With an infant and toddler in tow, this mama had a blast eating her way through one of Vietnam’s most enchanting beach destinations. Here are the deets!
Mamas, are you looking for a beautiful beach destination that’s just a short flight away from Singapore? Have you been to Thailand and Indonesia countless times? Well… it’s time to explore Vietnam!
Whilst we weren’t first timers to Vietnam – having visited Hanoi, Halong Bay and Ho Chi Minh in the past – this was our first trip to the beaches of Danang and historic Hoi An and we loved it!
Armed with an infant and a toddler, our mantra for family holidays for now is short, direct flights and tot-friendly locations — preferably with kids’ clubs and other child friendly amenities and activities. I didn’t have to research long (I’m famous for this and my hubby often jokes that there’s nothing I like better than to browse holiday options!) before I narrowed in on a stay at the Intercontinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort. Spontaneously I booked us in for 5 days and then decided that since we were so close to Hoi An we shouldn’t miss the opportunity to spend a couple of days to experience this historic town, too.
Flights: There are direct flights from Singapore to Danang International Airport on SilkAir or Jetstar (duration – approximately two and a half hours), and the drive from Danang to Hoi An is around 40 minutes.
Land transfers: We used the company Hoian Transfer – Ms. Phuong was extremely prompt in replying to my emails, provided us with a comfortable car, a good driver and even called us when we were en route from the airport to our hotel to check how the flight was and if the car and driver wer satisfactory. Indeed a nice touch!
Hotel: In Hoi An we stayed at Hotel Royal Hoi An by Sofitel. More of a business hotel than a resort, this was highly recommended by our friends and whilst not overly child-friendly, it did have a lovely swimming pool, baby cots etc., and my kids had no complaints!
Other good options which were contenders for our stay and well worth considering in Hoi An are the Anantara Hoi An Resort and of course the Four Seasons Nam Hai if you really want to splurge, mamas. There are tons of small boutique hotels as well. A stroll through Hoi An town revealed many temples, pagodas, ancient homes and other gems and it’s no wonder UNESCO has recognized it as a World Heritage Site. There are rows of tailoring shops, too, so if it’s a couple of new dresses you’re after or a suit for the hubby at a great price don’t miss out!
Restaurants and Food: Our two favourite restaurants in Hoi An would have to be Morning Glory for delicious Vietnamese fare and Mango Mango, celebrity chef Duc Tran’s global spin on Vietnamese cuisine.
I would also recommend two delicious snacks we tried during our visit: whilst ambling around just by the river in the Ancient Town we walked into Hoi An Hai San for some fresh coconut water and were pleasantly surprised with the Hoanh Thanh Chief (crispy wonton with chop suey topping). Another must-try is the famous Banh Mi (Vietnamese sandwich).
Always ready to travel far and wide for good food, we didn’t just have any Banh Mi but took a taxi to the famous Phi Banh Mi and ordered Sandwich Number 11 – the special Big Phi Banh Mi a crisp sandwich of pork, egg, herbs, cheese and avocado. Our hotel food was good too and we ordered in a couple of times just because room service is always a thrill for the kids. We enjoyed our three days in historic Hoi An… and then it was time for the beach!
The next five days of our trip were spent at the fabulous Intercontinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort set amidst the hills of the Son Tra Peninsula and surrounded by lush jungle. Mamas, this is one child friendly getaway I would definitely recommend!
A sprawling property with a great kids’ club, tons of activities for the little ones such as fishing, movies, around-the-clock competent babysitters, all inclusive water sports, basket boat rides, karaoke, kids under 6 eat free menus… the list goes on and on! Another big draw for the kiddos are the buggies to zip around the resort, and more importantly the cable car fondly known as the “Nam Tram” which operates between the different levels of the resort (Heaven, Sky, Earth and Sea). The resort is located on Monkey Mountain so it’s quite common to see monkeys lurking around too – another bit of excitement for the kids!
If this resort is beginning to sound way too child-centric… fret not, there’s an adults-only pool and an adults-only fine dining restaurant as well for everyone travelling without kids, and of course even for those with kids who just want some alone time after complying with the munchkins’ every whim and fancy during the day. Once the kids were well settled at either the kids’ club or tucked into bed at night with a babysitter watching over them, my hubby and I enjoyed our time at these adult hideouts!
The InterContinental Danang had so much to offer that we never stepped out during our stay there. We indulged in high tea and Sunday brunch at the Citron restaurant, too, and were not disappointed. The tables in the alcoves facing the beach were by far the most popular and we were lucky enough to sit there quiet a few times to take in the beautiful surroundings and play the monkey spotting game with our boys!
Most other meals were by the beach at the Barefoot restaurant or the Long Bar where guests are encouraged to sprawl out and relax on day beds. My little ones were also delighted with the never-ending stream of cupcakes that awaited them in the room courtesy of the friendly F&B manager.
So there you have it mamas: don’t hesitate to head over to Danang and Hoi An on your next break with the littlies! If you’re after the quintessential S’s – sun, sand, sea, spa and serenity – and an absolutely relaxing time for the entire family, you wont be disappointed!