After Hue, our next stop was Da Nang, Vietnam’s third-largest city and home to some of the world’s best beaches. It’s an easy drive from Hue to Da Nang and, the ride is an event in and of itself. The road through Hai Van Pass reminded us of the California coast with drivers snaking along the sinuous cliffside, sheer drops to rocky beaches, and striking vistas.
This phase of our trip was low-key by design. We spent almost all of our time relaxing at Fusion Maia, a wonderful wellness resort on a private stretch of Da Nang’s beach front. Fusion Maia focuses on guests’ holistic wellbeing and provides many ways to relax, reflect, unwind and heal for its visitors. As we checked in, we were greeted by Anh, our “Fusionista”, who would help us navigate the options available at the resort — choosing from over 30 spa treatments, healthy eating plans, and daily events around the property. We were most excited for the two daily spa treatments included in the cost of our room — that’s right at least 2 per day, and more if time and schedules allow.
Breakfast “anytime, anywhere” is a signature offering at Fusion Maia and the spreads are the most amazing and elaborate of any breakfast I’ve experienced. Also so fun to have our breakfast arrive on a tray and set afloat in our pool. The meal portions were so generous we didn’t feel much of a need for lunch!
Even though breakfast left us too full for lunch, we always have room for coffee and chocolate and jumped at the chance to do a Vietnamese coffee and chocolate pairing. While we knew coffee was unique and popular in Vietnam, we didn’t realized that chocolate is a local specialty too. I’ve purchased Marou Chocolate bars as gifts for friends in the past and had no idea they’re from Vietnam! We also learned the general technique and history for how Vietnamese coffee is made. I’ve always wondered why Thailand and Vietnam include sweetened condensed milk in their coffee and tea, and we learned it’s a holdover from pre-refrigeration days when it was more difficult to obtain fresh milk. Coffee culture is huge in Vietnam, and it seems that any given block in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh will have at least two coffee shops.
For us, this was our first experience at a complete wellness center. We’re converts! Spa treatments have always seemed like a luxury to me, but after three days of treatments I felt like a new woman and better understand the role massage can play in wellness. David and I wish we had stayed the full week to cover Fusion Maia’s complete restorative program. If we felt this good after three days how would we feel in seven?!
All photos by David and Stacie Flinner for stacieflinner.com