VIETNAM: Ana Mandara Hue

Ana Mandara Hue

VIETMAN: Ana Mandara Hue

By Nag Hoang

Global Living Magazine – Issue 5 | February/March 2013

Set amidst seven acres of tropical parkland, Ana Mandara Hue sits on Th uan An Beach and Tam Giang Lagoon. Hoang visited the tropical paradise to explore all of the comforts and luxuries of Vietnamese hospitality.

Before setting off to Hue, I had been constantly warned of freezing drizzle, empty streets and desolate landscapes. Who, then, in their right mind would go to such a place? After much fighting with myself, I finally left Hanoi on a dreary cold afternoon. The journey by train from Hanoi to Hue was by far the longest 12 hours I’ve ever experienced. The cabins were stuffy; phones buzzed every few minutes; fellow passengers trundled back and forth down the hallway to wait for their turn to use the restroom. I slept sporadically and woke up every time the train halted to pick up passengers.

The train hissed into the station in Hue at 8 a.m. I disembarked from the train in a zombie state but was soon energized by the sun. A shuttle bus driver had been sent to pick me up at the train station. He escorted me to his mini bus and handed me a bottle of water and a warm towel.

“Lucky you,” the driver said. “At this time of year, we would have expected an awful lot of rain.”

We whizzed past rice paddy fields, roaming chickens, herds of buffalo and uniformed children wobbling on rickety bicycles. After a 20-minute ride, I arrived at Ana Mandara Hue, in which I found myself stepping into another world. It’s as far from the manic chaos as you could get and as close to heaven as you could get, too.

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