I often find myself wishing I could live in a hotel, but I suppose if five-star service and soft pillows became your day-to-day, it wouldn’t be as special. So I settle for those rare staycations, when you just need a break from it all and someone to take care of everything for you, even down to the q-tips and the hand towels. I check into a nice hotel on a Saturday night, bask in the rain shower, order wine to the room, and prance around in a big white robe. It’s more relaxing than a vacation, really, because you don’t even have to travel.
I’m in two minds about Dalat. Sure it’s been dubbed ‘Le Petit Paris’ and ‘The City of Eternal Spring’, the scenery is spectacular, and it’s Vietnam’s most popular honeymoon spot, but as I explored the region I kept thinking to myself that maybe I’d have been better off going to Sa Pa or Mui Ne or Nha Trang instead.
Be truthful now; how much do you know about the Mekong Delta? If you’re like most expats in Vietnam, not very much, I bet. You’ve got no excuse — the Mekong Delta is the world’s largest delta, an ecological treasure trove, the nation’s rice basket, and a region of pivotal importance to the wealth and wellbeing of the country. You can hardly be blamed for being in the dark, though; the Delta has never received much press attention. Alternate floods and droughts seem to be the only events there that the media considers newsworthy.
It’s my son’s big overseas experience. He stops off at Vietnam on his way from New Zealand to London, where a job awaits him. He is buoyed up by the prospect of life overseas, and raring to go, has but one problem. He is weighted down by far too much baggage. I’ve told him time and time again that travelling light is the only way to go, but then whoever listens to the advice of their oldies?