This summer we visited central Vietnam as a family with our 3 children age 6 years and under. We broke up the trip into three stops in order to see as much of Vietnam as we could and to also give the children different experiences.
Our Vietnam adventure went a little like this…
We flew direct on Emirates from Dubai to Ho Chi Minh City and then we took an hour’s domestic flight on Vietnam Airlines to Hue which is a tiny airport (you can also fly into DaNang which is an international airport and a major, booming city in central Vietnam ) then a 40 minute drive to our resort Laguna Lang Co - Angsana and Banyan Tree Resort.
Driving towards the resort it was clear that we were in a remote untouched area, with lush green forests (Truong Son mountain range) on one side and a stunning coastline with sweeping white beaches on the other. As we entered the resort, there was an 18-hole Nick Faldo golf course, an organic farm, staff cycling around and further up the path was the entrance to the Angsana Hotel and the Banyan Tree.
Both resorts are situated on a secluded beach with the Banyan Tree resort expanding up the lush mountain cliff while the Angsana resort extends down the private pristine beach. Both resorts offer villas/rooms with private pools and stunning views. On one side of the resort is a river which runs between both properties where you can kayak or enjoy other fun water sports. While many on site activities are offered on the beach such as surfing, jet skis, boating and TAV (quad biking) you can also enjoy the many mountain trails alone or with the hotel tour guides. Bikes are available to cycle around the resort or on a tour outside of the property. We all went out on bikes, with one of my kids sitting on the back of my mountain bike and the other two had their own bikes.
We stayed at the Angsana Resort in a beautifully spacious three floor villa, with stunning floor to ceiling windows which made the beach views even more wonderful. I don’t know what it was about the beds in our rooms, but I can honestly say we all slept amazingly well, with me having to wake the kids up in the morning in order to make breakfast (a few mornings we never made it in time!) Even though we had a private pool, the kids enjoyed the large main hotel pool which wrapped around the resort and opened up into small private peaceful areas and jacuzzi spots.
Between both the properties there is an excellent choice of restaurants, from fine dining to more relaxed alfresco beach dining. I highly recommend Saffron restaurant located on the cliff front at Banyan Tree - try to pre book as it’s a small restaurant and always busy due to the wonderful food and brilliant sun set views.
I have to say, even though this was a large property and the occupancy was high, I still felt very secluded and it never felt busy. With so much to do on site and a private beach that went on for miles you never felt like you saw the same person twice.
Watch our video: https://youtu.be/xxImX0iOwp4
As the resort is located between 3 UNESCO Heritage spots, one being the world famous Hoi An, there is not a shortage of excursions to enjoy. Day trips are well priced, and you can either go by the hotel shuttle bus or like we did, rent a hotel car and driver – they are super cheap and much more convenient.
We actually only left the hotel once to visit a place which has become popular literally over night with a picture that went viral on Instagram – since it was only an hour’s drive from our hotel, we had to go. More on that below…
DaNa Hills - Sun World
After seeing that famous “Gods Hands” golden bridge picture go viral, it went quickly onto my ‘must see’ places to visit. An hour drive from our hotel, we didn’t know what to expect. I thought we would simply come across a bridge, walk over it, take pictures and then leave. But NO, we were in for an amazing surprise.
We drove up to a large parking area where we were informed we had to buy tickets and take the cable car to the top of the mountain. I showed the staff the picture of the bridge I wanted to see, and they said it was on top of the mountain. Still unsure but ready for the adventure we bought tickets which were super cheap and joined the flow of people, of which there were many! We walked through a temple like building and followed the signs to the cable cars, which we entered with a cable pod to ourselves.
As the cable car started moving up the mountain, we started seeing spectacular views overlooking the mountains, waterfalls, streams running down the mountain, the ocean in the distance, with DaNang city glimmering in the sunlight. The journey seemed to take forever as we were going higher and higher. As we increased to 1400 feet we saw our first glimpse of the now famous ‘gods hands’ bridge. We got out of the cable car and walked towards the bridge - our first impression was that it was smaller than we thought, but how on earth did they build this on the top of a huge mountain?! Taking in the view we walked from one end to another, coming out to an area which looked like building ruins (for effect) and a vision of a white 27 meters tall white Buddha in the distance, only to realize there was another cable car taking you even higher - 1487 meters above sea level. Now this we had to see.
Once at the top and what felt like we were over looking the world the doors opened to what can only be described as…. wait for it….an adventure park!!!!
Music, dancers, entertainers, street festival, princesses, men on stilts, jugglers, fire acts, free beer vouchers being handed out from the German Beer Bar, restaurants and believe it or not, two hotels…it was all happening. The place was teeming with tourists. Welcome to Sun World the most surreal place I have ever seen. At the top of this mountain range, they had built miniature versions of global cities and their cultures with the standout being a Paris street replete with a miniature Notre Dame.
This place is well worth a visit just because it truly is a bizarre but exhilarating experience; go early as it can get hot and very busy:
700,000 adult - VD
550,000 kids – VD
After spending a fantastic relaxing week at the glorious and peaceful Lang Co, we were soon enough off to our next destination in Vietnam… Hoi An
Read the full feature here: