SUITCASE + Angsana: Lăng Cô Local Secrets

Lang Cô in central Vietnam has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and is just a stone's throw from three Unesco World Heritage Sites - the magical old town of Hoi An, My Son's Cham Kingdom Sanctuaries and the imperial city of Hue. Angsana Lăng Cô is a beach resort set on the water's edge and shadowed by the Truong Son Mountain Range. Here, Tran Tuan Vinh, Front Office Manager at Angsana Lăng Cô, gives us his local secrets for the holiday destination.

What's the best adventure you can have in or near the resort area?

Guests can take a tour by speedboat toLăng Cô town to visit the local villages and get tips from local fishermen. They can also trek or motorbike through the Hai Van Pass, a mountainous stretch of road with stunning views of the South China Sea and one of the most scenic roads in Vietnam.

What's the best thing about your destination in general?

Angsana Lăng Cô is a modern, chic retreat nestled within a landscape of unspoiled natural beauty in close proximity to various Unesco World Heritage Sites. The resort is easily accessible via a 60-minute car ride from Da Nang International airport and is the perfect base to explore the wonders of central Vietnam.

Where do you tell guests to go for breakfast?

Market Place, where you'll taste the electric flavours of Indo-Chinese cuisine.

What's the best place for a local lunch?

Moomba is an al fresco venue offering an innovative menu suited to every palate, from authentic local dishes to fresh seafood from the East Sea. Alternatively, head out toLăng Cô town where you'll find Viet Long restaurant. Set atop floating docks, this restaurant keeps its seafood fresh in the waters below within nets. Choose from an entire range of clams, shellfish and seafood straight out of the water.

What are some of the dishes that you have to try if you come to your area in Vietnam?

Kickstart your day with banh mi, a Vietnamese meal of French bread with fried egg or bun bo hue, a clear beef noodle soup which is a speciality of central Vietnam.

If you wanted to relax, what would you recommend doing?

I would recommend trying Angsana Lăng Cô's award-winning tropical spa for treatments which place special emphasis on the use of natural ingredients including native flowers and fruits. Angsana Lăng Cô also has a wonderful swimming pool that hugs the resort, where you can spend hours lounging on colourful floats or enjoying the jet-pool facilities.

What's your area's best kept secret?

Visit Bach Ma National Park. Climb up to a high mountain ridge and admire the park's varied biodiversity. Marvel at the coastal lagoons and hike through the tropical monsoon forest.

What's the most romantic thing you can do in Angsana Lăng Cô?

Have a long destination dining experience and take a walk in the early morning along the quiet and private beach.

What's the most romantic thing you can do in the surrounding area?

Pack a picnic basket, hop on a bike and visit the local villages. Discover rice fields, hills, bridges and beautiful mountain scenery. Watch the water buffaloes roam in their natural habitat.

Are there any local festivals that visitors should try to attend?

So many... Attend the Hue Poetry Festival (April-June). Watch massive street art performances. Listen to drums and percussion instruments. Walk through art exhibitions. Watch a week of Vietnam's historical films. Taste Vietnamese cuisine at the Gastronomy Quarters. Join in the Traditional Kite Flying Festival. View the Ao Dai Grand Show and Oriental Night Show.

There are so many sporty activities in Angsana Lăng Cô to choose from. Which are the best?

A variety of activities are on offer at the resort. The watersports activities centre features jet-skiing, parasailing, water skiing and kayaking while the activities centre offers archery, mountain biking, all-terrain vehicles (ATV), kids' ATVs and two-seater mini cars. The handicraft centre immerses guests in Vietnam's rich artistic legacy with classes in various fine arts led by local masters.

What is something that you can only do in your region?

For the adrenaline-seeking couples, ride a bike up the Hai Van Pass, an old highway which meanders over the mountains between Da Nang and Lang Co, offering breath-taking panoramic views of the sea and countryside.

What are some of the local specialities and crafts?

At Angsana Lăng Cô, guests can learn how to make a traditional Vietnamese handicrafts such as the iconic paper lotus or lantern with the family. Wear the Ao Dai, the Vietnamese national costume that originated in the 18th century. Buy the conical-shaped poem hat, a timeless accessory for Vietnamese women.

What are some of the best things to do within driving distance of the resort?

For the culture aficionados, explore the wonders of central Vietnam (one and a half to two hours away from the resort) such as the imperial city of Hue, the charming old town of Hoi An and the historical ruins of My Son. Hoi An, a 2,000-year-old town is a must-see. It was a thriving commercial port for spices, ceramics and silk trade from the 15th until the 19th century. The Unesco Heritage Site is now a shopper's paradise with charming art shops, galleries and authentic local cuisine amidst narrow streets and shop houses.

What's the best way to spend an evening?

Relax by the beach or in your own private pool with a bottle of wine and enjoy our 'Do It Yourself BBQ' with your loved one.

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Phu Quoc, Vietnam