Vietnam: Nha Trang, Six Senses Hideaway & Ho Chi Minh City
Nha Trang – Six Senses Hideaway Ninh Van Bay
Vietnam has a lot to offer. After spending some time in sight-seeing, immersing in the local culture and savouring delicious Vietnamese food; the idea of spending time under the sun doing nothing on a beautiful island was very inviting! I think Vietnam is a great destination for beach holiday. Its coastline stretches the entire length of the country, almost 3000km. Stunning white sandy beaches fringed by coconut palms and lapped by the warm South China Sea offer peace and tranquillity.
In the past few years a small selection of international class hotels have been built along this otherwise undeveloped coastline. Da Nang is one good example of upcoming popular beach destination. Beach resorts are sprawling on the shores of Da Nang Bay, which is one the most beautiful and unspoiled locations in Central Vietnam.
Further down south from Da Nang, another beach holiday destination has to be Nha Trang. Nha Trang is situated 1,350-kilometres from Hanoi and 450-kilometres from Ho Chi Minh City. Not too far away from the airport, there’s where a jewel can be found – Six Senses Hideway Ninh Van Bay. Six Senses Hideaway Ninh Van Bay sits on dramatic Ninh Van Bay, with its impressive rock formations overlooking the South China Sea, white sandy beach and towering mountains behind, all adding to the sense of being luxuriously at one with nature. The exclusive property also presents the reality of the destination, with an architectural style reflecting the traditions of Vietnam.
We landed at the airport and saw the sign of Six Sense Hideway with my name on it. We were welcomed with chilled bottled water, which was fantastic for a hot day! The lady suggested that it would take 60 minutes by car to reach Six Senses Hideaway lounge in Nha Trang City. Then, a 20-minute ride on a boat to get to the paradise. We were waiting at the lounge, sipping away a glass of chilled lemongrass drink while waiting for others to be transferred to the island.
Upon arrival, our butler greeted us and brought us to our beach pool villa on a buggy. Her friendliness impressed us. As soon as we stepped in our villa, we were blown away by the design and the space! An exclusive plunge pool is just right in front of the villa with direct access to the beach.
The overall design of the villa gives a sense of environmental friendly and use of natural materials, it’s just like Robinson Crusoe in a luxury way! Everything can be seen simple but creatively put together, the word of comfort shouts out from every corner! Of course, the outdoor shower is very inviting too.
On the second floor of the villa, there’s where the dining area and a big living area are. It’s ideal to spend a lazy afternoon under the fan reading your favourite book while enjoying the warm sea breeze and the stunning view of the island. Nothing could be much better than getting all the privacy that you want. For those who want to be pampered and spoiled, Six Senses Spa is there waiting for you, offering all types of treatments and massages. I think, that’s what I call life when you can just relax and think of nothing.
Our stay at Six Senses Hideaway Ninh Van Bay, even though short but it was a memorable one. The tranquillity and comfort were just what we needed before exploring our next destination….
Ho Chi Minh City
Our last destination in Vietnam was Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). Pham Ngu Lao is the heart of backpacker area. Accommodations are plenty. Many shops are within reasonable walking distance and there are just lots of eateries and tour agencies that you don’t have to find your way getting what you may need. Some of the sights in Ho Chi Minh City:
1. War Remnants Museum
Shocking photo journalism of the Vietnam / USA war, very upsetting, but important for us to see and remember how terrible war is. There are some interesting exibits and information regarding the war, agent orange and weapons. An array of heartbreaking photos of those who suffered and born with defects caused by the use of defoliants. 8 Vo Van Tan, in District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
2. Cho Ben Thanh Market
You can buy almost everything at Ben Thanh Market with crowded maze of stalls selling an enormous variety of goods including an large selection of fabrics, clothes, shoes, bags, chopsticks, ceramics, meat, seafood, produce, flowers, plastics, hats, embroidered linens, lacquer, baskets, cosmetics, kitchen appliances, souvenirs and much more. There are also food stalls. Well, I couldn’t help but got myself a glass of Che again!
3. Pho 24 & Pho Quynh
Get enough fix of Pho before leaving Vietnam is a must! We tried both Pho 24 and Pho Quynh, both situated in Pham Ngu Lao. I personally think both are as good. The portion at Pho Quynh came in a smaller but lots of herbs were given. As for Pho 24, I think the portion was bigger.
4. Mekong Delta
If you have some time to spare while in HCMC, make a trip of to Mekong Delta is definitely a great experience to have. Boats, houses and markets float upon the endless rivers, canals and streams. You can easily purchase a 1 day tour from the travel agencies. I would advise to shop around for the best price and try to negotiate. Even if the price is pretty standard but we managed to get a few dollars off as we bought bus tickets to our next destination from the same agency too. We truly enjoyed the journey on the boat along narrow waterways and visited some orchards and local houses. We visited a small factory that produces coconut candies too. Everything was manually done, unbelievable!
Update 12/09/2010: I am submitting this post for Delicious Vietnam #5. Delicious Vietnam is a monthly food blogging event open to any Vietnamese food lovers organised by to the two founders – A Food Lovers Journey and Ravenous Couple.