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Lively coastal party town Nha Trang in Vietnam is renowned for hordes of happy-hour hungry revellers, enticed by the throng of bustling backpacker bars and the energetic around-the-clock lifestyle.
It’s hard to believe that just two hours north of this high-rise cosmopolitan megapolis lies an intimate island escape.
Far from the mainland’s intoxicating concoction of sizzling street food, tooting mopeds and glistening paddy fields; take a boat from the mainland at Van Phong Bay and you will arrive at a beautiful secluded island.
Ecotourism at Whale Island
After a hectic travel schedule, this location promises a precious feeling of freedom. Escape the feverish, sticky streets of chaotic cities and withdraw to this unique and tranquil location which offers guests their own private island experience.
Tourism has brought innumerable benefits to Vietnam, not least the economy, but the massive influx of visitors has also caused environmental degradation.
Vietnam’s ecotourism strategy is still in its infancy, but resorts such as Whale Island are helping to bring eco-friendly travel into the spotlight. Disconnect from the demands of modern life on a peaceful oasis that believes in an ethical approach to the local environment.
Watch a stunning Vietnam sunset from the bar
Facilities at Whale Island Resort
Constructed from natural materials, the resort’s buildings ensure minimal damage to the physical landscape of the island, while a clever recycling policy means little man-made produce goes to waste. A sophisticated solar-driven water heater also distributes warm water to each private bungalow.
A perfect combination of simplicity and elegance, the stunning bamboo crafted bungalows provide the ideal setting to unwind. With comfortable beds, fans and ensuite bathrooms you needn’t feel guilty about enjoying a relaxed afternoon doing nothing at all.
Fancy an evening tipple? Head to the bar, grab an ice-cold local draught and watch a bursting blood orange and purple sunset unfold on the horizon.
Food of Vietnam
Vietnam is culinary royalty in its own right but is often overshadowed by its more eminent Thai neighbour. Amongst the healthiest and most delicious in the world, Vietnamese cuisine is revered for its use of fresh flavoursome ingredients.
Famed for the minimal use of dairy, dishes strike a delicate balance between fragrance, vibrancy and taste. When the sun finally melts into the silhouetted mountains, wander to the restaurant for a cosy, softly lit dining experience.
This foodie haven is nestled under a picturesque thatched roof and provides guests with a daily set menu of Vietnamese culinary delights, including celebrated fresh seafood.
Wildlife at Whale Island
Adventure seekers rejoice. Water sports and activities are just part of the climate here. The surrounding ocean was in a dreadfully damaged state two decades ago, but thanks to the Hotel Managed Marine Reserve programme it is now beginning to bloom with aquatic life.
Colourful coral, tropical fish and submarine fauna are thriving. Make the most of exploring these protected tropical seas on a PADI diving course, or if you prefer, snorkel, windsurf or kayak.
You can take comfort in the fact that every activity funds a number of preservation projects across the island. For something a little less intense, you can always catch some rays whilst cruising aboard a chic catamaran.
Hiking is also a hit here. From 15 minute leisurely meanders to 2-hour treks, you’ll discover wild flora and fauna as well as spectacular panoramic views. Catch a glimpse of local wildlife including parrots, muntjac, wader birds and fishing eagles.
Enviable hiking views
Of course, a trip to South-East Asia wouldn’t be complete without a massage. Focusing on the body’s pressure points, Vietnamese massages integrate ancient techniques in a stimulating deep tissue massage.
The resort’s skilled masseuses are trained in the art of relaxation and endeavour to give clients a deeply rejuvenating experience.
Browse more of our holidays to Vietnam below.