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Six Best Ways to Meet Locals

From enjoying a Bavarian afternoon tea, to going on a River Safari to discover the Canadian locals, bears, discover some of the best ways to immerse yourself in local culture whichever country you may be visiting.

View of locals on Sapa hillside

1. Vietnam

Nestled amongst the lush green seas of pristine rice terraces and towering peaks, is the remote town of Sapa, Vietnam. This tiny town offers an authentic glimpse into rural life in Southeast Asia visitors will never forget. Meet brightly dressed locals as they walk along the winding paths amongst the rice fields or wander through the local markets and observe Vietnamese craftsmen at work. Vietnam is famous for its fresh delicate cuisine, and in Sapa, there is an abundance of locally grown produce to sample. Immerse yourself in Vietnamese culture by embarking on the 23-day Natural Wonders of Vietnam & Cambodia tour.
Black bear in the wild forest in Canada.

2. Canada

Meeting and learning from the locals is one thing — encountering local wildlife is another thing altogether. In British Columbia, a Blue River Safari gives you the unique opportunity to look out for Canada's famed residents — grizzly and black bears - in their natural habitat. You could spy eagles, ospreys and moose too, all on the 19 Day Passage Through the Rockies and Alaska Cruise.

Image of Ginseng Root, South Korea

3. South Korea

Sometimes referred to as ‘human root’ due to its resemblance to long-limbed people, ginseng is a popular ingredient in a range of Korean cuisine, from side dishes to soups, and is praised for its health benefits (including anti-inflammatory properties). At Geumsan Ginseng Market, sample the earthy-flavoured delicacy in fried form and in a range of infused goods. Embark on Travelmarvel's 8 Day Taste of South Korea tour where locals will also talk you through how the different products are prepared and made.

View of empty building interior, Japan

4. Japan

Few events have had such an impact on world history as the bombing of Hiroshima at the end of World War II. Gain an extraordinary insight into what that cataclysmic event was like for those in the city at the time with a talk from a survivor or successor. A visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and the A-Bomb Dome offers further illumination on the events of August 6, 1945, and a chance to remember those lost when travelling on the 12 Day Discovering Japan tour.

Waterway surrounded by vegetation and houses, Miltenberg

5. Germany

See how locals live in the Bavarian town of Miltenberg, where one family from a diverse group of about 30 hosts will invite you into their home for afternoon tea and a chat. You’ll enjoy homemade cake and a tour of their house, apartment or garden – an intimate glimpse into their life. Lasting bonds are often formed during the visit, so you may find yourself leaving with a German pen pal to write to from home. Join the 11 day Reflections of the Rhine & Main with Paris to share in this warm invitation.

Panorama of Shimla cityscape with Himalayas in background, India

6. India

Situated in the forested foothills of the Himalayas, Shimla was a favourite summer destination in the time of the British Raj. Meet local author and historian Raaja Bhasin, who is uniquely placed to describe the significance of the city, having written a number of books on Shimla, including several walking guides (traffic is banned from the central part of town). Discover Shimla on the 13 Day India’s Golden Triangle, Tigers & Shimla tour.