Da Nang (visa on arrival or pre departure?) – staying in Hoi An

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This topic contains 18 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  stevescoots 1 Apr 2019
at 03:35
.

Viewing 4 posts - 16 through 19 (of 19 total)

  • AnthonyDunn
    Participant

    Hi Martyn,

    After the event but for others. Under 15 days and yes, no visa required. For longer stays, the online visa application system works very well.

    We stayed (Nov18) at the Lantana Riverside Boutique Hotel overlooking the river in Hoi An. Absolutely fine with good rooms, breakfast and a basement gym plus pool around the back. It’s reasonably close to the centre of Hoi An. Apparently Hoi An has a reputation for tailoring (which we didn’t take up) and also for Vietnamese cookery courses (which we did – details upon request). Plenty of good restaurants, bars and coffee shops.

    Personally, we thought that Hoi An was massively over-rated: tourists gawking at other tourists and some pretty red lanterns at night.

    Da Nang (about 45-55 minutes taxi ride away from Hoi An) is to be avoided like the plague. The place is an exemplar of how not to do tourist development. They’ve taken a glorious 10Km long 500m deep beach frontage and turn it into a series of walled beachfront “tourist resort” developments predominantly aimed at Chinese tourists. Frankly ghastly and it amounts to an act of ecological desecration.

    Vietnam Airlines were absolutely fine when we flew DAD-HAN in an A321 and HAN-SGN in an excellent new A350. We’ve also flown Bangkok Airways ex-BKK to and from Burma and they were fine (but seriously delayed upon our return MDL-BKK which nearly imperilled our BKK-HKG connection with CX).

    We also did Vietnamese trains (Reunification Express sleeper from HAN down to Da Nang and then the sleeper between Hanoi – Lao Cai south of the Chinese border) and found the sleepers of variable age and quality but not bad. Anyone wanting to explore Vietnam would be recommended to head to Hanoi and then venture forth. We absolutely loved our time in the old town heart of HAN. We also greatly enjoyed our time in the hill station of Sapa and then way out into the hill tribe areas of the north-west. Fascinating.

    There has to be a way to explore Ha Long Bay or Bai Tu Long Bay which does not entail signing up to a 24-hour tourist junket on one of the floating gin palaces – but that is for us to work out for next time.

    Vietnamese cuisine has to rank as one of the world’s finest. A trip down to just about any old town market will reveal the most astonishing range of fruit and vegetables that makes the offerings in your average UK supermarket pale in comparison. If ever in either Hanoi or Saigon (yes, the locals use the name) look up “Dong” restaurant: absolutely fabulous dining. Expensive by VN standards but eating Michelin rosette level Vietnamese cuisine for £15 a head is phenomenal.

    Finally, Vietnamese coffee is unlike any I’ve had anywhere else – particularly Moka. I brought kilos of the stuff back with me and have worked up my own Moka and Italian mix that is delicious. We can recommend a trip to Anan Coffee (it’s a national chain) and their 500g bags of either bean or ground travel well.

    Any other queries, give me a ring – you’ve got my number.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    Danang and Hoi An now complete.

    Thai Vietjet – all fears unfounded. Like the other LCC’s in Asia I’ve used (Bangkok Airways, Air Asia). Service was good, on time, aircraft were clean and cabin crew polite and smart. Girls were dressed as eye candy, which I still think is wrong, but hey, this is Asia..

    Stayed at the Victoria hotel – which was perfect, had a meal at the Salt Bar – where I met a class mate I had not seen for 43 years and the business was worth the trip.

    The only part that stood out was the security at Danang airport on the way out – they just appear to go through the motions. Nothing needed to come out of bags (not even computers) and it appeared as long as your shoes were off, everyone in my Q went through without comment.

    I do though find Vietnam a wonderful and fascinating country.. I feel very privileged to be able to travel to the region so frequently.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    K1ngston
    Participant

    I totally concur AnthonyDunn the restaurant you mention “Dong” is top class and I have eaten there many times. You have reminded me of some memorable times there and just needed to mention. Martyn glad you had a good time next time you need to see an old pal in Phuket, the wine and gin bars are a calling …….


    stevescoots
    Participant

    Danang and Hoi An now complete.

    Thai Vietjet – all fears unfounded. Like the other LCC’s in Asia I’ve used (Bangkok Airways, Air Asia). Service was good, on time, aircraft were clean and cabin crew polite and smart. Girls were dressed as eye candy, which I still think is wrong, but hey, this is Asia..

    Stayed at the Victoria hotel – which was perfect, had a meal at the Salt Bar – where I met a class mate I had not seen for 43 years and the business was worth the trip.

    The only part that stood out was the security at Danang airport on the way out – they just appear to go through the motions. Nothing needed to come out of bags (not even computers) and it appeared as long as your shoes were off, everyone in my Q went through without comment.

    I do though find Vietnam a wonderful and fascinating country.. I feel very privileged to be able to travel to the region so frequently.

    Glad you enjoyed and found VietJet ok Martyn.

Viewing 4 posts - 16 through 19 (of 19 total)
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