Thursday, September 24, 2015

Our amazing adventure in SE Asia!

Which should perhaps more accurately read, 'Our amazing tour of posh hotels in SE Asia.'

Please note, here begins my account of our fabulous holiday in Malaysia and Vietnam. Now we all know how boring it is hearing about other people's holidays so feel free to not read these posts but I want to write them so I can look back and say, 'Oh yes, that's what we did/where we did it/what it was like.'

The first two nights of our adventure were spent on the move, in an aeroplane and on a coach. Let me tell you that National Express could take a lesson from Malaysian coaches. We were sitting downstairs and it was like a little cwtchy nest, with comfy spacious seats. 

By the time we finally arrived at our first destination, the Perhentian Islands off the north-eastern coast of Malaysia we were fair dinkum worn out following a journey that involved: taxi, coach, plane, train, coach and ferry. But it was worth it. Here follows a brief run-down of hotels and views from our rooms.

Unfortunately the only photo we seem to have of our island resort is this one, which includes Younger Son (not a problem) and was taken - unintentionally - on creative mode setting on the camera (slightly more of a problem).

Husband hadn't been able to book a beach front room so instead we looked out onto the jungle and monkeys.
TunaBay resort wins the award for best view at breakfast.

From the Perhentians it was off to the Grand Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) in south Vietnam.

The breakfast buffet was the hugest I have ever seen but The Grand takes the award for the best smelling foyer. I don't know what it was but it was lovely.

And then to the Royal Hotel Hoi An. 

Incredibly helpful smiling staff who couldn't do enough for you the Royal, in spite of some stiff competition, wins the award for the biggest bed.

The hotel in Hue was misleadingly named the Saigon Morin. No, I don't know why.

The Saigon Morin wins the award for the best swimming pool. Mainly because it was the only hotel pool we used. I also had an amazing massage there, probably the best and definitely the cheapest I've ever had (not that I've had that many).
The trees in the background provide some shade in the open-air courtyard breakfast room, which was rather lovely.

From Hue it was off to Hanoi. Here we were based in the fabulous old town, a place I loved it was so full of life and vitality.  We stayed at La Siesta, a lovely hotel with attentive staff and a less than impressive view from the room!

The award for the hotel who gives a gift to its visitors on departure goes to La Siesta.
(The fact that I spent the entire homeward journey wondering if it was stuffed with drugs and expecting to be arrested at any time does not take away from the niceness of the gesture.)

We're getting near the end now. A coach picked us up from La Siesta and four hours later we arrived at Ha Long Bay, named as one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Our accommodation for the next two nights was on board this Garden Bay junk, the Marguerite.

The Marguerite wins the award for the best vegetable cutting demonstration.

After another brief respite in Hanoi it was back to Kuala Lumpur for one night before we flew home. We spent that night in the Majestic, a hotel that dates back to 1932 and still retains its colonial feel, right down to the door men in their pith helmets and the serving of afternoon tea.
The first real rain of our holiday slightly spoiled the view from the room.

Again in spite of strong competition the Majestic wins the award for the poshest of posh hotels!

All our hotels were wonderful: Husband did a brilliant job of booking and planning the whole trip. And I'll be saying lots more about it as the days/weeks go on.


nick said...

Some swish hotels indeed. Were the meals equally swish? Buffet breakfasts are wonderful for fuelling up for the day, but they do tend to add a few pounds as well...

Yes, I think I would have wondered what was inside the doll as well. But I wouldn't have been nervous unless I'd been explicitly asked to pass on the doll to the man with the blond hair and leather jacket in Terminal One....

Liz Hinds said...

Well, no, that's logical, Nick, but when you read the sign in the airport warning of the death penalty for drug smuggling ...

Yes, the food was excellent. Almost all of it anyway. Wasn't too keen on what I am convinced was jellyfish.

Trubes said...

Looks fab Liz, what an experience, What a trip !
I've read somewhere that the Vietnamese cuisine is the finest
in Asia (but don't tell Ken Hom).
Yikes... Jelly fish Nooooh!
Our daughter Ingrid did a back pack trip to Thailand and raved
about the street food.
Looking forward to the next instalment!

Di xx

Liz Hinds said...

It was delicious food, Di, very fresh and green. We did a cookery course that I'll report on soon!

mrsnesbitt said...

WOW! What a wonderful experience Pearl - really enjoyed it.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Mike did an excellent job with his booking and planning.. amazing hotels. .star treatment .. well done Mike. .My husband says Food in Vietnam is amazing ..enough said about that though !! ..I have read your other posts too ..I don't think I could of stayed where your son is made the right choice. 😊