Hoi An, Quy Nhon, and Ho Chi Minh: Three cities, three different adventuresWAN AZFAROZZA WAN ATHMAR
One can either choose one style of traveling or do it all. I chose to do it all. The three cities in Vietnam that could satiate all these needs are Hoi An, Quy Nhon, and Ho Chi Minh.
It was my second time going to Hoi An. The first time was right before Covid. This ancient city was vibrant with old historical buildings and rows of cafes and restaurants.
Lanterns were sold at almost every corner of Hoi An and at night, the ancient city is alive with entertainers and performers. People gathered near the Hoi An River as the colorful lights from the lanterns splashed the entire river while tourists enjoyed the scenery inside their boats. In Hoi An every night was like a festival.
I was skeptical about going to Hoi An this time around. The pandemic has led to many touristic destinations being crippled due to the economic impact. But when I went there this time I breathed a sigh of relief as this ancient city still held its charm and vibrancy that made tourists gravitate to this city.
I must say it was more alive than the last time I went. There were more crowds of people this time around. I was fortunate to stay at Anantara Hoi An as the resort offered peace and privacy although it was just 10 minute’s walk to the heart of the city.
You will get the best of both worlds, peace and tranquility at the resort and vibrancy in the city.
Quy Nhon is somewhat foreign to Malaysian travelers. This city rarely goes to a destination checklist for Malaysians and that was exactly the reason I traveled to this city.
From Hoi An one can take the bus or train to go to Quy Nhon. I haven’t been taking a long train ride since I can remember so this time around, I chose to take a train ride with style.
Vietage train was chosen as my mode of transportation to get to Quy Nhon. This luxurious train will bring you through the lush landscapes of Central Vietnam while you enjoy your gourmet dining served on the train.
There is also a spa treatment if you chose to have one. Six hours ride to Quy Nhon will be a breeze.
Unlike Hoi An, this city is more slow pace. You won’t see throngs of people crowding in one place. The seafood is relatively much cheaper than Ho Chi Minh or Hoi An and it’s fresher as it is located near the coastline.
There are more ancient temples here and one of the most prominent temples in Quy Nhon is the Ancient Cham Temple which is estimated for 800 years old.
If one plans to have a rest, relax and rejuvenate place to stay, Anantara Quy Nhon would be your best bet. Surrounded by mountains and overlooking Quy Nhon Bay all the villas are overlooking the ocean with private pools.
This resort will make you want to sit quietly near the beach and just soak in the morning sun.
After the rest, relax and rejuvenate stay in Quy Nhon, I was fully ready to go to the ever-hectic Ho Chi Minh city, or so I thought. One can never be ready for Ho Chi Minh especially if it is your first time traveling to the capital city of Vietnam.
Going to Ho Chi Minh I chose to take a flight from Quy Nhon. It is a no-brainer if you want to travel fast and conveniently as it took only one hour and 15 minutes to arrive in Ho Chi Minh.
Vietjet is one of the low-cost domestic flights going to Ho Chi Minh from Quy Nhon. If you want a VIP treatment you can opt for Vietjet Skyboss. You’ll get a priority while checking in, dine and relax at its lounge before flying and get an exclusive shuttle service to the aircraft. In short, you’ll be traveling like a boss.
As I arrived in Ho Chi Minh I was taken aback by the traffic. I have never seen so many motorcycles on the road in my life. At first glance, the traffic looked chaotic but after a while, I realized there was a system that they abide by which is only known among Vietnamese motorcyclists and drivers.
It was systematic chaos. In situations like this, I decided to join them. I wasn’t brave enough to rent a motorcycle but I booked a motorcycle ride everywhere I went. It was the best decision I ever made. It was scary and exciting the exhilaration was more or less like riding a roller coaster.
Riding through the traffic I made my way to its tourist attractions such as the War Remnants Museums, Ben Thanh Market, Ho Chi Minh Central Post Office, and Flower Market. But truth be told the best part of traveling in Ho Chi Minh was getting a ride on the motorcycle.
Three cities with three different ‘flavors’. Hoi An, Quy Nhon, and Ho Chi Minh are cities that offer travelers different vibes and adventures for those who seek more than just one style of traveling. If you want to be immersed in all that is Vietnam, these three cities are worth exploring.