largest religious complex in the world? In fact, it measures four times larger than Vatican City in Rome. A UNESCO World Heritage site, it represents one of the most popular tourist attractions in Cambodia. But many people forget that it’s also a highly sacred site integral to Buddhist worship to this day. And its roots as a Hindu temple of the Khmer Empire remain undeniable. Built between 1113 and 1150 AD, the bricks used by the Khmer Empire to construct Angkor Wat were bonded together using a vegetable compound instead of mortar. As a result, this has endowed the buildings with nearly invisible bonding. And although Angkor Wat appears solemn and gray-hued today, scientists have discovered that its temple surfaces once shone with vibrant, painted images.

For more information, call 855 222 3214 or contact your Travel Advisor
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