Honeymoon Secrets: Vietnam

Honeymoon Secrets: Vietnam

Make the most of Vietnam’s beautiful beaches, mountains and waterways with these expert Honeymoon Secrets from Selective Asia founder Nick Pulley

Honeymoon Secret #1

Sail the Mekong Delta on a private sampan

Shh...The fertile Mekong Delta region is iconic Vietnam - a maze of waterways between islands of lush vegetation, lined with stilt houses and bobbing floating markets. You can't get much more romantic than cruising the Delta in your own private sampan, expertly handled by a discreet crew.

Tell me more...The Song Xanh can navigate remote canals that chunky public vessels cannot reach, letting you spend your nights moored beneath the stars in sparsely populated backwaters.

Honeymoon Secret #2

Unleash your wild side in Cat Tien National Park

Shh...Of Vietnam's many excellent NPs, Cat Tien, 150km north of HCMC, has a uniquely lovely "Gibbon Trail" experience. Two Gibbon species live here wild; you'll rise at sunrise to trek the forest with skilled rangers, listening out for gibbons "singing", then following the sound to see them getting on with daily gibbon life.

Tell me more...Stay in a luxury safari tent on a wooden platform at Forest Floor Lodge, a converted ranger station within Cat Tien - and watch the wildlife from your private treetop terrace.

Honeymoon Secret #3

Cook up a romantic Vietnamese meal for two

Shh...Vietnamese cuisine has a deep philosophy and subtle complex palate; eating here is always exciting. Learning to cook Vietnamese food for each other gives a tangible insight on your hosts' culture, and a long-lasting, practical - and conveniently weightless - memento of your honeymoon.

Tell me more...Classes can be arranged throughout Vietnam, but you could arrange a home-stay instead, and join your hosts in their kitchen - a lovely, memorable way to learn some lesser known family favourites.

Honeymoon Secret #4

Private uber-luxury on barely developed Con Dao island

Shh...Con Dao, a tiny archipelago 45 mins by air from HCMC, is a pristine Marine National Park - a patch of undisturbed sandy beaches, tropical turquoise bays and jungle-clad islets in the South China Sea. Turtles nest here between Jun-Sep and it's unquestionably Vietnam's least-developed beach destination.

Tell me more...Six Senses Con Dao's cluster of glass-fronted beachside villas, each with its own private infinity pool, is the archipelago's only five star (in fact, its only decent) resort, and offers utter bliss for newlyweds.

Honeymoon Secret #5

Private candlelit dinner in a Vietnamese family garden

Shh...Home-stays like Windbell in Cam Nam show you the personal side of life in rural Vietnam. Inland from ancient Hoi An, Tra Que is a small village known for its fertile organic herb and vegetable gardens - come here to get your hands dirty in the fields, and dine on delicious fresh produce in the privacy of a grower's home.

Tell me more...Eaten in a candlelit private garden, a meal typically features Hoi An specialities like marinated beef with fresh mustard leaves, cooked by the family's chef using herbs and veggies from the household smallholding.

More about the expert

Nick Pulley is founder and managing director of Selective Asia (www.selectiveasia.com), which specialises in tailor-made travel to South East Asia and was recently voted Wanderlust readers' Top Tour Operator of 2013.

Image Nick Pulley/Selective Asia

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