An Epic Whirlwind Tour Through Myanmar


Out of the six countries I was visiting on this trip, Myanmar was the one I was the most excited and intrigued about. It only opened its borders to tourism a few years ago and before I left I personally did not know anybody that had ever been there.

Travelling first through Thailand, Laos etc. I met people along the way who had recently been and they all said it was their favourite, which made me even more excited to see it for myself.

Myanmar is huge  and unfortunately, I only had 10 nights to do a whirlwind tour through it. I decided to just hit the main four spots to visit including Yangon, Inle Lake, Bagan and Mandalay.
I flew into Yangon and I originally planned on three nights there, two at Inle, three in Bagan and two in Mandalay. It actually turned out to be: two nights in Yangon, one overnight bus (to Inle), two at Nyaung Shwe (closest town to Inle Lake), four in Bagan and one in Mandalay.


I wish I had more time in Mandalay and to explore other places too, but I was pretty happy overall with my final itinerary with the little time I had.
I was really exhausted at the end of it though, with so much time spent on bumpy buses and trying to pack in as much of each place as I could, including getting up for many a sunrise.

Here is what I got up to in an action-packed 10 days:


Yangon 8-10 August

I flew into the largest city in Myanmar from Luang Prabang, Laos, via Bangkok and arrived at 10:30 PM at night. I was also in a new time zone; half an hour behind which I thought was pretty funny.
I had organised an online E-Visa a few days before and the immigration process was very quick and easy. I was through the gate with my bags in no time and instantly greeted by a young friendly guy who asked if I needed a taxi. I said yes but I needed to get some cash out first as I didn't have any local currency (called Kyats). He not only pointed the direction where the ATMs were, he showed me himself. (This was the first of many times where people were happy to show me for nothing in return).

The taxi driver was an older man who called me 'sister' and was very chatty and interested in me. My first thoughts of the Burmese were that just like I had been told - they were incredibly friendly! It really warmed my heart.
Along the way he pointed out the most famous temple (the reason I went to Yangon actually), the Shwedagon Pagoda - a huge golden landmark, brilliantly lit up at night. I wish I had time to snap a photo! It was so dazzling.

I had booked my own room at a hostel in a central location and it was up several flights of stairs. The host was kind enough to carry my suitcase up for me. I didn't have a window in my room but from the balcony in the main lobby area looking down over the streets was so interesting. I had never been in a place like this before. The streets looked like how I imagined India would look like. It was around midnight when I got to my room and I couldn't wait to explore the next day.

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I was intending to see the famous pagoda but it was pouring with rain in the morning.
I instead ventured out with an umbrella to explore the surrounding streets. I loooved the buildings! There were so many different styles and influences from all around the world.

The buildings opposite my hostel



I noticed a street side open shop with '4G' and thought it would be a good idea to get a Sim card here. I knew wifi was poor and scarce and I had a lot of long bus rides to look forward to. The two guys in the shop barely spoke English and it took an entire hour to get it sorted (registering the Sim card was painful), but they were so patient and really friendly.
To get 5 GB of data cost me 9000 KYT or $8 AUD.

One of the guys smiled at me and his teeth were red. This was my introduction to, I don't even know what it's called. Okay, I looked it up and it's called Paan which is a betel vine leaf. Many of the men chew on this red stuff and then spit it all over the ground.
Everywhere you go you see red spit. And they not only spit - they hoik. That sound reeeally irks me and in ten days I probably heard it 1000 times. The worst was while I was on the night bus from Yangon to Inle Lake and there was a man sitting across the aisle from me who would hoik all throughout the night and spit into a plastic bag. Deee-scusting.

Anyway - after I got my Sim card it had stopped raining and I went to one of the top recommended places for lunch. It was called 999 and it is famous for Shan noodles.
I got a classic pork sticky noodle soup and it was delicious! That and a coke cost $2.50 AUD.





In the afternoon I enjoyed exploring the city centre some more for a few hours. A lot of men wear long skirts and many people, mostly ladies have gold painted on their faces. I later found out this is called Thanaka and it is a paste that comes from ground bark. It is used as a sun cream, to cool and as a cosmetic.

Walking around I was stared at quite a bit and many would walk past me and then look back to get another look. Quite a few people even said hello and for the first time they didn't want anything, it was just to say hi.



Yangon City Hall on the right, Sule Pagoda ahead



Sule Pagoda

Maha Pandula Park


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The next day I got lucky and it wasn't raining (until the afternoon). I hopped into a taxi to the Shwedagon Pagoda and hired a guide, as two Isreali girls I had met staying at the hostel recommended it. The guide was very good and I enjoyed learning all about the history and customs of this amazing temple.
It is the largest pagoda which sits at an impressive 360 feet high and is encrusted with 4531 diamonds; the largest of which is a 72-carat diamond. Many pilgrims from all over the world come to visit it.






A funny thing happened, a Burmese girl asked to take a photo with me and then another person saw and wanted one too. Before I knew it, a line of people was forming! There were even selfies. I didn't really know what was going on but of course I didn't mind, I found it all hilarious. I am guessing the blonde hair was the reason, as I didn't see anyone else around with it. The closest I'll ever get to a superstar moment!





Nuns here dress in pink
I loved visiting the pagoda, it's definitely worth going to Yangon just to see that. I decided to cancel my third night there and take an overnight bus to Inle Lake. It takes 12 hours to get there so I didn't really want to waste an entire day. It so happened that the Isreali girls were taking the same bus so we shared a taxi to the bus stop and had a beer beforehand.

We were getting water from a shop for the bus ride and a random heavy downpour started. The streets started flooding so we just stood there to wait it out. The lady that owned the shop didn't speak English but she kindly brought us little chairs to sit on which was so nice!

The bus was comfortable, we paid extra for a 'VIP' which means it was air conditioned, the seats reclined and we got a blanket and small pillow. However, I still didn't get a wink of sleep and it actually took 14 hours in the end.


Inle Lake 11-13 August

At 5 AM I arrived rather stiff at Nyaung Shwe, the nearest town to Inle Lake. I had booked in at Ostello Bello which was a favourite in the area and they catered for people arriving at all hours.
There were beds available in a shared room if I wanted to sleep until my room was ready and there was free coffee and juice to help yourself.

I freshened up, loaded up on caffeine and decided to join in on a full day Inle Lake boat tour leaving at 8 AM. Hey, that was what I was here to see! And I would get back just in time for my room to be ready.




There was a group of four of us in the boat and we were taken through the main centre of the lake first, past the many fishermen. They are famous for their unique style and rowing the boat with their feet.


We passed through many floating villages which I find so interesting and our first stop took a whole hour to get there - that's how huge the lake is!








The first stop was a silver and jewellery making shop, which I wasn't that interested in to be honest. The second was a lotus silk weaving place which was pretty cool to see. They made some amazing scarves and clothes and worked really hard for it.




View of rice fields from the window
We stopped for a nice local lunch before exploring some more. We had a brief stop at a Karen long-neck Hilltribe and asked to skip the next cigar-making stop. We were all really interested in the temple stop which had hundreds of temple ruins.

Delicious lunch feast


We initially had an hour there but once that ran out we asked for another. Our boat driver was very accommodating. We had a great time exploring the area and there was so much to see! It was an incredible place.










We didn't head back until 3 PM, an hour late and we enjoyed a cold beer on the way back. Even though I was wearing a hat and put sunblock on twice I still managed to get very burnt. Woops.


I had a glorious shower, rested and then sat downstairs in the common area working on my Cambodia Photo Diary. There was a movie night going on at the rooftop but as I hadn't slept I was too tired and was keen for an early night.

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The next morning I was still pretty zonked but I went out to a nearby local market down the road. I love vibrant places like this and enjoyed walking around. I picked up a bag of freshly cut pineapple for 20 cents.







I had more delicious Shan noodles for lunch which was even better than the first in Yangon (I was now in the Shan state after all). I had a chill afternoon checking out the rooftop and catching up on work.

Ostello Bello rooftop
The view from the rooftop
The next morning I was up at the crack of dawn to catch the sunrise on Inle Lake. I was told this is the time to see the fishermen and I especially wanted to get the classic shot of the ones with cages.
However, I'm guessing because it was a Sunday all the fishermen were still in bed!
There were only two out on the water (and they didn't have cages). There wasn't much of a sunrise either as it was too cloudy. Dang rainy season.





Nevermind! I was next off at 8 AM to the place I was the most looking forward to - the ancient city of Bagan.

This is a painting at the hostel of the 'classic shot' I was hoping to get

Bagan 13-16 August

The mini van ride was rather horrid, the roads were extremely bumpy and windy. I couldn't even read my phone because my hand was flailing around too much. And there was no air conditioning! Absolute torture sitting in your own sweat for 8 hours.

I did see so many interesting sights out of the window though. Home-made ox carts made out of branches, massive goat herds that blocked the whole road, women carrying really big and heavy loads on their heads.

Loading up the top of the van during a break 
I decided to stay again at Ostello Bello as I enjoyed the last place so much. As I was so hot from the van ride I went on a failed mission to find ice cream, but I couldn't find any shops that sold any. I settled for a beer.



I signed up for a sunrise temple tour by e-bike for the next morning and chilled for the rest of the day. Bagan has over 2,200 ancient temples and is considered a holy site in Myanmar. I was so keen to explore!

That evening I joined in on a free Burmese lesson the hostel was hosting. I learned how to say a bunch of basic sayings and phrases which was really handy and how to write my name. I met some lovely Italians who were working there for a month, one of which was the cousin of Ostello Bello.

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Up super early once again I hired an e-bike from a shop next door to the hostel. They are basically silent scooters without the motor, which I rather liked. A large group of us went together and it was only about a ten-minute ride to a large field full of temples. We found a big one that we were allowed to climb and settled in.



Bummer the clouds were in the way!
Peeking through
After the tour, I had breakfast and went straight back to bed! I only had four hours sleep and was still tired from the days before. 
In the afternoon I hopped back on my bike which I had for a full day and went to a recommended restaurant called The Moon, Be Kind To The Animals. Quite a name! Yes, it was a vegetarian restaurant. I had a delicious aubergine curry with brown sticky rice.


That evening I jumped in on the sunset bike tour, because why not? This time we rode about 30 minutes away to a very large temple which had a great view. We didn't see the sun but it was a brilliant pink sky afterward which was so amazing!


For dinner, a big group of us went down the road to a restaurant called 'Unforgettable.' Most of us ordered curries and it came with so many extra dishes for us all to share.
As well as soup and rice there were different bowls of vegetables like potato, aubergine, pumpkin, tofu and salads. It was an epic feast and it only cost $2.80 AUD each for everything.


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I was up and ready at 8 AM for a full day Bagan city tour by e-bike. I hired another one for the day and followed the group to the first stop at a local village. They made cotton there and cigars. I got to try Thanaka (the gold paste) on my face which felt really nice and refreshing!




This lady is 95!

We went around visiting many of the most popular temples in Old Bagan. Our guide was really informative and told us a lot of the history.





GoPro action shot






Squad
Shwesandaw Pagoda
View from the top

By the time we had lunch everyone was so tired. It was such a hot day and the roads were very dusty, my clothes were covered in it. Riding along even with sunglasses I had to squint my eyes because the dust clouds were so bad! When I got back I had to wash my clothes.

No rest for the wicked though because that night was a sunset boat trip! (The hostel organises all of these different daily group tours which I really liked).
The sunset was a bit non-existent and it was really rocky at the end but the group on board were really fun which made it worthwhile.



That evening was quiz night at the hostel and I joined a fab team with others from London, Sweden and Spain. We couldn't think of a team name so I randomly came out with 'Killer Kiwis' even though I was the only Kiwi but they loved it and went with it.
It was such a fun night and our team rocked. For the first time ever my team won woohoo! We all got a free cocktail of our choice.

I decided to book an extra night here because I was enjoying Bagan too much and there was still so much more to see. I also couldn't bear the thought of going on another long bus ride again...

The Killer Kiwis!
The next morning the Killer Kiwis met up and hired another round of e-bikes for the day. We were going off to explore more temples, a local market and make a day out of it.


Local Market





Random seeing a Friends Cafe!
Coffee? Curry puff? Trio of cigarettes?

We stopped for lunch at one of the top places to eat - Weather Spoon's Bagan. I had heard as well as local food they actually do very decent western food (hard to come by in Asia) so the Londoner and I just had to have a burger. It was a-maz-ing after eating mostly rice, noodles and curry for the last few weeks!


The chips were parmesan crusted! HEAVEN

We continued exploring until we were templed out and went back for a rest before meeting up for one last dinner and drinks. Four nights for me wasn't even enough in Bagan, I didn't have the time to visit Mount Popa which is another popular sight to see and there is so much more as well. Next time!

During my time in Bagan, I had the opportunity to work for Hostel World. I created an Insta-Story for them showcasing the city which will be live on their Instagram page next week. Keep an eye out on my Facebook and Instagram pages where I'll share the links when it's up!


Mandalay 17-18 August

In the morning the Londoner and I were on the same bus and going again to Ostello Bello in Mandalay (there are three in Myanmar so I thought I might as well stay at all of them).
I was a bit guttered I only had one night left there but I am glad I stayed in Bagan the extra night.

It was another bumpy bus ride north to my final stop which took 7 hours.
We checked in and went straight out for a late lunch, inviting along a random dude from Morocco we met at the hostel.
We went to Mingalabar (that's hello in Burmese) Restaurant and had another delicious feast. There was so much food it was awesome. I had a noodle salad and it came with a bunch of different sides.


Interesting scaffolding
The view from my room
That evening the three of us went out to explore Mandalay by night. We went to a local night market and walked around for a couple of hours before having a final beer at the hostel's rooftop hangout area before bed. We had one last early start the next day.

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There was one thing I had to do in Mandalay and that was see a sunrise from the U-Bein Bridge. Of course, being rainy season, there was no famous orange glow, but it was still very pretty.
We were told it was less crowded in the mornings and more so for sunset and that was true. There were mostly only locals out and about that early.




Caught the dab


Morning snack anyone?

We were back by 7:30 AM and I wasn't flying out until 5 PM. I still had pretty much a full day left to explore but you know what? I had seen enough temples and palaces.
I went back to bed until checkout time and then sat in the common area working until my airport transfer. Bad Krysti! But I literally couldn't, I was done, diddly done.

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I had such a fantastic time in Myanmar, the kindness of the people really blew me away.
I enjoyed so much learning about their culture and ways of life and next time, now that I have done the big four, I would love to venture out into the smaller and less touristy areas. As well as their majestic temples there are untouched beaches, islands and even primeval jungles to explore.

It's a country to get to fast, as already the tourist demand is rapidly increasing. For now, it's a place where there are few bars and party places with a widespread curfew of 11 PM.
There is also not a McDonalds or Starbucks in sight. It's a place unlike any I've ever been to before and it makes me more excited to continue travelling and exploring more around the world.

Pin it! :)

Coming soon will be plenty of Myanmar travel guides and tips as well as more photos and stories from my Southeast Asia trip.

Happy Travels,

Incredible Cambodia | Photo Diary


Last month, I had the pleasure of exploring my first new country in a while: Cambodia!
I had heard such mixed views of Cambodia, from horrid to fantastic, so I just had to see for myself. There is no doubt this country has a deep and dreadful history and the impacts are still very evident today.
However, I can see that it has picked itself up in many ways and I found it a very safe and likeable place to visit. It has a lot of similarities to Thailand and it is a very tourist friendly place. 


Siem Reap 20-27 July

Starting in Siem Reap, being the rainy season it actually rained 5/7 days I was there!
So most of the photos you see with a blue sky were just from two or so days.
Fun fact: when it rains (which is often) the streets turn into a mud bath! I quite often walked back from town in the rain and I had mud flicked half way up my back. Then when it dried, it was incredibly dusty.

The street I was staying down


The Tuk Tuk drivers were the most, uh, persistent I had ever come across (getting asked "Tuk Tuk" literally 1000 times in half an hour) but the people in general were very friendly and helpful. Though like many other Southeast Asian countries, they try and get as much money out of you as they can.



I quite often ate at two cafes: Sister Srey and Vibe, both had glowing reviews and healthy and vegan options. After 10 weeks of eating whatever I wanted, I was really craving something fresh and healthy! Siem Reap has a lot of fantastic cafes and I highly recommend these two.
Don't worry of course I still ate local food! I especially loved Fish Amok and Lo Lak (they just aren't so pretty to photograph).

A Bodia bowl at Sister Srey
On my first evening, I was invited to see Phare the Cambodian Circus. The talent of the artists are astonishing, it was a truly incredible show of theatre, dance, live music and modern circus arts.
I was totally drawn in by the compelling story they told and their energy, enthusiasm and emotions were highly infectious.








Every ticket purchased helps to support and transform the lives of Cambodian youth, so it's a wonderful cause as well. Highly recommended!



It had always been a big dream of mine to see Angkor Wat, the largest religious monumental site in the world. I eagerly booked a full day with sunrise tour for my third day there. During the rainy season (as I found out on the day) it is unfortunately extremely unlikely to see a sunrise or sunset at Angkor Wat.

Angkor Wat at sunrise
I wondered why they still offer it as a sunrise tour then, but oh well. I was a tad disappointed because I guess it was something I had built up in my head - taking a nice time-lapse of the sun rising in the majestic setting. The reality was that I was standing in mud, pushed around by crowds and I had to tippy toe and raise my camera as high as I could just to not get other people in my photos.

I had to wait for 10 minutes for people to move out of this shot!

Despite that, I still had an INCREDIBLE day, one of my favourite days from my whole trip. You don't only see Angkor Wat (which is very impressive) but loads of other equally as awesome ancient temples including Bayon, Baphuon and Ta Prohm. The latter was my favourite, also known as the Tomb Raider Temple!
I just loved how nestled in nature it was with giant trees growing out of the tops, vines coiling around, the intricate carvings and moss on the crumbled rocks. It was so so cool to see in real life and such a highlight.








The Bayon temple



Baphuon Temple





Ta Prohm 'Tomb Raider' Temple







I hope everyone can visit once in their lifetime, they are truly marvellous sites - I took 470 photos just on that tour! It was a hot day walking 11 km in 38 degrees, so I wasn't looking the best in the ones with me in them!


Central Siem Reap

Pub Street by day
My first Acai bowl at Vibe cafe
A temple downtown
Pub street by night! It was the only night that it didn't rain so I could finally venture out!
Delectable treats to try! ;)
Fun fact: you have to pay to take photos
Cool umbrella sky in an alleyway off Pub Street
On my final day, I went on a half day Floating Village tour where we got to visit a local school and witness such a different way of life. It wasn't touristic at all, they weren't selling anything and it is genuinely how the people live. The guide is from there and all proceeds go straight back to the school. It was really interesting and the children were oh so friendly and happy! It was a wonderful day.

We started by trying bamboo smoked sticky rice on the way there 
Wearing my new handmade in Cambodia dress I had bought that day



A happy fisherman
A local community
The school where 60 children sit
View from the school

I really enjoyed my time in Siem Reap. I had a whole week there and I felt that was plenty of time. During the rain, I stayed in and did a lot of catching up on blog posts. It was a tad more expensive coming from Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam but still very affordable.
I took a VIP Ibis bus to Phnom Penh for $15 USD. It was only a six-hour ride and there were three stops along the way so it was pretty good.


Phnom Penh 27-30 July

In Phnom Penh, I booked an Airbnb straight across the road from the National Museum which had a great view of it from the balcony. I got really lucky in Phnom Penh - it didn't rain once!

Sweet view!
Front of the National Museum
Typical street: Monk, Tuk Tuk, motorbike and rubbish
Walking to the Royal Palace

Only a ten-minute walk from where I was staying was the Royal Palace. It reminded me quite a lot of the Royal Palace in Bangkok, although definitely not as grand! Still really worth a visit though.





I loved that fern tree/plant
The Silver Pagoda
Sometimes, you just gotta take your own photos
The park in front of the palace
The pretty riverfront


I am still SO so sad about this, but I lost all of my photos from an entire day in Phnom Penh and three days worth of videos from Siem Reap (including the Floating Village tour and Pub Street at night nooo). Basically my SD card was wiped due to a formatting error. I spent so long trying to recover them to no avail.

What I lost was a really big day for me. I did the S21 Prison and Killing Fields Tour.
It was really important for me to learn fully about the (scarily recent) history of Cambodia to understand what the people have been through. It was a heartbreaking day seeing and learning about their horrific past first hand and I'm mostly sad about losing the photos because I was planning on writing a whole blog post on it. I only have two photos I took on my phone:

A pamphlet guide
Memorial at the Killing Fields

Nevermind, what's done is done. I can highly recommend doing the Hop On Hop Off tour which includes pick up and drop off for only $15 USD. They take you to both places in a bus and you can hire audio guides there and go through yourself. I was glad to have done that because I couldn't imagine having to have a conversation with a guide about what I was being told... I needed to take it in in silence.

A street around the corner from me
My local convenience store
On the way to the airport
The Independence Monument
My ride :)

I liked Phnom Penh. I definitely think it's worth going to learn about the history at least. Three nights was the perfect amount for me. I did really want to head south to Sihanoukville but alas I had run out of time. I still had Laos and Myanmar to explore in only a few weeks so I had to prioritise.

I'm really glad I went and I had an awesome time. Next time I would love to head out of the bigger cities and see more of the authentic rural Cambodia. There is so much more to see and do in this incredible country, I barely scratched the surface.
I know I'll be back to see more one day for sure. For now I think I hit the highlights!

Pin it :)

Coming up soon will be photo diaries from Laos and Myanmar and of course plenty of tips and travel guides when I have the time!

Happy Travels,

First Overwater Bungalow! The Resort of my Dreams in Vietnam


After two fantastic nights at Pilgrimage Village, I was next off to their sister resort in nearby Phu Loc which lies between Hue and Hoi An.
I spent four incredible nights at Vedana Lagoon Resort and Spa which was - I kid you not, the resort of my dreams.

It is nestled on the shore of a peaceful and serene lagoon, which is one of the largest in Southeast Asia. They have the very first overwater villas in Vietnam, which I felt so lucky and grateful to be able to experience.
The best part was my husband flew all the way from Australia to meet me for a two week holiday so we got to enjoy it together!


First Impressions

The complimentary shuttle ride from Pilgrimage Village was very convenient and quick; only a 45 minute drive away. Hopping out of the van I was instantly greeted and had my luggage taken for me as I walked up the steps into the large and modernly designed reception area.





From the moment I arrived at Vedana Lagoon, I could not wipe the smile off my face.
This place was absolutely stunning! The secluded location set in front of serene waters surrounded by mountains and tropical palm trees was eye-poppingly beautiful.
It was such a balmy place and had wonderful relaxing vibes.



I was warmly welcomed, shown to a nearby seat and presented with a tasty refreshing drink and cool towel.



The check in process was seamless and I was informed of all of the onsite facilities, daily activities and free shuttle bus times to Hue and a nearby popular beach.
I was then transported via a buggy and taken to my room - which turned out to be an amazing surprise.


The Room

I was so incredibly lucky to be upgraded to an Overwater Bungalow - I have always dreamed of staying in a room like this! Not only that but there is only one that has a glass-bottomed floor, and guess who got it? Me! I was very spoilt indeed.
Opening the door to my room I was instantly blown away, it was incredibly luxurious. I was given a tour and then left to marvel and enjoy.



I was so surprised by how large it was. The villa was 130 square metres with a very spacious bedroom and separate bathroom area.


The super king sized bed was a central feature of the room, raised on a modern wood stage. To the front of it was the amazing glass floor to see right through to the water below!
A mesmerising feature that I couldn't take my eyes off of.



To the left side of the bed was a comfortable built-in couch with colourful cushions.



In the left corner of the room set atop a small fireplace was an LCD television with satellite channels and a DVD player.


In the right corner was a wooden desk with complimentary bottled water and a fruit platter that was changed daily.



Behind the bed, on the left and right are two large wardrobes. In the left was a small fridge and mini bar that was well-equipped including a selection of international wines and spirits. There was also complimentary tea and coffee, a little pot and glassware.
The right wardrobe held a safe, soft silky robes and flip flops.







Through the right-hand door was the enormous bathroom which had an amazing deep bath set right in front of the window looking out over the lagoon.





The long counter had his and hers sinks with large mirrors and many good quality toiletries, there were even proper toothbrush holders!



Also in the bathroom was another large desk area set in front of a large mirror.
My husband always sleeps in so I enjoyed being able to come in there in the mornings and sit at the desk on my laptop to work.



Through a connecting door was a gorgeous separate outdoor bathroom area with a rain shower and toilet around the corner. The shampoo, conditioner and soap were amazing quality, I really enjoyed using them.



Probably the best part of the villa was the amazing view whether you looked left, right or straight ahead. Through the sliding doors leading out to the large balcony, was the best place to enjoy it from the table and chairs or comfortable round day bed.





Other features of the room included excellent Wifi and air conditioning, 24-hour room service, daily housekeeping, laundry service available, unlimited free bottled water and a nightly turndown service.

As well as the captivating and tranquil view, I especially loved how spacious, artfully decorated and cosy the room was. The bed was extremely comfortable and it was very quiet being so far from anyone else, so the sleep quality was excellent.

There are a range of other types of rooms available as well including Waterfront Deluxe, Pool Honeymoon Villa and Family Lagoon View.


Beyond the Room

Vedana Lagoon is a resort that has it all; so you don't ever have to leave if you don't want to.
There is an incredible infinity pool overlooking the lagoon that is enormous and ultra relaxing.







There are plenty of loungers and day beds around the pool to relax on under shady umbrellas.
One thing I did miss was a happy hour or drink specials. That is definitely something my husband and I usually take advantage of.





The Vedana Wellness & Spa is absolute perfection. Located in an overwater bungalow itself, you simply cannot beat the views or tranquility!



They aim to bring you "an experience of spa life which we define as LUSH. (Luxurious. Unpretentious. Sustainable. Healthy)".
They offer many treatments to indulge in such as lovers romantic packages (for two people), massages, body treatments including scrubs and wraps, facials, wellness, nail and hair care.




You certainly couldn't beat a pamper session with those views and ambient surroundings! The Jacuzzi, sauna and herbal steam room is also available for guests to enjoy before or after treatments.


Also near the spa they offer daily complimentary wellness activities including Yoga and Taichi in the mornings.
Closer to the entrance and reception area are plenty of other great activities to keep you busy if you choose. There are tennis, volleyball and badminton courts for a bit of sporty fun.


There is a gym with a view for guests to use with a variety of exercise machines and equipment.


For the young or young at heart there is a games room with a pool table and foozball games. There is also a baby room, movie room, a library, conference room, cooking classroom - Vedana Lagoon really has it all.


There are even kayaks to use at your leisure to enjoy the beautiful lagoon.


One of my favourite things about the resort was getting around by bicycle!
Each room comes with your own set of two and I loved cycling around the lagoon to breakfast in the mornings and the pool in the afternoons. I hadn't cycled for years so it was really fun for me. If you don't like to cycle you can easily call up and get a buggy straight to your door to take you around.




As well as having a complimentary daily shuttle bus to Hue and a beach they can easily book and organise tours and airport transfers. We personally used this and pre-booked a pickup for Gareth from Danang Airport to Vedana Lagoon and it was an excellent and convenient service.

They have wedding and honeymoon packages and can cater for onsite meetings and events.

There is of course also the lovely onsite Lantern House, Piano Bar and Horizon Restaurant where we ate at every night, this is also where breakfast is served daily.




The Food

A daily buffet breakfast is included in the room and had a very impressive selection of local and international choices. You could have eggs made to order, Pho noodle soup, there was a large range of hot and cold dishes, fresh pastries and bread, fruit, yogurt, cereals and juices.




The coffee was superb and you could choose from Vietnamese or American. Everything was very fresh, good quality and tasty, I very much enjoyed my breakfast every day! 



The Horizon Restaurant's menu was a good mixture of European, Vietnamese and local specialties.
We enjoyed trying many dishes and eating different things every night. The waiters were always helpful in recommending dishes if we weren't sure. Our favourite was a seafood and mixed meat hotpot that we shared and really enjoyed.


One of the days for lunch we ordered room service which was excellent. We loved the convenience and being able to eat and enjoy the beautiful view from our balcony.


There is an overwater platform where the resort can set up romantic sunset dinners for a special occasion. They offer delicious set menus and can arrange candles and live music which would be an unforgettable memory.



The Candle Bar lit up at night

The Details

Resort: Vedana Lagoon Resort and Spa

Location: Zone 1, Phu Loc Town, Phu Loc District, 8454

Reviews: 4.5/5 stars on Trip Advisor from 655 reviews and a 2017 Traveler's Choice Winner.

Price: Starts at $120 USD for a Waterfront Deluxe Room, depending on the season.



Final Thoughts

I absolutely loved my stay here and wished I didn't ever have to leave! It was such a magical experience staying in an overwater bungalow with some of the best views I've ever laid my eyes on. It truly looked like a painting.

The staff are incredibly warm, generous and friendly. Any minor request was taken care of straight away, the service was impeccable. Cycling around the resort you were happily greeted by everyone, even the lovely gardeners.

As it is quite a secluded resort this is a wonderful retreat to refresh, rejuvenate and relax.
It is the perfect place for couples, families and groups of friends for a special occasion or luxurious getaway.

It is the most tranquil and peaceful place I have ever had the pleasure of staying at and I loved every minute of it. As someone who is attracted to water, Vedana Lagoon was a picture-perfect place that I can still hardly believe exists!

It was a real treat to stay there and I highly recommend it to anyone visiting central Vietnam, it is such a gem and one not to be missed!






Happy Travels,
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Disclaimer: One night was complimentary and the others discounted in exchange for an honest review. All opinions as always are my own.

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