With National Day coming up this September and some school holidays ahead, great to get cracking on that travel bucket list! If you haven’t booked anything yet, don’t panic, we’ve got your back.
Long weekends in Vietnam: let’s go sight seeing
There are so many bucket list destinations in and around Vietnam. How nice to have those long weekends to explore them!
In Vietnam, adventurous Halong Bay and buzzing little town Hoi An are definitely must-do destinations. The after summer months are great for Halong Bay travel, as it can be quite cold at the end of the year. Best to fly to Hai Phong and hop on your boat cruise from there. Spending at least 2 nights on the water is ideal and will give you enough time to explore the caves, go kayaking, enjoy the scenery and get zen. Check out our tips here.
Hanoi has just come out of it hottest time of the year, so September and October are perfect to visit the capital. Packed with history and full of great sight seeing and the yummiest street food ever, it’s a family friendly hotspot you shouldn’t miss!
Outside of Vietnam, one of our favorite short getaway places is Angkor Wat. This is the ideal spot to go to during the coming long weekends in Vietnam, whether it’s with the family, a group or just the two of you. Best thing; it’s just a short flight to Siem Riep so you’ll be there in no time! The town of Siem Reap offers fantastic hotels and the temples of Angkor will make your children feel like Lara Croft or Indiana Jones. To make things easier, we’ll tell you exactly what to do and where to stay in Siem Reap and Angkor Wat.
Long weekend City Trip
Singapore is a great city to get started, it’s such a surprisingly nice destination. The restaurants, the shops, the beach clubs, there’s something for everyone. Don’t hesitate if you want to go with the kids; Singapore has great kids facilities and it’s easy to get around. And don’t forget the amazing Singapore Zoo! In short, a perfect short get-away. The whole family will be happy the peppy!
Hong Kong is an amazing city with lots of highlights. It’s not only about Disneyland, but also about pretty beaches, hiking, shopping till you drop and hip restaurants. Although your kids will probably only hear ‘Disneyland’.
A bit further away, but great fun with or without your family posse, is the buzzing city of Seoul. From HCMC airport, it’s about a 5-hour flight to this amazing city. Yes, we made a girls only trip out of it, but it’s also great fun to go with the family. If your travel companions are old enough, you can do a bike tour to explore this fantastic city. If they’re rather walking, combine it with the subway or taxi and check out the amazing Changdeokgung Palace – great to see the guards and people in traditional Korean clothes. But we have so many more tips on Seoul, like where to do that famous Korean barbecuing!
Long weekends in Vietnam: let’s hit the beach
If you’re trying to avoid air travel, then head off to Mui Ne. It’s a 3.5-hour drive from Saigon and has many amazing resorts to choose from. The weather is beautiful this time of the year, which makes Mui Ne the perfect, hassle free destination. Check out our great tips for hotels and activities in Mui Ne.
Great holiday destinations
You might be able to find some more time of the coming months. Margaret River, on the west coast of Australia is the ideal place to visit if you have a week or more. The laid-back country life with its delicious food, nice weather and great outdoors… Can you imagine a better family holiday? Click here to get the best tips on where to go and what to do!
And what about beautiful Bali? The food, the beaches, the shopping! Bali has something to offer for everyone and each area is different. The list of what to do in Bali is endless. Not to worry, we have explored & experienced this fab island and made you a super list of where to go in Bali. And did you know there’s a direct flight now? Yihaa!
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So you want to go to the beach... and see some more of Vietnam… and enjoy some culture… You’re in luck! Travelling to Hoi An will bring you all that and more. A beautiful Vietnamese village, with cozy little restaurants and views that just shout ‘Instagram me’.
When in Vietnam, make sure to visit one of the oldest capitals in the world: Hanoi. Full of historical buildings, charming walkways and lovely restaurants. Fun for a romantic escape with your loved one, but it's just as great to visit Hanoi with your kids!
Looking for a picturesque, relaxed, remote island? We have found just the place. Near Nha Trang lies the beautiful Whale Island, a chilled out place with pleasant (eco)cabins along the beach and beautiful tropical fishes in the water in front of you.
A breathtaking and majestic, the rocks of Halong Bay are a famous Vietnamese tourist attraction and for good reason. But here is our inside scoop: within Halong Bay, skip the regular tourist area and go to Cat Ba- an area that is equally beautiful, but does not have the masses of tourists.
Looking for a few days away, not too far from home? Head to The Island Lodge, a beautiful hotel in the Mekong. Great ambiance, a stunning pool and lovely food awaits you. And the best thing? It’s only a 2 hour drive away!
Set up in 2015 by French owners Michel and Francoise, The Island Lodge is the perfect getaway from Saigon. Although only a few hours a way from the city, you’ll find yourself in a completely different world. Greeted by lush green gardens, spacious rooms and a fresh breeze coming from the water, it’ll feel like a holiday immediately!
The Island Lodge is the right place for relaxing
If your itinerary is relaxing, reading, lounging, spa-ing, dining and soaking up natural beauty, you’re at the right place. The Island lodge has a beautiful pool overlooking the Mekong river, the perfect setting to create instant bliss. If you need some extra relaxation, there’s a spa, sauna and jacuzzi. And let’s not forget some taste bud pampering; after signature cocktails at the lovely lounge bar, it’s time for dinner. The chef at the Island Lodge is known for his Vietnamese and French fusion cuisine and has created a tasty menu.
Go with friends, family or sans kids
Offering spacious rooms, The island Lodge is perfect for a weekend away from the city with the kids. Or take friends and let them get a feel of the Mekong. The various tours will give them enough options to see what this bustling region is all about. But for us, this boutique resort is also the perfect romantic getaway; no need to take a flight, but far enough to finally have some time together!
Exploring the Mekong
Did enough relaxing? The Island Lodge is the perfect spot to explore the Mekong. The hotel organizes bike- and boat tours that will give you a good feel of Mekong life; the orchards, the floating markets, the coconut factories and the Mekong villages. If you’re the adventurous type, they offer tours that go off the beaten track. Taking it easy? Rent your own bike and explore the neighborhood. There are electric bikes as well.
How to get to The Island Lodge
Getting there is the easy part. The Island Lodge is situated in My Tho, on an island in the Mekong River. It’s a 2 hour drive by car from Saigon. Transport can be arranged if needed.
Special discounts apply from May till August!
The best time for visiting is between September and April. The months after December are relatively dry and up until March, it is not too hot. A big bonus of these months is that it is the fruit season and the Mekong area is full of orchards. The raining season starts in May and lasts until August. But the good news is that The Island Lodge offers a summer package for the May to October period: if you stay for 3 nights, you only have to pay for 2. The rains usually don’t last that long and are quite refreshing, so we say go for it!
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Let's go explore Angkor Wat. It is one of our favorite places and the ideal spot for a getaway with friends or family. The town of Siem Reap offers fantastic hotels and the temples of Angkor will make you feel like Lara Croft and Indiana Jones all in one.
Any vacation is a good vacation, but a getaway with your best gals calls for a well planned itinerary to make the most of your girls getaway! Of course, pampering yourself by unwinding on a beach bed is always a good idea. Mui Ne or Phu Quoc are perfect destinations. But cruisin’ through a city while bearing in mind the 3 s’s: sightseeing, shopping and slamming (and if you have kids, add the 4th s for sleeping), could be even better! And after this trip, be sure to add Singapore and Hong Kong to your list of girls getaways.
Here are the best insider tips for Seoul
We have a bucket list destination in store for you and your girlfriends for this girls getaway. It’s buzzing, fun, original and good for the soul… yeah baby, it’s Seoul! Plan, pack and go! From HCMC airport, it’s about a 5-hour flight to this amazing city. The big airlines like Vietnam Airlines and Korean Air can take you there, but budget-friendly Vietjet also has direct flights.
Where to stay on your girls getaway in Seoul
Ok. Location is key. Seoul is huge, no, humangeous, and has many, many neighbourhoods so be sure to book in the right district if you want to be staying where it’s hot & happening. We recommend staying in an Airbnb in the neighbourhood Hongdae, which is packed with hip boutiques and hot eating- and drinking spots. In any case make sure you’re close to public transport or a taxi drop off, since we didn’t spot any Grab or Uber.
Best things to do in Seoul
Seoul has so much to offer, from ancient palaces to bustling food markets to hip neighbourhoods.
The stunning (and UNESCO Heritage Site) 200-year old Changdeokgung Palace is a must-visit. Not only the palace and government buildings are beautiful, the surroundings are breathtaking as well.
A big yes to doing a bike tour in Seoul. It’s a lot easier going around on a bike than you’d expect and you get such a nice impression of the city. There are various tours available, from easy to (a bit) harder and the guides are awesome. We went with www.weridekorea.com and it was one of the highlights of our trip!
If you have the time during your girls getaway, make sure you also visit the neighbourhoods Insadong, Bukchon Hanok Village and Myeong-Dong. The best food- and shopping markets in Seoul are Namdaemun market, Dongdaemun market and Gwangjang market. If you and your gal pals feel like doing something active, go for a hike in the Bukhansan National Park. It’s only an hour drive from Seoul. And after your hike, plan a well-deserved visit to one of Seoul’s bath houses- you won’t regret or forget it! Dragon Hill Spa, The Spa in Garden 5 and Spa Itaewon land come recommended, but there are loads of ‘m.
Eat Korean bbq, party hard and go Gangnam style
When in Seoul, do a Korean BBQ. They’re everywhere so unless you’re a vegetarian, there’s no way around it. It’s actually super cozy to sit around an inside bbq. We really liked the Maple Tree House in the party district Itaewon and Jeju Donsadon in the trendy neighbourhood Mapo-Gu.
Korean people know how to partyyy! K-Pop and Gangnam probably immediately pop up in your head, but there’s way more. Itaewon is where it’s all happening, so head straight to Prost for drinks and then one floor up to Glam to gawk at Seoul’s celebs and fashionista’s. We ended up dancing the night away at Vintage Music Lounge The Soul and revived those 80s and 90s songs we just can’t get enough of. In need of some serious karaoke? Your vocal cords will have a field day in this part of town!
You can’t go to Seoul and not visit the Gangnam district, right? Gangnam literally means South of the river and is home to South Korea’s richest residents. The neighbourhood is indeed fancy schmancy with posh boutiques, modern malls and classy clubs. And not to forget, packed with places to either stock your K-pop collection or to get a ehhm, facelift.
Best time to go to Seoul
The seasons in South Korea are divided into spring, summer, autumn and winter, each bringing with it its own benefits and challenges. Summers get very hot and the air polution can get really bad whereas winters are quite cold. The best time to go is either in Spring or Autumn.
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