Where in the world (but Asia) can you stay in a 5 star hotel for A$85/night (a bit more than €50 in real money... you know, the sort that’s not dropping in value against the Vietnamese Dong...) The plan (you remember the plan... 2 month housesit, private car ride of 1 hour to Can Tho, get on plane and go to Phu Quoc island for Tet...), well the plan went out the window 5 weeks prior to our arrival in Vietnam when the housesit was cancelled. Which was probably for the best really... 2 months in the boonies could well have been 7 weeks too long in hindsight. And it led to our Vietnam odyssey of 5 weeks in Saigon, the 17 hour train to Da Nang, 3 weeks in Hoi An, 4 nights in Hue, the ‘not the train’ 13 hour overnight coach to Hanoi then 4 nights in Hanoi’s old quarter and, finally, back to Can Tho.
Hard to believe how long it took to travel up the country then a mere 2 hours to fly down south again. We found a great deal on the VinPearl Can Tho online and it was a dream to stay in a beautiful hotel for a couple of nights. For 48 hours we did not hear a scooter beeping, cars tooting, people yelling etc etc. We made the most of it. We spent our late afternoon / early evenings in a pool cabana at the rooftop pool, enjoying the sunset and cocktails. It’s official, we’ve become thin blooded - the pool was lovely to look at but too cold for more than a couple of laps. Never mind the day time highs of 32 and the over night temps of 25 - must be the wind chill factor... The hotel room was beautiful and huge and all that jazz and would probably cost A$500 in the ‘not Asia’ world. The breakfast buffet would have made the most amazing lunch or dinner... Even in a five star hotel however there’s nothing for grown ups in the cereal section (Americans have a lot to answer for we’re afraid - oodles of cornflakes, coco puffs and rice bubbles). There were variously cauliflower & garlic au gratin, chicken curry, vegetables in oyster sauce and seafood chowder as hot choices - amongst many, many others. Many options for noodles and Asian style breakfast food. James did very well and tried quite a few things - I went crazy on the papaya and also enjoyed actual baked bread with brie and nuts and what not. Bread may not sound exotic but many hotels tend to serve square toast bread that’s sweeter than cake for ‘toast’ because westerners want the square stuff. Which is a shame because the local ‘French’ bread is divine, but rarely served.
Anyway - It was great to be in luxury for a couple of nights - aside from anything else - hotel toiletries (even conditioner!), unlimited hot water, big fluffy towels and a massive bath tub made for a good stay. Plans now? Well the plan continues - off to Phu Quoc Island for the Tet holiday in a plane with actual propellers - all of a 50 minute flight. As Elvis might say... Viva Phu Quoc...?Days 1708-10, 2-4 Feb ‘19 - VinPearl, Can Tho