A Journey Through Vietnam
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A Journey Through Vietnam

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With a rich history, an abundance of beauty and enough delicious dishes to make a foodie go crazy, a Vietnam holiday is for everyone. No inch of this amazing destination should be left unexplored; Luxtripper Travel Editor Holly set out on the journey of a lifetime to discover the secrets of Vietnam...
BY Holly OBrien
Luxtripper Travel Editor

I loved exploring Vietnam, and I can’t wait to share my magical journey with you! 

Stepping into Vietnam...

Vietnamese culture is something that I've always dreamed of exploring - with a cuisine beginning to reach every corner of the globe (mmm, pho...) and a rich history, it was definitely on my bucket-list. I was impatient to arrive in Vietnam as soon as my plane tickets were booked, and I found I was constantly dreaming of gorgeous white-sand beaches and vibrant and fragranced street markets, as well as the fabulous hotels; I'd heard so much of Vietnam's amazing hospitality and unique getaways, and I couldn't wait to experience it for myself!

Hawkers in Hanoi...

I knew was in another world as soon as I stepped out of the airport in Hanoi. It may be a big city, but I couldn’t help but notice its colonial small-town charm - there were narrow train streets and quaint low-rise buildings with bright yellow walls and wooden shutters everywhere I turned! I wandered through the labyrinth of streets, falling in love with the unique names, tributes to Hanoi’s trading past. I wound through markets misted with fragrant smoke and noticed locals sitting with bowlfuls of steaming broth; I couldn’t stop my mouth from watering, it was time to try authentic pho! Trust me, slurping noodles from the rich broth was a foodie’s dream come true. 

Soon, I stumbled upon Thang Long Citadel – this UNESCO site was a treasure trove with its beautiful bronze coins and pots from all over Asia! Hoan Kiem Lake certainly doesn’t disappoint, this is a stop that you have to make on your Vietnam holiday! I was enchanted by the sparkling lake with its floating Turtle Tower. As I turned to leave the lake, a rich and robust coffee smell filled my nose, and I found myself pulled towards a stall selling ca phe trung (egg coffee). As I sipped my drink and gazed at the lake, I knew that my Vietnam holiday was going to be one to remember...

French Luxury at the Sofitel...

After a long flight and a day full of exploring, I was ready to relax in the comfort of the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi – I felt like I was stepping back in time as I entered this colonial escape! I fell in love with the elegant French décor of my suite – this was ready for a French Princess, the perfect fit for Hanoi’s French influenced ambience. I felt like royalty myself as I lay beneath the thick canopy of my bed! After a freshen-up in the amazing jacuzzi bath (super lush), I headed to the hotel’s Le Terrasse bar. I sunk into the buzz of Hanoi’s nightlife, watching as bikes flew swiftly past...

The Legend of Halong Bay...

The next stop on my Vietnam adventure? The legendary Halong Bay made me feel like I’d floated into a scene from Avatar. The mystifying bay was supposedly formed by a magnificent fire-breathing dragon! I could barely contain my excitement as I stepped onto the cruise ship (which would double up as my home for the next evening). The ship itself, though huge next to me, was like a delicate azalea next to the sparkling sapphire expanse of the bay!

I stood on the deck, entranced by the emerald coated cliff-faces and the glittering waters that they rose from. After taking in the view, I took a kayak out onto the water and explored the hidden caves and grottos that weave amongst the cliffs. After all the thrills, a calming tai chi class on the ship’s deck sounded perfect. A gentle breeze tousled my hair, and I realised that Halong Bay was a complete escape from reality...

The Ship of Dreams...

My belongings were forgotten as soon as I entered my suite on the Azalea Cruise. I immediately dashed to the windows and stepped out into the sunshine of my private balcony. I basked in the sun and drank in the stunning view of the bay, before discovering a jacuzzi and private bar - now this I could get used to! I ate dinner at the onboard restaurant, where I was treated to delicious Vietnamese food and karaoke. This was the perfect way to meet other guests on Vietnam holidays and honeymoons, who shared stories about their own amazing journeys – with the trip I’d had so far, I knew mine would be just as magical!

Dreamy Danang...

If I had to describe my time in Danang with one word? Dreamy. This was the perfect beach retreat and ideal for Vietnam honeymoons! Before starting to work on my tan, I was eager to explore the Marble Mountains and their hidden caves - I was spellbound as I feast my eyes on views of the East Sea. I peered into Huyen Khong cave and found a colossal Cham Buddha, mystifying as the sun crept in to illuminate it. 

I knew that I couldn’t leave Danang without seeing the Golden Bridge with its vast stone hands – I felt like I was being held up by the hands of God as I walked from one end to the other, a surreal experience! I spent the afternoon exploring on the pristine sands of the beaches, topping up my tan and cooling off in the crystal-clear waters. Women ambled along the sands selling fresh fruits, the perfect pick-me-up for a hot day. I indulged in the juiciest mango while gazing out at the fishing boats that bobbed on the horizon...

Luxury at the Sun Peninsula...

If you’re looking for a relaxing beach destination, then the Intercontinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort with its swaying palms and silky sands is for you! The Seaside Villa on the Beach was the height of luxury; private and nestled amidst emerald forestry, it was perfect for a Vietnam honeymoon. I threw the curtains open to be greeted with a gorgeous view of the ocean! I was just steps from the beach, and I couldn’t wait to fall asleep to the sound of the gently lapping waves... The resort gave me a warm welcome, with cocktails left by my private butler. I couldn’t help but jump into my private infinity pool within five minutes of arrival!

The Lanterns of Hoi An...

My next stop was Hoi An, a foodie’s paradise. This old town lives and breathes, the buzz of the markets filled my ears; I didn’t know where to look next! All my senses were awakened as I wove past stalls, some bright and vibrant with gorgeous silks and others teeming with the catch of the day. I watched in awe as a group of women in conical non la hats hurried past. I made friends with a smiling old woman selling noodles and could tell from the way she expertly handled her ingredients that she’d been at this riverside market for years.

Hoi An’s riverside was irresistible. I headed to the waterfront for dinner, listening to the gentle lap of the river as I savoured amazing home-cooked Vietnamese flavours. You’ve got to make sure you try delicious banh xeo, a sizzling pancake made before your very eyes and filled with whatever you wish for! I felt hypnotised by the multicoloured lanterns that reflected off the water – I was delighted to find that I could release my own lantern down the river! I watched my glowing vermillion orb float into the night... 

Sightseeing in Ho Chi Minh...

Ho Chi Minh was the perfect final stop on my Vietnam holiday. As soon as I arrived, I knew that this city was different from the north - this was a buzzing east-meets-west metropolis, with well-known brand names and trendy rooftop bars. I started at Notre Dame Cathedral with its elegant statue of the Virgin Mother before heading to Reunification Palace, a significant part of Vietnam’s past when the city was still named Saigon. Next, I visited the Jade Emperor Pagoda with its fabulous vermillion exterior; calm washed over me as I was surrounded by curling trails of sweetly fragranced incense.

I ventured into the Cu Chi Tunnels, crouching in the tiny passages, and my heart swelled for those who had stayed here for hours during the war. As I crawled out from the tunnels, I realised that all this sightseeing had made my stomach rumble – it was time for some more Vietnamese food! I soon found tasty banh mi, a crusty Vietnamese baguette with French influence. As I walked, my feet carried me to the Mekong Delta with its emerald blanket of lily-pads. Soon I was bobbing across the water, watching as majestic mountains and emerald rice fields floated by...

Luxury Living at the Reverie...

If you’re looking for somewhere luxurious to spend the final night of your Vietnam honeymoon, then this hotel couldn’t be more perfect. Arriving at the Reverie Saigon was like walking into a palace... I’d never felt more like a queen! I was awe-struck by the glittering chandeliers and shining marble that followed me to my suite. I was drawn the floor-to-ceiling windows by an unsurpassable city view... The bathroom was lush with its dual basins and deep soak tub, perfect for the end of my Vietnam adventure – except I didn’t want to leave. This may have been my last night in paradise, but I was already planning my return!

My Next Vietnam Adventure...

My amazing Vietnam holiday ended far too quickly – time flies when you’re having fun! Next time I visit Vietnam I’ll definitely make more stops. I can’t wait to lounge on the beach and island hop in Phu Quoc, discover the tombs and Thien Mu Pagoda in the old capital, Hue, and hike up Fan Si Pan mountain in Sapa before exploring Hoang Lien National Park. I’m excited to indulge in more mouth-watering Vietnamese flavours in Nin Binh – perhaps I’ll even try a snail restaurant!

I would tell anyone to take their own adventure to Vietnam - why not get in touch with one of our luxury travel experts and start planning your dream holiday or Vietnam honeymoon today? Stay in luxurious, exclusive and unique hotels and enjoy your very own tailor-made itinerary! 

Hotels in this article
Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
Hanoi, Vietnam
The history of the Sofitel Legend Metropole spans back in time to an era nearly forgotten, bringing glorious relics of a highly cultured past into the luxurious present that only a grand five-star hotel like this could offer. Offering so
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InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort
Vietnam, Vietnam
The five-star multi-award-winning InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort is positioned within 37 hectares of cascading gardens within the hills of Monkey Mountain in the heart of the Son (or Sun) Tra Peninsula nature reserve. The gardens of this wellness retreat
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