Vietnam offers a trip that will get your blood pumping—there’s literally a spa treatment, Tam quat, that’s aimed at doing that. By Anita Rao Kashi
Go kayaking in Ha Long Bay, a picturesque area in Vietnam made famous by several Hollywood movies. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the bay has hundreds of limestone islands, many of them dramatic and eye-catching, with some rising straight up from the stunning turquoise waters like towers and packed with rocky cliffs and lush greenery. Kayak to hidden caves and explore uninhabited islands, each with its own unique flora and landscape.
Vietnamese cuisine, like the rest of Southeast Asian cuisine, uses fresh ingredients, herbs, simple flavours and minimal dairy. Pho (noodle soup) is ubiquitous, but the best version is at Pho Gia Truyen in Hanoi. For the famous banh mi (a sandwich with various fillings) My Banh Mi in Ho Chi Minh City is the place. But for a sampling of the incredible variety of Vietnamese dishes, try Quan An Ngon in Ho Chi Minh City, an open-air restaurant with food stalls serving dishes from around the country.
The Mekong River, which flows through several countries in Southeast Asia, drains in Vietnam. A cruise in the delta area is the ideal way to explore this complex river system’s drainage and the culture around it. The cruise uses multiple types of boats, including tiny rice boats that can access remote islands. From basket weaving and wood carving, and snake wines to chocolates, the basin supports several types of activities, in addition to being a haven for food enthusiasts.
Pampering is the first and last word at HARNN Heritage Spa at InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort. An award-winning spa, it is a sprawling area with multiple treatment rooms equipped with their own steam, sauna and hammam. It is among the first to offer essential oil mixology in treatments as well as glamorous beauty treatments.
An Lam Retreats Ninh Van Bay is a secluded beach resort with a cluster of 35 reed-thatched villas on powdery white sands set amid verdant tropical greenery, each with very different vibes, including some perched on tall trees and accessed by ladders. Luxury meets elegance and local beauty at this resort that emphasises on providing a serene haven for guests. With its plunge pools, kitchen gardens, gym, kayaking, there’s so much on offer.