10-Day Trip in Vietnam by Famous Female Reporter
Katheryn Romeyn, a travel writer, wrote in Travel & Leisure magazine that she chose Vietnam as a destination because of its spectacular beauty, incredible food, and diverse indigenous culture.
"Ever since Vietnam reopened to international travelers in March and dropped pre-arrival Covid testing protocols, Westerners are slowly trickling back into the place known for its flavorful, veggie- and herb-laden cuisine, ancient towns, dynamic cities, and heavenly beaches”, she noted in Travel & Leisure magazine.
She and her little family traveled along the S-shaped country to explore Vietnam’s famous tourist attractions. Below is Katheryn Romeyn's 10-day itinerary in Hanoi capital, Hoi An ancient town, Ho Chi Minh City, and Nha Trang coastal city.
HANOI: A Romance period movie
Katheryn Romeyn and her family started their first day in Hanoi. One might imagine the capital city of a country with more than 97 million people to be hectic or stifling, but Hanoi to her was like a romantic period movie with its colonial architecture shaded by lush canopies of towering trees.
Katheryn's family chose Capella Hanoi as their place to stay in Hanoi. In her description, the architecture here whisked the family back to the heyday of opera stage lighting. Designed by architect Bill Bensley, this 47-room boutique hotel debuted in April 2021 only to close temporarily at the time due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the morning, she and her family tasted the exquisite Hanoi pho (Vietnamese noodles), then learned how to make Vietnamese traditional coffee and Japanese dishes made from wagyu beef.
|Japanese dishes made from wagyu beef (Photo: travelandleisure.com).|
"The local people recommended us to get up early and enjoy the atmosphere of Hanoi at 7 am. It was the best decision I had ever made," Katheryn wrote.
|7 am in Hanoi was its own kind of spectacle with people meditating around a square, playing badminton on the sidewalk, dancing together by Hoan Kiem Lake, and praying at pagodas (Photo: travelandleisure.com).|
7 am in Hanoi was its own kind of spectacle. Katheryn felt a sense of serenity as she saw the locals meditating around a square, playing badminton on the sidewalk, dancing together by Hoan Kiem Lake, and praying at pagodas. Also, she and her family rent a Vespa to visit traditional lacquerware villages and learn about performative rituals. Particularly, bun cha (Vietnamese grilled pork with noodles) at Dong Xuan market left a lasting impression on Katheryn's family.
|Katheryn's family enjoyed bun cha (Vietnamese grilled pork with noodles) at Dong Xuan market (Photo: travelandleisure.com).|
HOI AN: A healing tour
Hoi An ancient town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was the next destination for Katheryn and her family in Vietnam. Here, she chose Four Seasons Resort Hoi An, well known for its natural scenery overlooking the sea and health care services. Katheryn got to experience crystal singing bowls, cocooning meditations, and silken Vietnamese massages, which helped tune her body to Earth's vibrations.
“We savored plant-based Vietnamese dishes from the Glow With Food program of the hotel and the sustainable coffee and tea presentations elevated those ingredients in the culinary art of Vietnamese people”, shared Katheryn.
|Katheryn and her family had memorable experiences in Hoi An (Photo: travelandleisure.com).|
According to Katheryn, Hoi An itself was an enchanted ancient city and UNESCO World Heritage site with charming pedestrian-only streets wondrously strung with handcrafted silk lanterns. She had heard about an eerily quiet Hoi An during the height of COVID-19. But Hoi An seemed to have changed unexpectedly on a weekend full moon evening, buzzing with throngs of excitable crowds.
“The sight of hundreds of rainbow lantern-lit boats gliding along the river felt special, just like the pagodas and temples that glowed under the navy sky”, Katheryn wrote in the magazine.
|Sight of rainbow lantern-lit boats gliding along the river in Hoi An (Photo: travelandleisure.com).|
NHA TRANG: Experience of Robinson on a desert island
From Hoi An, Katheryn's family flew to Nha Trang and then took a boat to Six Senses Ninh Van Bay. Katheryn described it as the desert island where Robinson once lived with all-wood villas, hammocks, timber tubs, and bamboo furniture. The resort, seemingly piled atop granite boulders, was an immersion into some of Mother Nature's best work.
“We indulged on locally caught pomfret during a private dinner inside a candlelit cave”, she said.
|Scenes at a beach in Nha Trang taken by Katheryn (Photo: travelandleisure.com).|
The next day, Katheryn rode bicycles, played in the VOOC village children's club, and learned about the conservation of the rare, black-shanked douc langurs and brown-shanked douc langurs. According to Travel & Leisure magazine, the VOOC village is named after the douc langurs, which are being cared for and preserved by staff at an acclaimed resort in Nha Trang. In addition, there were clubs for children and playgrounds in the resort.
“We were dazzled by privileged sightings of species only found in three places on the planet leaping from boulders to tree branches as we cruised on a vibrant fishing boat into the sunset," Katheryn wrote in the magazine.
|Glorious sunset taken by Katherin (Photo: travelandleisure.com).|
“Throughout our trip, people from every walk shared pieces of their lives and culture in Vietnam. Flights are still operating normally, especially nonstops from Singapore and Seoul to smaller cities such as Cam Ranh”, she suggested.
HO CHI MINH CITY: Final exciting destination
Katheryn Romeyn and her family arrived in Ho Chi Minh City in the last days of their Vietnam trip. Her family enjoyed dinner at a gracious hotel in the city, where beautiful balances of elegance with tradition in textured design and food were observed.
The dishes selected by her and her family represented the major regions' dominant flavors: the salty taste of the North, the spicy taste of the Central Coast, the sweet taste of the South, and the culinary simplicity of the Mekong Delta.
"I was thrilled to listen to the people of Ho Chi Minh City sharing their stories about Vietnamese culinary culture", she wrote in her diary.
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