Hi all ... New member here ... Looking for suggestions,
My wife and I (Australians in our mid fifties ) have had a stressful few years dealing with family issues and need to get away from it all for a week ... It doesn't have to be now ... September or October would be perfect. My wife doesn't do well in high humidity though so we realise that will restrict our seasonal timing options.
In terms of our travel history it has all been independent. We are passionate cyclists and have done extensive independent bicycle pannier/camping tours throughout South Australia and Victoria. We have backpacked Western Europe and car toured the U.K. - The nearest we have been to Vietnam was a wonderful month motorbike touring Bali in 1979 (pre Macdonalds etc.)
But we need to be pampered this time, not necessarily at a 5 star level though ... We need to be fed and sheltered and comfortable, with options for eating out. A single base, somewhere off the busy tourist trail. A clean quiet midlevel family managed hotel/rest-house offering some privacy would be perfect (we enjoyed the losmens in Bali). No resorts, no cooking, no shopping for food, no standing in line, no locals peddling trinkets, no noisy clubs. Access to a swimming pool or sandy beach would be nice ... or if not coastal ... some rainforest wilderness to wander around. A couple of bicycles would be handy.
We are looking for an authentic cultural experience, taken at our own leisurely pace ... definitely no itinerary. No travel agents. We are willing to compromise to some extent on all of the above ... doesn't even need to be Vietnam ... anywhere in South East Asia really.
All suggestions gratefully considered.
#1 gregmacc has been a member since 29/1/2014. Posts: 3
I've only been to Vietnam once, but told myself if I go back it will be to Sapa Valley and Ha Long Bay. Check out some locations in the North.
Thanks daawgon ... Haven looks great ... That's the type of thing we are looking for.
#5 gregmacc has been a member since 29/1/2014. Posts: 3
I like the look of Haven too! Another place in Qui Nhon is Avani - but it's higher end and may be too resorty for you. Still, it's certainly out of the way. http://www.avanihotels.com/quynhon/ I've not been but friends went a year or so ago when it was still Life Resort and raved about it.
Alternatively, a bit further north is this place that was just added to TF: https://www.travelfish.org/accommodation_profile/vietnam/central_vietnam/quang_nam/hoi_an/all/6137
It's secluded but near enough to Hoi An that you could combine with a few days of cycling or motorbiking around Hoi An and surrounds.
Hi gregmacc- my vote for a chill spot would be Phu Quoc island. It's very relaxed, and fits your needs regarding low shilling and touts. I'd recommend Cassia Cottage, at 2 kilometers from Duong Dong, a bit south of the main town, but on the same beach (long beach). I wish I was staying at cassia, but I'm not, and I'm a little sad about it. The restaurant there is excellent, and you have a nice section of beach lounges reserved for guests. Good drinks, good wine list (for phu quoc) and as you are at the south end of the beach, very little "traffic".
The downside is that the best food I've had is at Cassia, or a street place in town. Most of the restaurants are geared for western and Russian tourists, and consequently, the mid range restaurants are pretty bad. But for a week, there's plenty to fill your days. I recommend Johns tours for a snorkeling trip off the south of the island.
The downside is your dates. February weather is perfect perfect. For September or October, maybe a more northern spot as suggested by others, but I include Phu Quoc in case that works for you. There's a lot of development planned here, and I doubt it will retain what charms it has when that happens.
A quick add on for September/October weather in Central Vietnam (Hoi An and Quy Nhon) - September is the start of the Monsoon season and October is when we get our highest rainfall along with floods - so if you plan on central Vietnam do it early September for more comfortable weather and less chance of constant rain.