EDITOR'S PICKS Features
Vietnam: The hotspots you need to know
It’s one of the safest and most affordable destinations in South East Asia and it has some of the friendliest people in the world, there’s a dynamic culture here that has been forged over 4,000 years and it’s now evolving into a cosmopolitan playground….the final destination for our first series of Luxury Escapes: The World’s Best Holidays is all about Vietnam.
Didn’t catch the episode? Watch it online here.
Shane’s Vietnam adventure began in Hoi An. This history-laden town has become a traveller’s hotspot because of its unique blend of vietnamese culture with western influences.
While exploring Hoi An, Shane stayed at the InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort. Only a short drive from Hoi An, the resort is nestled in the hills above the incredible and private Monkey Bay. All the rooms look out to the resort’s exclusive beaches and the amenities in them are first-class.
This resort was voted the ‘Leading Luxury Resort of Asia’ in 2016 and it’s easy to see why. Check it out for yourself by watching the episode here.
The InterContinental houses the fabulous Long Bar and as Shane discovered it’s the perfect place to laze away the hours watching the beach while enjoying a drink or two.
“It’s one of the longest bars in the world that has a sea view,” explained Saif Rahman from the InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort. “We carefully selected our cocktail menu so that when you come to this place you don’t have the usual traditional cocktail to drink…they’re all designed and all created by our team here.”
When staying in Hoi An, visiting the World Heritage Listed Old Town is an absolute must. Old Town is a melting pot of history and culture with architectural influences of the Japanese, Chinese and the French from their various times of occupation of the city.
“The Old Town is a unique and fascinating walk dotted with pagodas and market stalls,” said Shane. “It’s little wonder this is the fastest growing Southeast Asian tourist destination for Australians. It is absolutely beautiful.”
Watch Shane’s journey through Old Town here.
While in Vietnam Shane indulged in one of the Green Bamboo Cooking School’s all-day tours.
The tour kicked off at the Hoi An food markets, where they shopped for fresh produce for the four dishes they would be creating.
“The markets are full of a vast array of food, so everything is all here. It also provides wonderful insight into how the locals live their lives,” explained Shane.
See Shane cook up a storm here.
Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh has had a long and sometimes tumultuous history but today it’s a thriving modern city that has a vibrancy all of its own. Still known as Saigon to the locals, Ho Chi Minh is literally a city on the move. Its combination of history, culture and rapid technological growth makes this a truly unique and exciting holiday for the traveller.
While in Ho Chi Minh Shane and the crew stayed at Le Meridien Saigon, a fantastic hotel in the heart of the CBD. The thoroughly modern suites are a mix of Parisian chic and Vietnamese heritage. The hotel reflects the same attitudes as Ho Chi Minh city itself – proud of its history but, at the same time, ready to embrace the new Vietnam.
“In terms of what we offer our guests we’re very much about cultural heritage. We like to link the brand and the hotel with the nature of the city. We’ve got a number of service elements in the hotel that recognise the historic nature of where we sit. All the artwork in the hotel pays homage to how far Ho Chi Minh has come,” explained Justin Malcom from the Le Meridien Saigon.
Hear Justin Malcolm’s top tips for exploring Ho Chi Minh in our latest episode here.
Want to stay at the Le Meridien Saigon? Check out our exclusive deal and save up to $2,306.
“One of the incredible hidden gems I discovered here was the eclectic L’Usine. The coffee shop-come-art-gallery-come-fashion-outlet is part of the new wave of concept stores sweeping the city,” said Shane.
The store started out as a coffee shop and has since transformed into a concept store that promotes local designers and artists, as well as international brands for a well-rounded experience.
“L’Usine is a real lifestyle. It’s not only about coffee, it’s not only a store…it’s a lifestyle,” explained Olivier Delmotte who works at L’Usine.
Explore the unique concept store on Luxury Escapes: The World’s Best Holidays by clicking here.
Saigon Opera House
Saigon Opera House is one of the city’s most famous and beloved buildings and like the city it has experienced a colourful history. Built over 100 years ago in French classical style the opera house is home to the amazing Lune entertainment group who produce incredible contemporary dance and acrobat spectaculars based on various aspects of Vietnamese life.
Watch Shane go backstage with Lune Production here.
Interested in going to Vietnam? Take advantage of our 13 day Cambodia & Vietnam tour specially created by Luxury Escapes.
Missed an episode? Catch up on the series of Luxury Escapes: The World’s Best Holidays here.