4 luxury travel experiences in Vietnam that cost a pile
Many foreign tourists have started returning to Vietnam since the country fully reopened on March 15. Here are four expensive travel experiences in the country for the well-heeled.
Night of Love combo package for $27,000
Banyan Tree Lang Co in Phu Loc District in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue has launched a luxury combo package for couples.
For $27,000, you will stay for three days and two nights at a million-dollar villa nestling in a mountainside. There will be Thai-style afternoon tea at the Saffron restaurant, a cocktail party at the Love Night villa followed by dinner.
A dinner party at Banyan Tree Lang Co Resort. Photo courtesy of the resort
The package includes a diamond ring for the lady.
Built on Lang Co Bay, famous for its pristine beaches, majestic mountains and tropical forests, the resort has 72 villas.
Last year the resort was named among the 30 best in Asia by British magazine Condé Nast Traveler.
A 7,000-dollar night’s stay at 6-star resort
Bay View Villa at Amanoi Resort in the south-central Ninh Thuan Province overlooking Vinh Hy Bay offers stays of up to $7,000 a night, making it the most expensive resort in the country.
Bay View Villa at Amanoi Resort. Photo courtesy of Amanoi Resort
It has five bedrooms, a swimming pool, lots of greenery, and an idyllic ambience. It has a blend of contemporary and traditional Vietnamese architecture, and all rooms offer breathtaking views of Vinh Hy Bay and pristine beaches.
The price includes private transfer from Cam Ranh Airport, free non-alcoholic drinks from the minibar, private electric car, daily afternoon tea, wellness and yoga classes, and water sports.
Situated in the Nui Chua National Park, a UNESCO world biosphere reserve, Amanoi was Vietnam’s first six-star resort and has a total of 36 villas.
Guests can also kayak and catamaran, dive to explore coral reefs in Vinh Hy Bay, discover Cham culture, and climb to the top of Chua Mountain at a height of 1,000 meters above sea level.
$3,000 Son Doong expedition tour
Before the Covid pandemic hit the country in early 2020, a four-day expedition to the Son Doong Cave in the central province of Quang Binh cost VND69.8 million ($3,000) with private tour operator Oxalis being the only one licensed to take tourists to Son Doong.
A tourist takes a boat across a river inside Son Doong Cave in Quang Binh Province, 2021. Photo by Ngo Tran Hai An
Only 1,000 people are allowed to visit the world’s largest cave each year due to environmental concerns.
Provincial authorities only allow tours to the cave between January and August, and the cave is closed the other months to allow its ecosystem to recover.
On the expedition, tourists can explore the cave together with a specialist, traverse unique underground rainforests, wade through rivers both above and below ground, and scale the 90-meter “Great Wall of Vietnam” at the end of the cave with ropes and ladders.
The tour price also includes airport pick-up, two nights’ stay at a hotel, three meals a day, and snacks.
Each tour party has a maximum of only 10 guests but 30 people are needed to serve them – 22 porters who carry their luggage and also food for the four-day trip, five safety assistants, an international guide, a cave expert, two chefs, and a ranger.
All 1,000 slots for 2022 are booked while around 100 people, mostly foreigners, have already booked for 2023.
Flying over Ha Long Bay
In 2019 the Northern Vietnam Helicopter Company launched a tour that allowed tourists to watch UNESCO heritage site Ha Long Bay from the air.
After being suspended for a long time due to Covid, the service is scheduled to resume this month.
A 10-minute tours costs around VND2.4 million (over $100) per person.
A helicopter flies over Ha Long Bay in northern Quang Ninh Province. Photo courtesy of Northern Vietnam Helicopter Company
People taking off from the Tuan Chau helipad can see Thien Cung Cave, Ti Top Island and other magnificent islets.
A 15-minute trip for VND3.6 million takes them over Thien Cung Cave, Trong Mai Islet, Sung Sot Cave, Ti Top Island, Bai Chay Bridge and Rieu Island.
A 30-minute jaunt, the most popular, costs VND7.35 million ($321).
UNESCO world heritage site Ha Long Bay, four hours east of Hanoi by road, is famous for limestone karst mountains rising out of emerald waters and was voted among the world’s seven new natural wonders by Swiss Organization New Open World in 2011.