Da Nang – Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
It's school holiday time! Since Erik back to school which is every Saturday, it become dificult to arrange a short holiday trip. So as soon as he got school holiday, we planned to visit Vietnam : Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh (as Jetstar only fly direct to Ho Chi Minh City at that moment, so we fly SG - HCMC - Da Nang, Da Nang - HCMC - SG).
- We took the earliest flight to HCMC so we reached there quite early and the flight to Da Nang still around 2PM. We go to the CT Plaza opposite the airport but it's still closed, luckily there's a Highlands Coffee Shop infront of the mall. So we order a snack bite, Banh Mi with roasted pork and Vietnam Ice Coffee. As soon as the CT Plaza open, we get inside and killed some time browsing around then having lunch there. FIRST PHO we had in Vietnam, soooooo delicious.
- Back to airport for our next domestic flight to Da Nang, the journey is around 1 hour plus. Reached there without no problem and the hotel driver is ready to pick us up and send us to the very PRETTY hotel by the Da Nang beach and we got it in a pretty good deal (around 150 USD per night for the Junior Suite) at Pullman Danang Beach Resort. The staff is really friendly and helpful, the room is huge and comfortable, they clean up the room twice a day, the room is near to the beach (as requested during the booking from Booking.com).
- To close the day, we had an excellent dinner at the Epice Restaurant in the hotel. We had the Australian Beef Steak and there's a glass of wine for free when we order the steak. For the dessert, Erik tried the liquid nitrogen ice cream Da Nang Durian flavour.
- Hotel provides few day tour options but we decided to take the Da Nang city tour instead of going for Hoi An or Hue. The first stop for the city tour is Quan Am Pagoda, the highlight is the giant statue of the Goddess of Mercy, which stands 67m.
- Next, we visit marble mountain, in this village most of the people are doing marble statue art for a living. The elevator is broken due to recent typhoon so we just browsing around this marble village. Continuing our trip to Cham Museum and Da Nang Cathedral which is sadly not open for visitor. Last stop is Han market, it's a local wet market that become tourist place so they will surely marked up the price here. We bought Vietnam Coffee here and then we compare the price to supermarket price at Lotte Mart in Da Nang, it's more expensive by 50%.
- After the tour, we had PHO for lunch at PHO24 then we headed to Lotte Mart to browse around.
- For the dinner we go out for seafood restaurant nearby the hotel. Recommended by the hotel staff.
After 2 days raining in Da Nang, we couldn't really enjoy the infinite pool at the hotel and playing around at the beach but today the weather it's quite ok so we run to the beach after breakfast. Playing sand at the beach and enjoy the wind. Superb!
Sadly, we need to leave this lovely place to continue our adventure to busy HO CHI MINH CITY. Erik watched the Gordon Ramsay video few months before the trip and really wanted to try it ever since. So he ask his colleague's help to talk to the people in the restaurant to serve the snake dishes and perform the same thing as seen on that video. Erik's colleague said that the restaurant will not put that in the menu, so you have to request for it. Eww! What an experience!
It's the last day, starting the day by joining English Mass at the Notre Dame Cathedral (9.30 AM). After the mass we go to i.d cafe at district 1 then continue walking around the city area to look for the guitar street but then we realize it's quite far and we have little time left so we grab taxi to that place and looking around then going back to the hotel and airport.
Thanks Vietnam for giving us such experience! Another chopped into our passport :p