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Colorado springs, Colorado
February 11, 2006
Okay, I had a few minutes of wondering if I was insane--I was one of two young Western women traveling with an infant in Vietnam. I was adopting the baby in Vietnam, and my sister came along to help me. While most of the adoption took place in Ho Chi Minh City, the government offices we needed to sign off on the adoption were closed on the weekends. My Vietnamese guide in Ho Chi Minh City suggested we go to Ana Mandara in Nha Trang, since we couldn't accomplish anything else until Monday morning. He considered it so safe that he felt it was unnecessary he accompany us there. I wondered about the wisdom of traveling when my sister and I didn't speak 10 words of Vietnamese between us, but we need not have worried.
Nha Trang was the perfect beach weekend getaway and Ana Mandara the ideal choice. The hotel staff picks you up at the airport and returns you at the end of your stay. You don't need to leave this luxury resort if you don't want to venture outside of its walls. Elegant and perfect, this is the best of Asian vacationing.
Each room is a separate little building, priced according to how close you want to be to the beach (but they are all within 500 yards, so it was all the same to me.) We were greeted in the main lobby by beautiful Vietnamese women in traditional costume playing exotic musical instruments. Water gardens filled with fish dotted the grounds of the resort.
You will get a better rate on the phone if you speak in Vietnamese. The rooms are beautiful and understated. They provided a folding crib for the baby and mosquito nets, although I didn't see a single mosquito or hear the telltale buzz the entire time. A complimentary fruit bowl welcomed guests in each room, and the hospitable employees and a top-notch swimming pool made this resort memorable. The only downside--the high prices of food and beverages. I found that by going outside of the hotel walls and crossing one street, I could save about 75% on things like sodas and snacks. The hotel employees made a special effort to help us with the baby, extending our check-out time so we would not have to sit with my infant daughter and the luggage for several hours in the lobby waiting to go to the airport.
We took several cyclo rides around the city, and it was very peaceful and completely different than the hustle of Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). It was great to see more of Vietnam. You can't say you've seen Vietnam by only visiting the capital city any more than you can say you've seen the United States by visiting New York City.
From journal Southern Vietnam--beyond great expectations
June 25, 2002
From journal 14 days in Vietnam