I got sick last December in Bali. Very sick. Dengue Fever sick. It was painful and frightening and I never want to experience balloon-like fingers and toes ever again. So my twice yearly holidays to Bali had to cease. Immediately. I couldn’t risk getting sick traveling alone with Bella. And the thought of a 4 year old getting Dengue Fever made me say uh-uh no way. So no more breakfasts at Biku, lazy lunches at La Lucciola or dining on divine Asian food at Mama San for me. I was devo. What was a Seminyak tragic meant to do on my holidays?! I bloody love Bali. I’ve been there 20+ times. And just as I contemplated the intravenous application of Bushman’s 40% to fend off the Aedes aegypti mosquito my Aunty Trix came to the rescue and suggested I might just love a place she visited while travelling through Vietnam.
Aunty Trix was dead right. I loved Hoi An. The problem is I don’t want too many OTHER people to love it. Because it’s not too touristy. YET. And I hope it stays that way. So maybe don’t read any further if you’re planning a beach holiday overseas. Thanks.
I contemplated accidently losing our passports in the ocean so we could stay longer. That didn’t eventuate so Bella and I stayed in Hoi An for 10 days. Cua Dai Beach is breathtaking. White, clean sand that stretches for miles. I dug my fists into that sand and as I inhaled the 37 degree weather I swore I’d never be cold again.
We stayed at the Palm Garden Beach Resort and Spa in a Beachfront Bungalow. Not super-expensive and well worth the extra money. The resort provided rocking chairs on the balcony and while Bella napped I would sit with a glass of red wine in my hand watching the endless blue ocean. I rocked. Literally.
When I returned I wanted to tell everyone how mind-blowingly amazing Hoi An was, but on the other hand I selfishly didn’t want anyone else to go there for fear it may become the over-crowded tourist mecca that is Bali. (Sorry Bali lovers but it’s TRUE!!!)
Can this place get any better? Yep. The food. Ridiculously cheap. Fresh. Seafood. Too die for. I ate like I was trying to get ON the Biggest Loser. And the Vietnamese people Bella and I met were so gentle yet they possessed a kind of directness I found hilarious. Chung and her mum own a restaurant directly opposite our hotel called Mi Casa. Go there if you’re ever in Hoi An. We became regular customers after Chung showed an interest in my and Bella’s traveling arrangements, “Why you by yourself? You got no husband? Where’s your baby’s DADDY???!!” Could. Not. Stop. Laughing.
SON TRA PENINSULA, DA NANG VIETNAM
I liked the sound of Monkey Mountain (Son Tra Peninsula) which was about 40 minutes from Hoi An by car and 15 mins from the city of Da Nang. So being the adventurous type I got a taxi to drop us off at The Big C department store in Da Nang so we could do a spot of food shopping before heading to our accommodation. There’s not much in the way of supermarkets around old Monkey Mountain. Then into another taxi, up the mountain, past the 67m Statue of Buddha, arriving at the Son Tra Resort for our 3 night stay in a villa on the beach. I was gobsmacked. Most beautiful place on Earth I reckon.
Our 2 storey villa was huge with a full kitchen, lounge, TV, working wifi AND it’s own proper size swimming pool which overlooked the beach. So we ate, swam in the pool, ate, went to the beach, ate, swam in the pool, ate, went to the beach and ate. Pretty much in that order. For three days. Brilliant.
If you’re after parties and crowds every night then this isn’t the place for you. It’s isolated, very quiet, the staff speak limited English and there’s nothing around except beach and sun. Bloody marvelous IMO. The resort restaurant had the most amazing views and I could’ve sat there snacking and drinking all day…but Bella wanted back in the pool.
I’ve been to a lot of beautiful places with Bella but nothing blew me away like Hoi An and the Son Tra Peninsula. I cant wait to get on a plane next June and do it all again. Wooooot! So I’ll leave you with a few more pics of our holiday. Let me know if you’ve been to Hoi An or traveled through Vietnam. Or just share your favourite holiday destination!
Thanks for reading about our travels to Hoi An in Vietnam. If you want to know any more feel free to email me or reply to this post!