Vietnam’s climate varies hugely from north to south with two different monsoon seasons, but Australian winter is the perfect time to visit the resort hub of central Vietnam around Danang (avoid straying too far south where it will be very hot and sticky). There might be a little rain (even though the wet season doesn’t really kick in until September) but the mountains of the central highlands protect the coast from most bad weather and it’s the sunniest time of year. Temperatures stay around the high 20s and humidity is at its lowest.
There are direct flights from Sydney and Melbourne to Ho Chi Minh City and flight time is around nine hours. Return economy fares start from A$1,200 and business class fares from A$3,500.
Furama Resort Danang
Best for Families
Furama is one of Vietnam’s original five-star resorts and sits on China Beach, which became famous as a hot spot for American GIs on leave during the Vietnam War. The resort sits on its own private estate and the rooms are a mix of French colonial and Asian styles. The impeccable service continues right up until your departure – there’s a private VIP lounge exclusively for Furama guests at Danang airport. In late 2012 Furama opened 30 new villas (six right on the beach and 24 with private pools) with three or four bedrooms, a great option for families.
Rates: Entry level rooms from VND6,195,000 (about A$293) per night, suites from VND9,240,000 (about A$437) per night and villas from VND10,000,000 (about A$463) per night plus taxes.
The Nam Hai
Best for Relaxation
You don’t ever have to see another guest while staying at The Nam Hai – all villas have private gardens and most have private pools, while the kitchen and butler’s quarters make in-villa dining a breeze. Join in the morning group yoga session on the beach or have the resort’s very own yogi come to your villa for a private session. Two of the resort’s three pools are for over 16s only, so there’s always somewhere to relax away from other people’s children (or your own).
Rates: Villas from US$550 (about A$543) per night plus taxes.
Banyan Tree Lang Co
Best for Indulgence
The first Banyan Tree property in Vietnam, Lang Co opened in late 2012. The 49 pool villas are all huge, starting at 124 square metres, and built in the traditional style of the region with clay tiled roofs, open courtyards and wooden beams. As you would expect with a Banyan Tree the spa is a standout and there’s an 18-hole Nick Faldo-designed golf course on site. Banyan Tree is the part of a larger resort complex shared with an Angsana resort, so there are plenty of dining options and extra facilities.
Rates: Villas from US$849 (about A$838) per night.