We woke up slightly after 6 am. This time it wasn’t due to loud annoying singing nearby. In fact, it was pretty quiet in the vicinity this morning. We got up early because we needed to be ready by 7 am to wait for our bus to Hue. So it seemed the previous noisy morning was some event held during that particular day.
Breakfast would only be ready at 6.30 am. We had everything packed and ready to leave after a quick breakfast. So we went down to the restaurant at 6.30 am. Buffet spread was more or less ready. But no one was at the restaurant, not even a staff. We helped ourselves with those food that were available and had a quick meal. Soon, a staff came over with more food.
We didn’t have time to ask the staff to make us a bowl of pho this morning. However, we were given a box to pack some food with us after we told the staff we had to leave pretty soon. Another guest came down and was also given boxes to pack her food because she was leaving the hotel early as well. The quick meal was actually quite satisfying and the take away packed food was a bonus. We could have some snacks on the bus during our bus ride to Hue.
Waiting for Bus Transfer to Hue
After this we returned to our room to freshen up and then took our bags to head to front desk. We returned our room key and processed check out. Having made payment for the airport transfer that cost 340,000 VND we were ready to leave this very nice Hoi An Travel Lodge Hotel. It was 7 am while we waited in the lobby. Front desk staff helped us call our agent and was told the bus was on its way.
The staff in this hotel were really helpful and friendly. We loved the location of this hotel, just a street away from the Ancient Town. It is so convenient to visit the Ancient Town from here. The hotel also provides free bikes rental for hotel guests who wish to cycle around town or to the beach. Finally, our bus arrived at 7.30 am. A young man came into the hotel to look for us and we followed him and boarded the minibus and so that was goodbye to Hoi An for now till the next visit. Continue reading 6 Days Central Vietnam Tour (2017) – Day 3 Hoi An to Hue Via Hai Van Pass→
We woke up to some annoying loud singing near Hoi An Travel Lodge Hotel before 8 am. The hotel room opens out to a small balcony. From the balcony, we could see the side road was already busy with road traffic where locals were getting off to work. There were quite a number of street food hawkers along the road and locals were having their meals here in the morning.
Back in our room, we couldn’t sleep any longer. We didn’t intend to get up so early as we couldn’t explore the Ancient Town early in the morning. Most of the shops and cafes won’t be open. So we went down to the restaurant for breakfast. Staying on the second floor was quite advantageous as we could simply walk down to the restaurant for our meal.
The restaurant wasn’t crowded. We took our seats and then went to collect our food. The breakfast spread wasn’t huge but was more than sufficient. In fact, the quality of the breakfast was pretty good. We could order Vietnamese Pho separately as well. Of course the breakfast came with beverages, drinks, and fresh fruits.
Preparing to Visit to Ancient Town
After breakfast, we returned to our room to rest and tidy up to get ready for the staff to make our room while we prepared to head to Ancient Town just a street away. It was really early and shops at the Ancient Town might not be open so we took our time to surf internet and watch some TV programs. Finally at 9.20 am, we decided to make our move.
We stopped by at front desk to enquire about their free bike rental. The bicycles were kept just outside the hotel along the side road. Having taken a look, we decided not to cycle to town. The Ancient Town is just a street away. We didn’t see the point having to take care of the bike while we shop. Last year, we stayed over at Hoi An Sincerity Hotel which is much further away from the Ancient Town so cycling to town was necessary. This time we preferred to just walk which was more convenient.
Entering Hoi An Ancient Town
So we left Hoi An Travel Lodge Hotel, crossed the road and walked towards Le Loi Street. The streets were busy already when we crossed the traffic junction. Few minutes later, we were walking into Le Loi Street inside the Ancient Town. Shops were opening and a school was in operation with kids having a great time at the compound. This school looks like a kindergarten. The kids seen here were not wearing any particular uniform, just their home clothes.
Le Loi Street wasn’t busy yet but there were tourists roaming the street like us. Tourists were of course stopping here and there taking pictures of this lovely Ancient Town. The weather was great. It was a very sunny day and yet not scorching hot like our previous visits during the month in May. There was also some wind blowing and so it was also quite cooling especially under shades. Continue reading 6 Days Central Vietnam Tour (2017) – Day 2 Hoi An Ancient Town→
We had been visiting Central Vietnam for the past two years during the summer month in May which was freaking hot. However, we find Central Vietnam really charming and relaxing. So when Jetstar launched another round of sales, we booked air tickets without hesitation. This time, we would be visiting during the month of March 2017. A pair of return air ticket without check in luggage cost only around $95. Travelling to Central Vietnam is so convenient and really affordable now.
We planned to spend five nights in Central Vietnam, more than enough for us to visit Hoi An, Hue and Danang for a short visit as we had been to these places before. Our flight timings were as follows:
Singapore to Danang6.30 pm to 8.05 pm
Danang to Singapore8.20 pm to 12.10 am the following day.
Basically, the first day would simply be travelling to Central Vietnam just to spend the night and real activity would begin on the second day. However, we would have the entire day on the sixth day to chill before our return flight at night. So we planned our itinerary as follows:
Despite our room facing the main road, we could sleep soundly through the night. Road traffic along this road connecting ancient town and Cua Dai Beach was relatively low. Hence, noise issues weren’t a problem. There are villas further inside the property where close to absolute tranquility is possible with the occasional chirping of birds and sometimes crowing of roosters.
We would be heading to Pullman Danang Beach Resort later in the morning. Transfer was already arranged with East West Villas. We had indicated we would like our breakfast to be served in our room balcony, so we didn’t have to head out for our meals.
While we were resting after getting up from bed, there was a knock on the door. When we opened the door, the villa staff brought in a huge tray of food. All the items were nicely set up on the table at the balcony. There was so much food and the table was almost completely filled. There were western scrambled eggs set that came with baguette and also the local Vietnamese pho. The breakfast set also included fruit juice and coffee as well as fruits.
It was such a sight with the table fully filled with food at the balcony overlooking the quiet and serene swimming pool below. The smell of the food was heavenly and immediately, we felt hungry. So we settled down to enjoy our delicious breakfast set under this wonderful setting. It was so calm and peaceful. This was a great breakfast indeed.
After this fabulous meal, we got ready, packed up and waited for time to check out. We had already arranged with the villa to send us a vehicle to bring us to Danang. Meanwhile, we enjoyed this lovely villa room a little longer watching TV. After a final round chatting with the children back home to update them on our travel plans for the day, we took our bags and went downstairs to check out. Continue reading 5 Days 4 Nights Danang and Hoi An Vacation Day 4 (May 2016)→
After a tiring day cycling to Hoi An ancient town in the morning and visiting again at night, the sleep was sweet. We got up to another wonderful morning full of sunshine. We would be moving over to East West Villas later in the morning. This accommodation is located between the ancient town and Cua Dai Beach.
When we were ready, we went down to explore Hoi An Sincerity Hotel and checked out the garden again. The garden was well kept and this garden supplied vegetables to the restaurant. It was going to be another hot day again but the garden was well watered and green.
We then stepped into the restaurant for breakfast. Once again, the friendly staff greeted us by names and sat us down. The restaurant was busy in the morning. We collected our food and then enjoyed the wonderful breakfast. The food was really delicious.
After breakfast, we made another round to check out Hoi An Sincerity Hotel. This hotel was new and really clean and spacious. Service staff were genuinely friendly and helpful as well. The hotel provides regular shuttle service to the ancient town and the beach for those who are not keen to cycle to explore Hoi An. Actually, this is a safer way if you are not very skillful riding a bicycle. We then returned to our room.
Back in our room, we packed and got ready to check out to move to our new accommodation. We were actually quite excited and wondered what villa we were going to put up today. We rested a short while as it was still too early to check in at the other accommodation. But we were getting restless and eventually we checked out and left Hoi An Sincerity Hotel.
The first day was flying to Danang and transferred to Hoi An for the night. The only activity was a nice dinner at Hotel Royal and a quick stroll at the ancient town where the full moon festivity was already over. So this second day would be the real action for Hoi An. After a good night sleep, we went straight for breakfast. The breakfast was very good and we enjoyed the local food together with western items.
Cycling to Hoi An Ancient Town
We rested in our room for a while to plan our activities for the day. When we were ready, we went to the lobby to borrow the bicycles from Hoi An Sincerity Hotel. This hotel has bicycles for hotel guests to use for free. So we got a map from the hotel, orientated ourselves as we prepared to cycle to the ancient town.
From the main entrance of the hotel, turned right and cycled to the main road. We then turned left and cycled along Hai Ba Trung towards the ancient town. Cycling all the way following Hai Ba Trung will lead to the ancient town. Traffic wasn’t too heavy and there were other cyclists just like ourselves on the road. This was of course comforting as this was our first time cycling on the road in Central Vietnam. However, we needed to cycle carefully as there were big vehicles on the road as well.
In about 15 minutes, we entered the ancient town. Vehicular traffic is not allowed in this part of town. Only pedestrians and and cyclists are allowed to roam this wonderful ancient town. Our first stop was to cycle to the river near the very old Japanese Bridge. This is one of the the main attractions in the ancient town.
Day Tour at Hoi An Ancient Town
It was a very hot and sunny day as we arrived here. There were locals and tourists mingling around the river front, in particular, near the Japanese Bridge. We stopped and walked around to enjoy the site and took pictures. Tour groups also arrived and tour leaders were explaining to these tourists about history of this place.
The ancient town is an interesting place, very beautifully restored, architecturally, Chinese style. You won’t find Chinese living here anymore. Hundreds of years ago, this was a major port city used by the Chinese. Though this town is no longer authentic, it is nevertheless, a lovely place to explore and to enjoy a slice of history. Several Chinese association buildings are here to welcome visitors to learn more about their history. Continue reading 5 Days 4 Nights Danang and Hoi An Vacation Day 2 (May 2016)→
We had a wonderful trip to Central Vietnam last year visiting Hoi An, Hue and Danang. The only problem was there was no direct flight to Danang. We flew Vietnam Airlines and had to transit in Hanoi before arriving Danang and it took 6 hours. Coming back, we had to transit Ho Chi Min City and took around 7 hours. Actually, this doesn’t make sense at all.
So when Jetstar launched direct flights into Danang in August last year, we took the opportunity to visit Hoi An and Danang again in May this year. Flight time was just 2.5 hours and cost for return air tickets was under $130. We paid nearly double flying Vietnam Airlines last year so we were obviously delighted with Jetstar flying direct to Danang.
Our flight details were as follows:
Singapore to Danang 6.05 pm to 7.35 pm
Danang to Singapore 8.15 pm to 11.45 pm
Accommodation and Airport Transfer
This was just a short trip for a four nights stay. We would spend three nights in Hoi An and then one night in Danang by the beach.
We woke up rather early on this day 7 of our Central Vietnam tour to catch the sunrise over Hoi An. It was still very early just after 5 am. We went out to the balcony and the surrounding was getting brighter. The sun was coming out from the right side of the balcony. As the angle of the sunrise was quite awkward from the extreme right side of the balcony, we just took a few shots and then went back to bed again.
After another two hours of sleep, we decided to get up and head to the restaurant for breakfast. The restaurant was not very big and the buffet spread not huge but the quality of the food was quite good. We loved the fresh fruit juice. We also ordered a nice cup of Vietnamese coffee and we enjoyed our breakfast in this little boutique hotel. The staff made the difference here as they were ever helpful and sincerely friendly.
Back to our room after breakfast, we rested for a while watching TV and did our packing to get ready to depart for Danang. The pick up time was around 10.30 am and so we had plenty of time. The pick up point was just minutes away so we needed not hurry. It was going to be another hot day so we showered to refresh ourselves before leaving for Pullman Danang Beach Resort.
Finally, just after 10 am, we went to the hotel lobby to check out. The friendly staff were there to assist and check out was quite fast. They were quite eager to have our feedback to see if there were any areas they needed to improve in order to provide guests with a better experience staying with them. No wonder they received very good ratings from guests who had stayed with them. Our experience was indeed very good with their impeccable customer service. A Mailinh taxi was called for us and many of their staff came to wave us off and wishing to see us back again the next time we visit Hoi An.
In under 5 minutes, we arrived at the pick up point at 127 Phan Chau Trinh. The cost for the taxi ride was just 12,000 VND. After alighting, we went under shade in the car park to wait for the shuttle bus from Pullman Danang Beach Resort. As we were still early before 10.20 am, my wife went to look at some shops along the main road while I looked after our bags to wait for the shuttle bus. Soon my wife came back with a lovely blouse she bought from one of the shops along the main road.
Just slightly after 10.30 am, a white minibus pulled up and guests began alighting from the bus. We recognized the bus from Pullman Danang Beach Resort as we had taken a ride with one of these buses from the resort to go to the train station on the third day of our Central Vietnam tour. We were politely invited to board the bus by the driver once all the guest had alighted. We were also given cold face towels and water. The cold towels were so good and refreshing as we wiped off perspiration from our face. The driver explained he had to go to another hotel first before returning to Pullman Danang Beach Resort which wasn’t a problem for us.
So he drove back towards Little Hoi An Boutique Hotel but didn’t cross over the bridge and went further along the road. The bus pulled up in front of a very nice hotel and the driver went out to deliver something to another staff coming out from this hotel. Only then we realized this was another hotel from the Accor group. This hotel is Hotel Royal Hoi An – MGallery Collection, located directly opposite Little Hoi An Boutique Hotel across the river. I faintly remembered there was this five stars Accor hotel in Hoi An but just forgotten about this otherwise we could have dropped by at least for a meal where we could enjoy a 50% discount for dining.
After delivering those stuff to the other hotel staff we left and made our way to Danang. The minibus was very clean and comfortable and the air-condition was working very well. It was such a luxury to be ferried by the hotel’s vehicle to Pullman Danang Beach Resort. Danang wasn’t very far away and we arrived Pullman Danang Beach Resort around 11 am. The ride was so good and our chat with this driver was so cordial and as such, we tipped him generously for bringing us to the resort. Once we alighted, hotel staff immediately came over to take our bags while we walked up the stairs to the lobby for check in.
We were greeted and served by Doan again who heartily welcomed us back. She was brimming with all smiles to break us the good news that we were upgraded again to a bigger unit as she walked us to our room. We were of course very excited as we did not expect to be upgraded again this second time of our stay. We arrived at unit 601 and Doan opened the door to show us into this huge unit with a kitchen on the right as we entered the apartment. After the small kitchen was a huge living room with a door open out to a big balcony. The living room was nicely furnished with a nice sofa set and a wall mounted TV as well as a dining table set for six persons. We were also given a fruit basket and chocolate to welcome us back to the resort.
Entering the room was similar to the junior suit we had during our first stay on Day 2 of our tour. A nice and clean Jacuzzi was part of the setup in the bathroom. The king bed looked gorgeous, clean and comfortable. Writing desk as usual in front of the bed with a wall mounted TV and another door was there for access to the balcony.
From the balcony, we overlooked the compound of another Accorgroup property, the Premier Village Danang Resort. Their compound was huge with a nice private beach next to Pullman Danang Beach Resort. This property was pretty new and nice, a little quiet from where we could see from our balcony. Another outdoor sofa set was at the balcony. The balcony was so big and we could walk around and were able to see the beach all the way to the distant land across the sea.
It was simply fantastic to be given this upgrade and Pullman Danang Beach Resort had been so kind to us. Having thanked Doan for introducing this unit to us and with our bags brought up by the resort staff, we sat down to decide where to go for lunch. As we already had a lunch and a dinner at the restaurant over here the last time, we decided to go next door to pay Premier Village Danang Resort a visit and to have lunch there.
So we left the resort and made our way there. We walked by the side and could see our apartment from the garden ground of the resort. On the way, we passed by tennis courts belonging to Pullman. Should we come again the next time, we could bring our tennis rackets to have a game or two over here, provided the weather wasn’t so hot during summer. We reached the main road and turned right and Premier Village Danang Resort was just next door.
We walked into the property and asked the security guard the location of the restaurant and he pointed us all the way into the resort towards the beach area. As we walked in, he seemed to radio some staff to meet us. We saw our apartment while walking towards the beach area.
By the time we reached the car park near the beach, a buggy pulled up and a friendly and happy staff gave us a ride to the restaurant. The ride was great and saved us some walking under the hot sun and the property here was really very big. We thanked the staff and went into the restaurant.
The restaurant was very pleasant and we were ushered into a room with a very nice purple colour theme decoration. The waiters and waitresses were helpful and friendly. We made our order and then went out to the balcony area of the restaurant to explore and we took some nice pictures. The beach was just right in front and the place was lovely and beautiful. It was too hot to go under the sun during midday and we just stayed indoor to enjoy the view and the wind.
Our food arrived and we went back to our table for lunch. We were also given welcome drinks for coming over for lunch as Accor members. The Chinese dishes cooked in Vietnamese style were delicious. The yam with coconut desserts were very good as well. It was the first time we tasted this kind of desserts. Lunch was very good. Our clay pot lunch with drinks and desserts came up to under 250,000 VND after 50% discount for Accor members.
We had the chance to speak to an Italian gentleman who happened to be the F&B director here and we learned a little more of what they had to offer. It was really a very good lunch and we were happy to be here. Perhaps, this property might be our next target should our children wish to come and visit Hoi An in the future.
Before we left, we explored the restaurant a while more while the restaurant staff called a buggy over to give us a ride back to the main entrance. When the buggy arrived, we took a ride and left. In a short while, we were back at the main entrance. We were really glad for the buggy ride otherwise we would be perspiring profusely from the walk under the hot midday sun during this summer day in Danang.
We went back to Pullman Danang Beach Resort next door and took some pictures of the surrounding. The resort was really grand from the outside. The garden was very well kept and this property was indeed well taken care of.
Before going back to our room, we went into the Butterfly Garden to explore. The garden wasn’t very big but good enough to keep butterflies here happy with the plants, trees and flowers as their natural habitat. We took some pictures and then went back to our room as it was getting really hot in the open.
Back to our room, we secured connection with our children and shared with them the great news of our latest upgrade. It was still very early and too hot to do much outdoor so we watched TV instead and caught up with some rest before heading to the beach and then for a swim. The two TVs were put to good use as my wife and I watched different programs.
This bigger unit was really comfortable. We had everything that we needed. Plenty of bottled water supply and also an espresso coffee maker. We had plenty of space here in fact too much for just the two of us. How we wished the children were with us to share this comfort and luxury in this penthouse.
Having spent sufficient time enjoying our fabulous apartment, we decided it was time to head to the beach and then for a swim in the pool. We changed and got everything we needed and went to the beach. We were familiar with the place by now as this was our second stay so we went to the beach first.
After enough of exposure to the sun on the beach and the sea, we went under shelter and the beach chairs provided great comfort for us just to spend time people watching and while away the time. The beach was still quite empty being a private beach. It was also very hot and prolonged exposure to the sun during summer could bring horrible consequences of nasty sunburnt. So those on the beach were like us enjoying the beach under shelter on beach chairs.
There were some beach goers having fun on jet ski near the shallow part of the beach. It was just a few of them so it wasn’t very noisy. Danang beach was just beautiful and peaceful. It was so clean and nice here and not so commercialized with vendors coming up to sell us stuff and offer services we didn’t need on the beach. No one came up to try to sell us timeshares as well. We would prefer the beach here anytime having been to beaches in Bali and Phuket.
After some time, we decided to have a swim at the swimming pool. We loved this pool. The water was warm and the pool was clean. It was so relaxing and enjoyable to swim here. It was not very crowded as well so we had a great time swimming and resting in between. As this would be our final day in Danang for our holiday, we made the best of it before flying home the next day.
Next, it was time for a dip in the Jacuzzi in our room. The nice and clean Jacuzzi was a luxury indeed. How often do we get to have a Jacuzzi in our room to pamper ourselves! Filling up the Jacuzzi took a while but the hot and cold water mixer was easy to use and water temperature control was good. So we had another great time enjoying the water massage and bubble bath and at the same time watching TV. We took our time and enjoyed the dip until it was time for dinner. The was another indulgence for our wonderful holiday in Central Vietnam.
Before heading out for dinner, we went out to the balcony to watch a beautiful sunset show over the distant city in Danang. The sea view was still bright but slowly becoming dull.
Looking towards the City, it was a different picture. There were some clouds far away in the sky over Danang City and the sun was getting lower. It seemed the sun was playing hide and seek behind those clouds projecting a beautiful hues of orange and pink in the sky. It was so lovely and pretty. Gradually, the sun made its descend and eventually disappeared for the day. So we left our room and went for dinner.
As we had very good dining experience at the restaurant the last time, we went back again for dinner. The whole resort area was lit up nicely with the sky turning deep blue to darker blue and eventually dark. The lanterns lighting at the restaurant was lovely and reminded us of the Old Town in Hoi An. The restaurant was quite empty again.
We ordered the five course set dinner again and also a wagyu beef burger. We were given bread with dipping sauce first. The nitrogen fruit cocktail came soon after. Next came the appetizer, soup and main course. The wagyu beef burger was huge. Finally the peanut sago desserts came as well. The dinner was very good. It was very enjoyable to have dinner here like the last time. The waiters and waitresses were friendly and cheerful. We were very satisfied with this mouth watering dinner. The cost for the dinner was just over 400,000 VND after 50% discount for Accor Plus members. So it was a great dinner with a great price as well.
After dinner, we went to the main building at the lobby and proceeded to the business centre on the second floor. We went there to do our online check in for our flights for the next morning. There were a few computers available but the business centre was empty. So we figured how to get our online check in done and managed to check in with the Vietnam Airlines website. We were also able to print out the boarding passes.
Next, we went down to the lobby lounge to have our Accor memberswelcome drinks. We ordered their recommended fruits cocktails again as well as one of their famous nitrogen ice-cream. Our drinks came first decorating the glass table beautifully with two lovely sweet pink cocktails.
Soon, two staff members pushing a trolley came along to introduce the ice-cream making process to us. Our choice selections included a few different ingredients of nuts, chocolates and cookies all came in small bowls on the trolley. The staff then explained the process to us.
One of them then put those ingredients into a big stainless steel bowl and poured in creamer and started to stir and mix the contents in the bowl. The other staff then slowly poured in some liquid nitrogen a little at a time while the first staff member continued stirring the mixture in the stainless steel bowl. This process was repeated a few times and lo and behold, two scoops of ice-cream were placed nicely into an ice-bowl ready for our consumption.
This was the first time we tried nitrogen ice-cream so it was quite an excitement for us. The ice-cream blended very nicely with our welcome drinks. Thus we enjoyed our evening relaxing at the lounge listening to the same guitarist playing oldies and sentimental songs as well as some more recent music pieces. With some nice breeze blowing our way from the sea, this evening was a night to be remembered as we began counting down our time towards the end of our Central Vietnam tour.
The drinks were quite sweet and the ice-cream was nice and unique. We would do the same again should we come back to Pullman Danang Beach Resort the next time. This resort had been very generous to offer us upgrades these two times. The staff here were simply very good and we enjoyed every moment here at the resort. When the guitarist packed up and called it a night and with our drinks drank and ice-cream consumed, we made our way back to our wonderful penthouse for more indulgence.
Back to our apartment, we took pictures of every corner and space to remember this great penthouse given to us for a night. We used the living room to watch TV for a while to enjoy the living room. The sofa set in the living room was very comfortable. The fabric of this sofa set was of good quality.
We also went out to the balcony to look out to town in the distance. Premier Village Danang Resort next door was rather quiet. This wasn’t a bad thing though as guests no doubt would have a wonderful night of sleep without disturbance.
As our beach resort was located further away from Danang City, the whole area was very quiet as well. Those high rise buildings in the city could be seen nicely lit up in the night. Perhaps, the dragon bridge fire and water show could be seen a little bit from here as well during weekends, minus the raw excitement on the bridge itself with the possibility of getting wet being too close to the dragon head.
Finally, it was time to watch TV and wind down for the night. Catching up with the children and showing them the marvelous nitrogen ice-cream making process was one of the last things to do for the night.
With a tad bit of reluctance, we would have to close our eyes for the night having had so much fun in Central Vietnam. We had already arranged with reception to send us to the airport in the morning for our flight home. So home coming soon but sweet dreams first as we drifted into our world of blissful sleep.