Experiences of a Vietnamese

luxury hotel

In Finnish
When one reads the title, one could imagine that this a story of great whining, but once the title is based on positive feelings.

Viet Nam is a country of same size of Finland, but somewhat more people are living on an area of S-shape (VN 78 Mio, Fin 5,5 Mio). The country has three thousand years of traditions and from there we also can find the reason to divide the country into three major zones: North, Central and South. We have Ha Noi taking care of the North and Saigon (part of Ho Chi Minh City) taking care of South. The Central is ruled by two cities, the old imperial city Hue and Da Nang 100 miles South. The reason for this dual situation is geographical as they are divided with a mountain area (2500 feet) reaching all the way to the sea. So Hue is kind of South of North and Da Nang is kind of North of South.

Unfortunately, we have not been able to visit Hue, although Jari has planned a visit there many times but has had to cancel for various reasons. Da Nang is in contrary very familiar: Jari has visited five and Sini two times.

Visit 1.
We visited Furama hotel first time in April 99 as Jari had slightly earlier at an AIT visit looked on the place and ranked it high. Some feelings from an email message at that time.

We returned on Monday from Da Nang back to Ha Noi and we must say, What a place. We did not have an opportunity to visit the town and stayed in the Furama-hotel all the time. We did not have any reason to leave. The hotel has its own private and guarded beach and that time there were only around 15 people. The sun bathing chairs with shades where far away of each others so felt very private and the guards made sure that local people did not have any opportunities to invade our privacy. In the evenings we could swim in the Lagoon pool and admire the perfect starry sky through the palm leaves.

If we only would have known of this wonderful place before, so we would not have to leave in February to Thailand. We are sure to go here again as it is a good base, if Jari has to go to a trip to Central or Southern Viet nam. This time he made trips to Da Nang, Dac Lac at a distance of 250 miles and Saigon at 430 miles.

We were there at a quiet time, but the medical problems that surrounded Sini made staying not easy, but she wanted to return as soon as possible.

Maybe the biggest problem was with the food as especially Jari was disappointed in the selections. He had had splendid seafood earlier in the vicinity of the hotel. Somehow one awaits that a five star hotel could be able to benefit the local culture. So you could imagine the disappointment that the menu had not many choices and tried to serve everybody.

Visit 2.
It was quite astonishing as the second visit came so late. Actually, Jari had visited Da Nang twice in the mean time, but not at Furama. We simply waited to be able to be there for a longer time. So not until May 2000, we could reserve a trip for five days.

And believe or not, but the transfer from the sweaty air port to water and peace went quicker than we could have thought. The flight from ha Noi takes only one hour and checking in was made extremely swiftly. In no time to us we were ready to enjoy..

Although Furama is at see, they have taken some thinking and built a magnificent lagoon pool. It is imaginary in shape, the bottom is not flat, but flows comfortably like a wave. It is a superb place to have a nice breakfast, before leaving to seaside.

On the beach there are huge parasols with a good distance of each others. Although, for a late comer there might not be enough of those and you have to like a smaller model or seek a natural shade. And the sun did manage again to surprise us as on the fourth day we had to leave the sunbathing as the skin had had enough.

Especially Sini enjoyed to swim in the see and the always smoothing water urged to make a cool dip regularly. The beach was perfectly shallow and you did not see too many bigger stones. Only sometimes a small medusa sent its burning greetings to both of us. It left a long 4 inch groove in to skin that had good burning feeling for some ten minutes.

We also walked daily on the beach. You can have a slight reconnaissance of the feeling of walking bear footed a mile long beach and watching the sea waves come and go. There was also small grabs escaping sideways from your reach.

Actually, we did not know how long the beach is as we walked several miles but it seemed to go on still further. The sun made biggest constrains to walking as one should be aware of not burning oneself.

This time our apartment was toward the mountains and it was a pleasure to sit at sunset time and enjoy of the relaxed feelings. It is not far from Da Nang to Laos, but some of the way is upward through the mountain range. Last year (99) there were bad flooding as the mountains will provide enough water, if sky lets it down.

We had the trip just before May Day and we had nice Finnish company. Our Ambassador, Juha Puromies invited us and Eila & Kalevi Somppi to Wappu Champagne. This was very welcome and we also could discuss of all that happened to ourselves during our stay. By the way, in contrary to usual practice in the SE Asian hotels, the Lagoon Pool was open also at night time and we had a Wappu dip in the pool. (Wappu = Typical Finnish celebration on April 30, before May Day)

We also rented one evening a local motorbike and made a few hour trip to Da Nang and its surroundings. Unfortunately, we also witnessed a traffic accident scene, where on motorbike rider was killed. This of course made us more cautious and shortened our driving as it became dark.

Despite the problems with the first trip, we were very  satisfied this timwe with the food. Although the menu was not much expanded, we understood to order the food made in our favorite way (Jari has never liked too much of grilled food) and also on this part the trip was very successful.

Our only problem was that we had to check out from our rooms five hours before the departure and the public areas of the hotel were not well air conditioned for a really hot day.

Last modified 1 January, 2005
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