- Bhutan – the Land of Happiness
- A Vietnam Escape…
- A Different Angle on Vietnam – our recommended tours
- Thailand’s Islands
- Health and Wealth in Cambodia
- Our Borneo Adventure – by Jonathan, Ruth, and Jaqui Elliott
- India Inspirations …
- Spiritual India
- Japan – a country for all seasons
- Japan – Zipangu – The Land of Gold
- Korea – Unkovered!
- Fabulous Stopovers … or short breaks in their own right – Dubai & Singaporean Delights!
- Bali Hai! An Island of Enchantment and Romance?
- The Sultanate of Brunei
- Kerala – a cultural paradise! (video clip)
- Malaysian Memories
- A Malaysian Interlude
- Malaysia – a trip to fill up your senses
- Mingalabar Myanmar! (video clip)
- Happy Year of the Dog
- Sri Lanka …. the teardrop of India (video clip)
- Jai Ho! India (video clip)
- A Journey through Thailand
- Cambodia – a Khmer Civilisation (video clip)
- Surprising Vietnam
A lovely start to my trip to visit Vietnam – a direct flight from Heathrow, a speedy check-in and soon I was settled in the departures lounge being offered drinks and food! It’s so comfy and as well as all the usual facilities there are state of the art showers and small bedrooms with their own en-suite!
Vietnam Airlines offers Economy, Premium Economy and Business Class with full flat beds. You can prebook seats free of charge in their premium cabin. (Row 10 has the basinets!) The service was polite and efficient and included a drinks trolley and an excellent menu, even in economy.
If your connection is more than six hours in Saigon or eight hours in Hanoi you are entitled to a free Transit Tour per trip – so don’t shy away from long connections! And you don’t need a Vietnam visa unless the duration of your trip is more than 15 days.
We flew to Saigon, or Ho Chi Minh City as it is now called, arriving in the morning and continued by bus to the beach resort of Mui Ne – about a 5 hour journey with a break. A brief glimpse of Saigon city from the bus windows was quite an onslaught to the senses – a confusion of noise and colour!
My destination, The Sailing Club Mui Ne proved to be the opposite: calm, quiet and serene – in beautiful grounds with lush vegetation leading to our bungalows with outdoor bathrooms. They are air conditioned but have ceiling fans and over-the-bed nets too. Everything in natural woods, neutral furnishings and colours are used to add to the sense of relaxation.
The pool, facing the sea with the restaurant and bar behind, gives you that relax-and-take-your-time feeling. The beach seems endless for long walks even though fairly breezy – it is the best kite surfing beach in South East Asia and in the afternoon, this is quite a spectacle to watch. The hotel has a pool/beach service and very comfortable sun loungers with plenty of towels. Definitely an invitation to sit down, and relax!
In line with its resort feel, they have a comprehensive spa, and yoga on offer. There are lots of other activities too, like – Vietnamese language lessons, macrame and Vietnamese coffee making classes, cookery courses, trips out to the famous sand dunes and a visit to a dragon fruit farm and the typical Fish Sauce factory (very fishy!). Street food is popular in Vietnam and we had a great seafood meal in a restaurant ‘off the street’!
Returning to Saigon, we were based in the Park Hyatt, very central and near the market.
The Park Hyatt is beautiful with a fabulous pool deck. All the rooms are luxurious and there are different room categories to choose from to suit your budget. The restaurant food was fabulous!
Soon it was time to get back to the airport for my overnight flight home. A brief encounter? But a perfect short break and an interesting insight into the culture of Vietnam. Definitely a place to fit into a bigger itinerary when you plan a holiday to Vietnam, and I have come back with some lovely memories and a glimpse of how much this large country has to offer. Want to know more about my trip and my experience? Meet me in the gallery!