Rich Palettes of Vietnam: Part 2

Sep 12, 2019 Avatar Hilton Smith Hilton Smith
Da Nang, Vietnam, is the site of famous China Beach. This area in Asia is being developed quickly with numerous hotels and resorts and a large international airport. The InterContinental Da Nang is on a special preserved site complete with monkeys and is a perfect hillside spot to get away from the crowds. It has spacious rooms and villas and a Club InterContinental that will amaze you. You have a wonderful beach experience, fabulous facilities, and a shuttle to Ho An that takes about 45 minutes.
We stayed at the Four Seasons Nam Hai, which is about 15 minutes from Hoi An and has spacious suites and villas. There is a spa to match, and service here is amazing.
Even though we did not need to, we shifted after two nights to Hoi An itself and the four-star, comfortable riverside Anantara resort. (We wanted to be close to the shopping.) This ancient town has gotten much favorable publicity recently; in handicrafts and wearables, it is a shoppers’ paradise. We saw articles made from bamboo, and, when we decided to pursue the pottery and ceramics village, our guide simply gave a few thousand dong more (23,000 dong is about $1) to our boat driver, and we were on our way.

We walked into a random clothing store at 6 p.m., picked material, paid about $35, and then the next morning at 11 a.m., we had two beautiful custom shirts. Such quality, care, and value with the pieces even carefully folded and put in a package for easy travel home.

It all goes well in Hoi An with a proviso that you are aware that virtually nothing is air conditioned. This includes the markets, shops, bars, and restaurants. Dress accordingly, and drink plenty of bottled water.

With bags in hand, we flew to our last stop in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City, for just one night. This is the commercial capital of the country, which has less to offer. A few sites are there and the historic Caravelle Hotel on the Square is being given a facelift complete with expanded bathrooms. We stayed at the very contemporary Reverie Hotel on the upper floors of a new high-rise building. This luxury property is a symbol of the new Vietnam, but the service, facilities, and dining were top-notch.
The next day, we were in business class on a sleek Singapore B777 jet for the two-hour flight to Singapore. We stayed three nights there at the newly reopened Raffles Hotel. What they have done to restore this Grande Dame to glory is amazing! Singapore is full of amazing venues with the Ritz Carlton Omnia, the new Capital Kempinski, and the two Fullertons being worth a look. I have covered Singapore in previous trips so I will not repeat myself. I’ll sum it up as a worthwhile place to visit.

Vietnam’s changes over the past several years have only made it more accessible, appealing, and compelling as a destination. I cannot stress how rewarding a visit can be to international travelers who want to expand their horizons. This country should not be missed!

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