Luxury travel to Vietnam would have seemed unfathomable to those who ventured forth in the early post-war years during the 90’s when the infrastructure within the country was a in ruins, due both to the war torn nature of the years of conflict and the result of economic sanctions imposed upon the country.
In 1994, the United States reopened relations with Vietnam and opened the country to travelers from the United States. In those early years, accommodations were sparse and the conditions within the hotels that were available were Spartan. The vast majority of residents within the country rode bicycles, and the vehicular traffic that did exist was primarily military vehicles assigned to various branches of the military guard.
Slowly, the country began to evolve economically with the influx of tourism and trade. The Vietnamese government initiated a program allowing its citizens the ability to open private enterprises, which took hold instantly and greatly improved economic conditions for the local populace who beforehand were stymied by the communistic-style of government control over their lives. Vietnam opened its doors to outside investment, which quickly resulted in vast improvements in the hotels being offered to visiting tourists.
Fast tract some two decades and Vietnam now sports some of the finest resorts within all of Southeast Asia. In addition, the local citizenry has opened smaller 4-star boutique hotels, which although lacking the bells and whistles of the major hoteliers and resort properties, are well maintained and provide great value for the dollar spent.
Two luxury properties within the country are worthy of mention. The Sofitel Metropole in Hanoi and the Nam Hai in Hoi An Vietnam. The Sofitel is a colonial style property, opened by two Frenchman in 1901 and has stood the test of time, being one of the classic landmarks within the city of Hanoi. The Nam Hai Resort and Spa fronts miles long stretches of beachfront abutting the South China Sea. The resort is one of modern classical beauty, spread out upon beautifully landscaped acres of natural wonder.
Each city within the country offers its own unique treasures, it history intertwined with a strong French cultural influence, There is no finer way to travel within the country than by air between the major cities and then by private car, driver and guide to effectively and comfortably experience all of their highlights on a private tour.
First Cabin Travel was one of the very few and very first travel companies that began sending clients to Vietnam in 1994. Some twenty-five years later, our tour Hanoi to Angkor Wat remains our most popular itinerary.
A traveler need only choose whether they wish to spend the majority of their touring out and about, returning to a pleasant and comfortable 4-star boutique hotel or choose a 5-star property, which offers some of the finest amenities found within the region. In either case, all touring will be by private car, driver, and guide guide, and at times on a private boat, be it a Chinese-styled junk plying the waters of Ha Long Bay, on the waters of the Perfume River in Hue heading out to the royal tombs or on a day long journey up into the Mekong Delta to Ben Tre, the time will be well spent and the experiences well remembered to be rekindled over a lifetime.