Vietnam – Buddhas, Temples and Stunning Beaches

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Vietnam is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. With an estimated 87.8 million inhabitants as of 2011, it is the world’s 13th-most-populous country, and the eighth-most-populous Asian country. Vietnam is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea to the east.  Di recently paid a visit to Vietnam, with its dramatic coastline, soaring mountains and delicious cuisine.

An hour-long flight from Ho Chi Minh City is the exclusive location of Evason Ana Mandara in Nha Trang. Surrounded by private tropical gardens, it has spectacular views of Nha Trang Bay with a backdrop of mountains to the West and North.

We visited the Ponaga Temple, originally built in honour of a local goddess during the Hindu period, with origins from the 7th century, as well as the Long Son Pagoda. From there, a flight of 100 steps take you to the enormous white Buddha, which dominates the Nha Trang landscape and offers great views.  After a visit to the general market with a huge choice of dried fish/shrimps, clothes, carvings, toys – you name it, it was there – we visited the fish market, well worth a visit for the sight and smells.

The journey to Six Senses Hideaway Ninh Van Bay involves a short boat ride from the hotel’s jetty on the mainland.   The resort is barely visible until you enter the bay, as it blends in so well with the scenery – large granite boulders, palm trees and jungle.   It is the epitome of barefoot escapism – anyone who eschews air-conditioned bathrooms and pristine walkways needn’t come here!

Rooms are either situated in the tropical gardens or with breathtaking sea views across the bay. Each villa has a designated butler who will literally do anything and everything for you. Access around the property is either by buggy, foot or bicycle.

Di’s Top Tips

  • Best time to go: Nha Trang enjoys the best climate in Vietnam, with 250 days of sunshine a year (24 – 38 c).
  • Ideal destination for: Couples, families
  • Favourite food: Noodle soup
  • Hotel to watch: Six Senses Hideaway Con Dao
  • Must do: Ponaga Temple, Long Son Pagoda, fish market, boat ride in the bay

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