Teams fly to Hanoi, Vietnam and upon arrival, they must head to Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre where they will sign-up for one of three shows the next morning starting at 6:30am.
Enjoying the first show are Sid & Ash, Rowah & Amani and Femi & Nick. They must carefully watch the water puppet show to figure out their next destination. What they don’t know is on the four water dragons are four Vietnamese words: Ben Xe Giap Bat or the Giap Bat Bus Station. Teams can find a local outside if they need help.
No one in the first group sees the words. But in the second group are Vietnamese-Aussies Viv & Joey who are able to spot the words. They immediately tell Tom & Tyler of the third group about the words before leaving.
During the third show, Hayley & Mikayla and Chris & Adrienne are able to spot the words as well.
Hayley & Mikayla have a young man translate the words for them and he tells the taxi driver where to go. Jasmin & Jerome and Tim & Rod see them and also ask the young man for the information.
At the bus station, teams open the next clue telling them to take a bus to Ninh Binh where they will find the Detour: Escargot or Make Boat Go. In Escargot, teams must harvest 100 snails. In Make Boat Go, teams must row Vietnamese-style across the river using their feet to retrieve their next clue.
On the first bus to Ninh Binh are Tom & Tyler (who arrive at the station first), Viv & Joey, Jasmin & Jerome and Hayley & Mikayla.
Back at the theatre area, Sid & Ash ask Tim & Rod, who doubt the bus station clue, about what they think they should do next. They decide to work together where the influencers follow married couple to the bus station and see what happens.
Rowah & Amani decide to watch the puppet show again and are able to spot the words. Femi & Nick decide to go to random temples in the area before deciding to watch the show again.
Rowah & Amani and Chris & Adrianne are on the next bus to Ninh Binh with Femi & Nick on the last.
Already in Ninh Binh, all of the leading teams choose Escargot and get harvesting. Hayley & Mikayla harvest their snails first and can now make their way to Tam Coc Wharf for their next clue AND the U-Turn. Tom & Tyler are next to finish followed by Viv & Joey. None of them decide to U-Turn anyone.
Teams will now head to Lang Khanh Hostel & Restaurant where they will perform the Road Block: Who’s feeling lucky?
For this Road Block, teams must eat their way through 300 banana leaf-wrapped young green rice treats (some with chili) to find one of nine that contain a Vietnamese gold coin.
Mikayla, Tom and Viv choose to do the Road Block.
The next bus arrives in Ninh Binh and Sid & Ash choose to do the rowing which they initially think would be no problem. But they end up switching over to the snails.
Unbeknownst to them, Jerome & Jasmin get to the U-Turn and decide to U-Turn Sid & Ash as pay back for lying to them at Namsan.
Over at the Road Block, Mikayla has already eaten a few rice packets when Tom arrives and gets started. Lucky for him, he finds a coin in his first packet which means he doesn’t even have to eat it.
Tom & Tyler can now make their way to Hang Mua in Hoa Lu and search for Beau at the Pit Stop. Viv finds the coin next and they are off to the Pit Stop as well. Tom & Tyler and Viv & Joey finish as Teams 1 and 2 for the third straight Leg.
Sid & Ash arrive at the U-Turn and can’t believe they have to go back to the row boats. Chris & Adrienne and Rowah & Amani arrive just as they get started.
Back at the rice treats, Rod opens his first packet and immediately finds a coin. He and Tim head to the Pit Stop and step on the Mat as Team #3.
Jerome finds the coin on his 15th packet and they dead to the Mat as Team #4. Mikayla gets it right after him with her 23rd packet and they head to the Pit Stop in 5th.
Sid & Ash are next to the Pit Stop, but they think the Mat is at the summit. They walk up the stairs, but there’s nothing there. Chris & Adrienne find their coin, but their taxi driver takes them the wrong way.
Femi finds his coin next and he and Nick leave for the Pit Stop. Amani wants to give up, but Rowah and the locals encourage her until she finally gets a coin.
Meanwhile, Femi & Nick catch up to Chris & Adrienne and they are both are lost. When they get the right directions, the nurses are able to get in front.
Sid & Ash ask a local for help and they are told it’s actually down at the bottom. As they make their way back down, they see the other three teams arriving and they hurry.
Sid & Ash are able to step on the Mat as Team #6. Femi & Nick are 7th and Chris & Adrienne are 8th.
That means Rowah & Amani are last, but this is a Non-Elimination Leg!
This definitely felt like the most Amazing Race-ish Leg of the season so far. A typical Vietnam Leg even with some familiar tasks.
It’s really a different experience having to critique TARAu and how Amazing Race it is. Seasons 1-3 have been three of the absolute best seasons of TAR anywhere in the world, including TARUS. But so far, TARAu4 is on the so-so side when it comes to comparing to other TARs. It certainly seems to be a bit of a learning curve for the Ten production compared to the Active TV and 7-only produced TARAu1-3.
Still, it’s not like TARAu4 is completely foreign. It’s just a different feel from what any TARAu fan is used to.
But like I said, this was the most familiar feeling Leg so far. And that’s a good thing.
The first task at the water puppet is definitely a typical TAR task. It was definitely interesting to see teams not immediately go back in to watch the show again and end up just wandering around outside. That definitely separated the teams a lot.
The Detour was good. I think it was balanced since both sides of the Detour would take some time to complete. The editing was particularly hilarious at the boats though with Sid & Ash struggling while the local was having the easiest of times.
The Road Block was similar to TARA5’s Fast Forward, but different in the type of rice dish teams had to eat here. This is also good Leg design as the luck task at the end of the Leg comes on a Non-Elimination. Legs decided on luck/needle in a haystack tasks are never enjoyable. But it was alright here.
I do like that the Pit Stop was sort of hidden and not the typical up the stairs location. The trick definitely paid off with Sid & Ash again getting tripped up by a long staircase lol
Overall, a solid Leg and episode. I think the most well put together Leg and episode of the three so far. Next episode though looks much more exciting and fun.
My Subjective Team Rankings
All the teams are fine so far. I definitely do not have a favorite yet and I don’t hate anyone either. So we’ll see how that affects my enjoyment of the season lol
I do like #TeamMelbourne. Both Tom & Tyler and Viv & Joey are obviously strong Racers. Thankfully they are likeable teams as well so seeing them dominate this much isn’t annoying. But I’d definitely like to see them struggle a little bit moving forward so as to make either one’s eventual win (if they don’t screw up completely somewhere along the line) feel more satisfying.
I have Chris & Adrienne up here partly because of my excitement in seeing Adrienne explode at the other teams next Leg. Lol But they definitely remind me of many an older married couple from TARs past. And I’m looking forward to them continuing that fiery attitude for any Legs to come, hopefully.
There’s been some shocking news regarding Sid & Ash over the weekend. But not knowing any of the details of it, I must force myself to only judge them based on what we see of them on the Race. And to be quite honest, they’re hilarious fun. Them trying to point teams in the wrong direction at Namsan was pretty tame compared to things we’ve seen from teams before. Though Jasmin & Jerome were certainly justified in wanting to U-Turn them. Taking one(!) dumpling from the nuns arguably deserved a penalty, but also still a pretty minor offense.
So the fact that they keep portraying themselves as some kind of master villains, yet haven’t really backed that up with good Racing AND have already experienced a few bits of karma (wrong stairs, U-Turn) is truly hilarious and fun to watch.
Hayley & Mikayla had a better Leg this time around, even though they had some bad Luck at the Road Block. Jasmin & Jerome are definitely a competitive team that just needs to get that one moment to get ahea. Rowah & Amani had a quiet Leg considering they were the ones Non-Eliminated. I really don’t get why Tim & Rod doubted the bus stop clue. And Femi & Nick are definitely falling forward through the Race so far.