Brand new luxury hotels, tours and flexible flights make Mekong and Phu Quoc Asia’s latest travel hotspotsThe amazing Mekong Delta and paradise island of Phu Quoc are the focus of Vietnam’s ‘National Tourism Year 2016’, an initiative from the Vietnamese Government to promote the country’s culture and tourism products in the region. With so much to offer travellers, it’s easy to see why the region is being highlighted for this year’s program. Known as the ‘rice bowl’ of Vietnam, the watery world of the Mekong Delta is a unique destination featuring both bustling towns and rural idylls.
Phu Quoc meanwhile has grown from attracting 100,000 tourists in 2000, to over 1.6 million last year. Known locally as ‘the Pearl of Asia’, the island boasts beautiful beaches and tropical jungles and is home to more than GBP £5bn worth of tourism infrastructure projects – including several new luxury hotels and resorts.
National airline Vietnam Airlines – recently certified as a four-star airline by SKYTRAX – has increased its flight frequency to offer daily Dreamliner services from the UK to Vietnam, making the region more accessible than ever. And with a dedicated local office keeping its finger on the pulse of all the latest developments in Vietnam, bespoke Southeast Asia holiday specialist Experience Travel Group is the ideal destination expert to help travellers discover this dynamic and beautiful region.
Some of the most exciting new developments the Mekong Delta and Phu Quoc include:
New hotels in Phu Quoc
Already home to more than 200 hotels, such as the stunning five-star Salinda Resort and the recently-opened Vin Pearl Phu Quoc Resort, Phu Quoc is set to welcome the Fusion Resort Phu Quoc in September and the JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay in December. Both five-star properties will offer excellent amenities – Fusion Resort Phu Quoc will feature private pool villas and its signature inclusive spa treatments, while the JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay will offer elegant accommodation, a seafood restaurant, international food theatre, deli and American bar.
Looking ahead to 2017, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts is due to open Vietnam’s first integrated destination resort. The Mövenpick Resort Phu Quoc, which faces the stunning Gulf of Thailand, will boast outstanding facilities including a wide variety of accommodation options, a themed retail village, water park and lagoon-style pool, destination spa, amphitheatre, beach club, kids club, water sports centre and an adventure and teambuilding activity course.
New Mekong Delta tours with Experience Travel Group
Mekong Delta by speedboat
Perfect for visitors who want to sample life on Vietnam's most important river without the expense of a full cruise, this new two-day tour combines high-speed boating with more serene moments, enabling travellers to really absorb the ambience of the Mekong Delta. Taking in river-side markets and old Buddhist temples along the way, visitors can also gain an insight into traditional craftsmanship, such as brick making, and learn how to weave at a local workshop. The tour includes meals at some of the floating restaurants and an overnight stay at boutique property, The Island Lodge.
A glimpse of the Mekong by Vespa and cooking class
This day tour gives travellers a unique perspective of the Mekong and lets them experience the culture of this fascinating region, all from the back of a Vespa! Visiting the small towns of Nha Be, Long An and Can Giuoc and taking in the stunning scenery en route, this tour offers an opportunity to interact with locals and visit the bustling markets with a local chef to pick up ingredients they will later cook. The traditional dishes prepared in the class are easy and fun for everyone to cook, not to mention very enjoyable to eat!
Experience Travel Group’s Luxury & Adventure at Angkor, Saigon & the beach is one of many of their bespoke itineraries that includes time in the Mekong Delta and Phu Quoc – in addition to visiting Siem Reap, the temples of Angkor, Ho Chi Minh City and the Cu Chi Tunnels . Priced from £2700 per person, this two-week holiday includes all accommodation and experiences, entrance fees, guides, transport and Vietnam Airlines flights.
Experience Travel Group specialises in bespoke holidays for passionate travellers. Offering adventures in Sri Lanka, Maldives, Vietnam, Thailand, Burma, Laos, Cambodia, Borneo, Indonesia and India, Experience Travel Group expertly tailor-makes trips that enrich their clients’ travel experiences.
Phu Quoc is a one-hour flight from Ho Chi Minh City and a two-hour flight from Hanoi. Vietnam Airlines flies non-stop to both destination from the UK and offers a number of connecting flights to Phu Quoc from each city every day.
Return fares from Heathrow to Ho Chi Minh City currently start from £419 per person, inclusive of taxes. For further information and reservations visit www.vietnamairlines.com or speak to a travel agent.
Vietnam Airlines offers the UK’s only nonstop flights to Vietnam, operating daily services from Heathrow Terminal 4 to Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. Flights are carefully scheduled to offer convenient overnight journeys in both directions, and excellent onward connections via its comprehensive network of over 40 destinations in Asia, including 23 within Vietnam and Indochina, as well as China, Japan and Taiwan.