Day 8 – Danang to Singapore
This was our final day for our Central Vietnam tour. So we woke up very early and went to the main balcony outside the corridor to start our morning. The unobstructed beach front view from the balcony on level six was great to catch the sunrise over South China Sea and the distant view was still a little dark during this time. Nevertheless, the horizon could be seen even though the sun hadn’t appeared yet. The blurry mountains in the far end across Premier Village Danang Resort looked like they were floating on waters.
Gradually, the skies above those mountains and the horizon were receiving some faint hues of pinkish orange colour among black clouds. Slowly bluish skies appeared above the hues of pink while black clouds were floating in between. The air out on the balcony was fresh with cool wind blowing from the sea so early in the morning. We were not alone though. There were people already on the beach and some were even swimming in the sea.
Then in the distant horizon, a small pinkish ball the size of a ping pong ball slowly emerged from below the horizon and the hues of pink, orange and blue became stronger in tone. As this small pink ball ascended, its glow of pink became even stronger. This pink glowing ball began expanding in size as well. It was no longer a ping pong ball but now growing into a tennis ball size from our vintage point.
Those on the beach watching this beautiful scene were snapping pictures and enjoying themselves. Soon, the sea was painted with a narrow pink path from the source of this glowing pink ball now getting brighter in the far end of the horizon. This new path of light on the reverberating sea grew in width as well as strength of brightness. The sky was now brighter reflecting its face upon the South China Sea.
The waters in the swimming pool also had a nice reflection of the sky and the trees nearby as the sun climbed higher with the passing moment. The awakening of Danang had began. It was no longer the blurry sight of dawn a while ago. The sky, the sea, the trees and buildings were receiving colours from the rising sun.
Slowly but surely, the beam on the sea grew brighter and brighter changing from a fleeting pink to bright orange. The swimming pool area as well as Premier Village Danang Resort had now become clear and distinct in the calm of the cool summer morning in Danang. As the sun ascended higher and higher getting brighter and brighter, it was no longer bearable to continue watching the sunrise. A reflection of this sunrise from the window panel was our last parting shot for this monumental sunrise show for the last day of our Central Vietnam tour. What a way to begin this great day of our departure!
Having enjoyed this wonderful time so early in the morning, we went back to bed for a short while as the restaurant wasn’t ready for breakfast yet. We were counting down to the last hour this morning before heading to the airport later. So we enjoyed this penthouse as much as we knew how and the king bed was so comfortable we didn’t actually feel like getting up. But to catch the fantastic sunrise over South China Sea, we made a conscious choice for this unmistakable trade-off and now we were happily back in bed enjoying the luxury and comfort Pullman Danang Beach Resort afforded us.
After another two hours of nap, it was time for breakfast. So off we went to the restaurant. Guests were already in the restaurant when we arrived. It was no longer the empty restaurant we had dinner and lunch the previous occasions. The breakfast spread was quite huge, the best we had seen in all the hotels we had stayed during the our Central Vietnam tour. After all, this was to be expected from a five stars international hotel chain.
There were those usual local and western food on top of the pastries and fruits as well as fruit juice, coffee and tea. Though these were usual food found during breakfast in most hotels, the quality was different. The Vietnamese coffee we ordered were not only visually appealing, it was great in taste as well.
One of the waitresses Hanh, though great in her pregnancy, was serving us with zeal and with a friendliness and helpfulness we would not forget. The staff here were really good. The breakfast was superb and we certainly enjoyed our meal this morning. What more when we enjoyed 50% discount being Accor Plus members, this breakfast was a fantastic meal to start our day.
Back in our room, a final dip in our Jacuzzi was one last piece of indulgence after breakfast. We were not able to enjoy a very long bubble bath and water massage like the previous day as we had a plane to catch. This Jacuzzi bath was enjoyable nonetheless. It was so relaxing and refreshing.
As we had already packed the night before, there was nothing much to do now so we grabbed our bags and went to the lobby. Doan was off this day so her colleague Lan served us. It was still the same high quality service and checked out was a non-issue. Having made payment for our meals, concierge staff showed us to a waiting minibus to send us to the airport not very far away.
Pullman Danang Beach Resort does provide airport transfer service and shuttle service to Hoi An as well. Our stay over here was nothing short of excellence. The staff were professional and helpful and the facilities were great. We will surely return to this fantastic Accor property in the near future.
The airport was just 15 minutes away and very quickly we arrived. We tipped the driver and then went into the departure hall with our bags. Quite a long queue was formed at Vietnam Airlines counter. Since we had already done our online web check in, we were directed to approach the business counter to jump queue. It took a very short while for us to check in our bags and obtained our boarding passes.
We were now free to explore the airport before our flight to Ho Chi Min City. Danang Airport though not very big was quite pleasant with its clean and bright terminal building. The airport wasn’t very crowded either. There were airlines counters, currency exchange, shops and cafes in the public area of the departure hall. The terminal building was airy and quite relaxing. There wasn’t any feel of having to rush like in most airports as our check in was efficiently completed.
With nothing much to see after walking one round in the departure hall, we went through security without any trouble. Inside the secured area, it was more or less the same set up but with more shops and plenty of seats for waiting passengers. Burger King and Big Bowl cafes were located in the middle of the waiting hall.
As we were still very early, we did some shopping and my wife bought a hand made purse for just 40,000 VND. It was quite bright outside the airport with planes flying in and out. Interestingly, fighter jets were also sharing the use of this airport and they could be seen further away from the runway.
There were quite a number of passengers waiting for their flights but there were more than enough seats in the hall. Before our flight, my wife decided to have another go at the pho so we went to the Big Bowl cafe. The pho was quite good though not from some authentic restaurants in town.
Not long after the meal, we boarded our flight and off we flew to Ho Chi Min City. The flight was uneventful though the flight was delayed for a short while. The short flight of about an hour landed smoothly and very quickly we reached the baggage claim area to wait for our bags. It took a while for our bags to arrive.
Having collected our bags, we made our way out to look for the international terminal. Just before we left the domestic terminal, we saw a counter for transfer to Muine but we didn’t approach the staff to enquire. So we followed the signage to the international terminal building nearby.
Along the way we noticed two public buses number 152 outside the arrival hall waiting for passengers. This public bus service was very handy when we needed to head to the city centre the last time and the terminal for this bus was just across the road from Ben Thanh Market. The cost for the ride was just a couple of thousands of VND which was very much cheaper than taking a cab to town.
Upon arrival at the international terminal, we went straight to the Vietnam Airlines counter. Since we had already done our online web check in, we skipped the normal queue and went straight to the web check in counter where there weren’t many passengers in the queue. So our bags were checked in very quickly. We collected our boarding passes and were free to roam another airport again.
The airport was rather crowded so we decided to clear immigration to hang out in the secured area. Ho Chi Min City Airport was quite crowded so it took a bit longer to get through immigration, without incident though. So we had some peaceful time inside the airport to do some window shopping.
This airport was much bigger than Danang and there were many more shops here. However, it would be more expensive to shop here. A 30 minutes foot massage would cost US$20. This kind of price was very high compared with those wonderful massages we had in Central Vietnam at only a fraction of the cost.
We took our time to look at souvenir shops but didn’t buy anything. There was a new lounge on a pay per use basis. This lounge looked decent and quite relaxing from the outside. It wasn’t crowded over at the lounge. For those looking for a quick fix for a western meal, Burger King on the second level inside the airport could be an option.
Finally, it was time to board our flight to Singapore. The flight was quite smooth and a meal was served on board. After an hour and a half, we landed at Changi Airport. It was the same familiar comfortable surrounding and indeed a warm welcome home. The smell, the sight and the ambience of our fabulous airport evoked a very strong and happy feeling. So my dear wife went to do some shopping and bought perfumes and stuff at a duty free shop which was having the SG50 promotion with substantial discount.
After collecting our bags, we went for supper at one of the cafes in the airport. It was just a quick meal so we could head home earlier to see our children back home. Once done, we approached the taxi queue and soon enough, we were homeward bound.
During the taxi ride, we reflected on our Central Vietnam tour. It was a wonderful experience indeed. The first night when we arrived, the dragon bridge fire and water show though short was captivating. The next day to Pullman Danang Beach Resort was a great experience enjoying ourselves on the beach with a free upgrade to a junior suite. The following day’s train ride to Hue was another highlight passing through Hai Van Pass with remarkable views during the journey to Hue.
The promenade in Hue provided a nice and relaxing night market scene and the fourth day’s river cruise to Tien Mu Pagoda and Hue City tour on an extremely hot day was another experience where Hue has a charm of its own full of history of its glorious past. Then the fifth day’s uneventful bus ride to Hoi An opened up an enchanting experience of the Old Town Unesco World Heritage Site decorated beautifully with mesmerizing and lovely lanterns all over town.
Finally back to the fantastic Accor property of Pullman Danang Beach Resort enjoying another upgrade to a penthouse was the grand finale for this trip. It was really relaxing and enjoyable though quite hot during summer in Vietnam. This was our first visit to Central Vietnam and we will certainly be back.
Eventually, we arrived home and were glad to be with the children again sharing our spoils of shopping during this trip. It was a remarkable long week away from home and so it was time to settle back to our routine. It was definitely great to be home with the children again. We were truly thankful everything went well and according to plans. So we will take a few months break before travelling again from September to December with a few trips already booked and paid for in advance. Meanwhile we will look forward to our next trip with much anticipation.