Hoi An, Anantara River Resort


In Hoi An we stayed at the Anantara Resort, which is a classic boutique hotel located perfectly by the river and in close walking distance to the old town.

We had 2 rooms with connecting doors and garden views. The rooms are spacious with both a small lounge area inside and outside as well. The style and decor is classic Vietnamese/French and with beautiful greenery and Palm trees all around. It is on the riverside, and we either walked by the river to the markets and old town (takes 5 minutes) or by the small streets just behind. Everything is close by from the Old Town, river cruises, markets or anything else you might need or want to experience, but still the resort itself is quiet and nice.

The Vietage

Vietnam’s only luxury train

The rail road runs from Hanoi in the North all the way to Ho Chi Minh in the South covering a stretch of 1.137km. The Vietage offers a scenic trip from Da Nang through “the heart of Vietnam” to Quy Nhon (or the other way around). The idea is a luxury connection between Anantaras two properties in Hoi An and Quy Nhon, however non-hotel guests can also purchase tickets as well.

Read more: The Vietage

The train makes two trips daily. It departs from Da Nang Railway Station, about 45 minutes north of Hoi An, every morning at 8 a.m. and arrives at Dieu Tri Station, at the port town Quy Nhon, around 2:30 p.m. In the evening, the train leaves Dieu Tri at 6:30 p.m. and pulls into Da Nang just after midnight. For the evening ride the seats can turn into sleeping booths, which limits the number even further down to 6 people if every booth is booked as a sleeper-edition. The six-hour trip includes a three-course meal, drinks and snacks, and a head-and-shoulder massage. For us, since we stayed at the Anantara resort in Hoi An, we also got a full “to-go” breakfast provided for the car ride when going to the train station in the early morning.

For our trip, it was just our family plus one other couple, so we had so much space, making it even more special. When purchasing the tickets, you also book your choices for the lunch menu, that means upon arrival all you need to do is choose your preferred choice of drinks from the lovely bar menu. The trains in Vietnam runs very smoothie and is a comfortable way to go from A to B in the long country. However, a ride with the Vietage is just another level of comfort. We had the most amazing trip in our two small cabins across from each other. The staff was kind, attentive and service minded, and the food and drinks was so good, we were so impressed of how it was pre-prepared, but it tastet like it had just been made in a kitchen next door. The kids had their own menu to choice from and had fresh spring rolls, pasta and fruit/marshmellow/ice creams. I had octopus salad, salmon and passionfruit cake and Bjoern had foie gras, wagyu beef and also the passionfruit cake.

Our section of the train had its own bathroom as well as a small room for privacy of the neck/back massage. The landscape changed from the buzzling Da Nang city to the rice fields scenery and later with the ocean on one side and the mountains on the other. It was just such a beautiful and special trip, where we enjoyed not having to check-in through a crammed security or anyone getting carsick on the way down to Quy Nhon.

For anyone visiting this part of Vietnam, it is really the perfect combination with the cultural and exciting Hoi An town and the quiet area of Bai Xep beach at Quy Nhon. Hoi An is a “must visit” in Vietnam for its culinary scene and UNESCO World Heriage protected Old Town area, however, Quy Nhon is a rising star on the tourist map due to its beauty and serene atmosphere.

To learn more about the Vietage or to book: www.thevietagetrain.com

Hoi An, To Do and To Eat

Strolling down Old Town with my favourite coffee drink

The options in Hoi An are many, and honestly, we did try any food or drinks we didn’t like/or loved in Hoi An. There are numerous restaurant and cute cafés everywhere, and if in doubt, go by Hoi An Central Market (19 Tran Phu Street, Cam Chau Ward – open daily 6AM-10PM). We got our (Hoi An speciality) Cao Lau at the market and it was so good (thick noodles and pork).

We (of course) had to have the best Banh Mi at Banh Mi Phuong and this time we also came by RoseIce gelato and Got addicted to the most amazing iced coconut cream latte at Faifo Coffee.

If you have the time, a food tour is something amazing to do, we did it last time, but wasn’t able to repeat this treat once again, because of baby Ellen (she was just too tired after 6PM for anything else but time and sleep in the hotel room.

We also got a hair hash & cut at the Ba Le Well Salon…it was not fancy at all, but it is so much fun going to the hairdresser in Vietnam (I also tried it the last time we were here), because you lie down (like on a bed) when you get your hair washed. The girls loved it, and we spend a couple of hours with the sweetest hairdresser at the salon. Later in the evening I also had a pedicure at the Korean-owned spa Lemontree. I very much recommend a pedicure (or anything else here), it is down a small side street (so a little tucked away from the main street hutle and bustle).

The beach is also a very nice option in Hoi An. I did this post about it the last time Hoi An Beach – Disclaimer: back then, there were very few hotels, but now it has really changed, we were a little checket by the many many resort that had taken over the beach all the way from Da Nang to Hoi An.

Hoi An

Hoi An Old Town

It is our second time in Hoi An and we really loved coming back. Especially the UNESCO protected Old Town is such a nice place to just hang-out, people watching and have amazing food and drinks. The international influence through hundreds of years is very clear in Hoi An in both architecture and cuisine. The small charming streets are beautifully decorated with handmade lanterne on every corner, and the atmosphere is both buzzling and relaxed at the same time. The town is famous for it’s many skilles tailors, elevated cuisine and spas.

If going to Vietnam we highly reccommend going by Hoi An. The town has so much to offer, and if you crave a little beach time, there is a super nice stretch of that and also some “bigger city vibes” just around the corner in Da Nang (if you fly or go ny train, you go by Da Nang).