Travel

Honeymooning In The Lantern City

Hello friends and happy Tuesday!  I have just 3 more stops from our honeymoon to share with you and I figured I’d share 1 or 2 before leaving for Europe this weekend for a month.  Keep reading for all the scoop of our amazing time in Hội An, Vietnam and Koi Resort and Spa and click the following links to check out my blog posts on some of the other stops we also made: Hanoi, Ha Long Bay and Huế

We arranged for our tour guide, Tommy Dao Tours, to pick us up from our hotel in Huế and take us to our hotel in Hội An before our tour began.

We swiftly checked into our STUNNING room at Koi Resort and Spa and were off to explore Mỹ Sơn Sanctuary with Tommy Dao tours.  Our tour guide, Mr. Kim, was probably our favorite part of the tour.  He shared many fascinating and heart breaking stories of his time during The American War, as it is called in Vietnam. He played a fascinating part in the conflict and his stories of its suffering were incredibly moving. But Mr. Kim was engaging and upbeat throughout our tour and provided an authentic and memorable connection to the country and the region, which we will never forget.

the resort’s stunning entrance
such a beautiful resort

We arrived to Mỹ Sơn  Sanctuary, a UNESCO World Heritage Site built by the Champa people between the 4th and 14th centuries.  The Champa were Hindu and their remarkable impressive temples reflect this, complete with a form of Sanskrit etched on many of the buildings. What’s even more remarkable is that this complex was still largely intact despite about two thousand years of wear and tear.  In fact, most of the buildings there were not destroyed until the American War. South Vietnamese and American officials believed the North Vietnamese Army was using the complex as a hiding spot and began bombing it regularly with large ordinances. Standing in those massive craters left by American bombs looking up at ancient Hindu temples provide a fascinating historical juxtaposition.

thousands of years old sanskrit
such a picturesque place
so much history
love exploring with my partner in crime
so much detail
Walks in a bomb creator

After our marvelous tour with Mr. Kim, he treated us to chicken feet soup.  Walker was a big brave boy and slurped it up and I politely sipped the broth, which was actually delicious! 

chicken feet soup

After our afternoon snack at the sanctuary we took a dragon boat down into old town Hội An .  Mr. Kim dropped us off at a silk factory in old town Hội An where we were able to tour the factory which was pretty crazy to see!  We also bought a few silk ties for Walker in the gift shop. 

another cruise in a dragon boat
Walker and the amazing Mr. Kim
silk worms
how silk is made

Next we strolled through the breathtaking streets of Hội An.  The entire city lights up at night in a really magical way. Colorful lanterns are floating down the river while equally beautiful lanterns float above your head (they are these little balloon like creations) and all the light reflects off the river to create this Disneyland-like image that reminded us in the best way possible that we were not in Kansas (or Dallas) anymore. 

the lantern city
so many lights
wow
literally lanterns everywhere

We had worked up an appetite and had dinner on the balcony of a charming restaurant over-looking the streets of Hội An called Little Faifo.  We started with a delicious green papaya seafood salad.  For my entrée I had BBQ ribs which were divine and Walker had the fish special.  For dessert we split the fried banana.  Yum!

We arrived back to our room at the Koi Resort and Spa to a bathtub filled with beautiful and fragrant flowers and a chilled bottle of champagne, which was so thoughtful and also well enjoyed!

cheers
the perfect way to end a long day of fun

The next morning we enjoyed a few relaxing cups of coffee and tea on our waterfront deck.  We were in such a rush to get on our tour the day prior we didn’t have a real chance to soak in the beauty of our room and the hotel itself.  The room was pristinely decorated and on the water.  The view from the bed was simply beautiful!

our amazing view
coffee with a veiw
enjoying the R&R

After a much needed relaxing morning on our deck we walked over to the hotel’s restaurant for a beautiful breakfast buffet that offered a plethora of both local and Western delights!

off to breakfast
the most wonderful fresh fruit
off to breakfast

After breakfast we hit the beautiful spa pool which was just what the doctor ordered!  The pool was right on the water and it was so beautiful and tranquil.  We sipped spicy cocktails and relaxed all afternoon.  We had lunch poolside at the spa’s restaurant as well: we split a spicy beef salad and beef tacos and both enjoyed extra helpings of carefree living.

vitamin D time
just what the doctor ordered
my stud

In the late afternoon we checked out the hotel’s beach and had happy hour at the main pool’s bar. 

off to the beach
enjoying the sun and sand
happy hour at the main pool

For dinner, we ate at the hotel’s restaurant which was delicious.  We were mesmerized by the koi fish inhabited a stream surrounding the restaurant.  As we ate, we also fed the koi fish wish made them jump and splash out of the water which was a beautiful sight!  We both had lamb for our entrees.  Mine with a curry sauce and Walker’s with a rich wine glaze. For dessert I had an amazing passion fruit crème brulee and Walker had cheesecake.  His favorite!  

nom nom nom
the evening’s entertainment

We slept like babies in our beautiful room and the next morning we enjoyed more R&R and coffee on our patio and the scrumptious breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant.

can’t get enough
tea for two
off to breakfast
what a spread
yummmm

Koi Resort and Spa offers shuttles into and back from Old Town so we went into town to do a little exploring! Our first stop was the Japanese Covered Bridge (Cau Chua Pagoda).  The Japanese Covered Bridge is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Hội An.  This bridge was built in the early 17th century and is a perfect example of Japanese architecture of that time period.  Right outside the bridge we stopped into an antique shop and I bought a beautiful 100 year old ginger jar.  I collect ginger jars and adding one from Vietnam to my collection was very exciting!

exploring the beautiful city

Next we visited the Cantonese Assembly Hall, an ornate, historic building featuring a garden, statues & a fountain with a dragon made of pottery and was built in 1885. 

so much wonderful color

Our third stop was Fukian Assembly Hall which is an elaborate Chinese-style temple founded in 1692.  The bright pink structure was beautiful!

stunning colors
amazing architecture
loving this beautiful city

Lastly we explored Quan Cong Temple, a small, 17th-century Chinese pagoda decorated with elaborate statues & artwork.

We didn’t have lunch but if you do have lunch in town I’d recommend  bánh mì Phuong, which is apparently the best bánh mì in Vietnam according to Anthony Bourdain. 

After exploring we went back to the resort to fetch our things and we were off to our next destination- Cambodia!

I could not recommend Koi Resort and Spa more!  Our stay there was impeccable.  The only suggestion I would make is stay longer than  2 nights.  The resort and Hội An itself are too magnificent to only get to enjoy for 2 evenings.

The service at the hotel was as top notch as the food and accommodations.  I had accidentally booked our flights to Cambodia on the wrong day and the hotel staff were immediately on the phone speaking Vietnamese and tearing through google flights like their hair was on fire and treated us like VIP guests.  We had also left our chargers in the room and our passports in the safe which the staff delivered to us while we were in the lobby trying to figure out our flight situation.  Five star service to the max!

Thank you so much to Koi Resort and Spa for an amazing honeymoon experience!

Kisses and traveling wishes,


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