Ninh Van is a place that you’d probably disregard when planning your itinerary of Vietnam due to its relatively tiny size, compared with the likes of Nha Trang and Mui Ne. However, as you get closer to this little coastal haven, word of mouth will pique your curiosity and make it incredibly difficult for you not to go there!
We hadn’t originally planned to visit Ninhvana, but, after chatting to so many backpackers in Hoi An who told us that we couldn’t possibly miss out, we were convinced to try it. After all, we didn’t want to let FOMO affect our one-month trip of Vietnam! We thought, ‘we’ll book one night (which cost us only $8 US each for a dorm bed!) and if we don’t love it we’ll just carry on our journey south’. When we arrived there, we quickly began to see what all the fuss was about…
The resort is brand new and the interior and exterior design are unbelievably beautiful. The whole place is set in a drop-dead-gorgeous location on the coast of Central Vietnam that’s relatively unknown to travellers. Plus, when it comes to offering a laid-back traveller atmosphere, you just can’t beat it. This is the perfect holiday from your backpacking holiday! After seeing what we were in for, we immediately decided to extend our stay for a further two nights! So let’s discuss what makes Ninhvana so special…
A Sanctuary Atmosphere
This place felt like no other in Vietnam. Whether you begin in the north or the south of the country you’ll experience loud and busy cities and crazy roads, but all of that feels a million miles away in Ninhvana. It’s ideally located about halfway through the popular backpacking route as well, so it provides a little rest and recuperation to continue with your travels! We’d heard that people often extend and stay much longer than anticipated here and we were sure that wouldn’t happen to us… However, the incredible atmosphere and natural beauty around us meant that we found ourselves saying over and over again “just one more night”…
Vietnam Backpackers Hostel staff are renowned for being great fun, but the guys at Ninhvana were phenomenal. They love their job, and it’s easy to understand why. The team are absolutely great at bringing groups and individuals together over games and challenges and are the friendliest bunch you’ll meet! As there isn’t much going on for tourists outside the resort in the local town, it is key that you love your time inside it, and these guys understand that and make it their mission to ensure that each and every day.
The In-House Spa
Ninhvana appeals to everyone, from those looking to party and those looking to relax. One of the best things for travellers looking to take relaxation to the next level is the incredible spa and the ridiculous offers they provide each day. The spa is located in the far corner of the resort with relaxing music and a wealth of professional masseuses and beauty staff. They offer a wide range of treatments including a sun repair package with fresh aloe vera to soothe the skin if you’ve caught a few too many rays. Others include back and head massages as well as full body and nail treatments.
The spa runs a continuous deal providing 50% off if five or more people book a treatment at once. Lone travellers don’t be put off by this, there’ll be plenty of others looking to team up to take advantage of the pampering deals. There are other deals that change from day to day so be sure to check it out when you get there. Our first visit to the spa was so relaxing, we decided to each make a visit every day we were there! It offered by far the best spa treatments we found in Vietnam and guaranteed that Ninhvana felt just like a holiday within a holiday…
Ninhvana’s menu changes every day and allows its guests to pick from a range of three dishes made from the freshest ingredients. The dishes can be tailored as they are often made in front of you on request by one of the experienced chefs. There are always amazing vegetarian options and also a great selection of daytime snacks you can order anytime out of mealtimes. One of the chefs also runs a brand of Indian restaurants around Vietnam, called Ganesh, that are well worth the visit.
For a place you rarely leave, you’d think it’d be easy to get bored here! Thanks to the daily activities, that is the opposite of reality. Each day, there are two kayaking and cliff diving trips that set off from the hostel’s private beach and explore some of the bluest waters you’ll find in Vietnam. The cliff diving offered a range of heights making it suitable for all with some daring heights for those daredevils.
For the sporting types, an afternoon volleyball competition is followed by a football match against the local men who rarely lose. Even if you don’t take part in the latter, it’s definitely worth a watch. There are also regular trips to the local village to teach English to the children before heading back for the evening’s activities. These can include the likes of karaoke, beer pong tournaments, movie nights and pub quizzes!
Ninhvana has an incredible community feel and we met friends for life during our stay. But be warned you will be sure to hear the first cans of beer cracking open by 11 am, shortly followed by a spectacular happy hour… This place was a real highlight of our trip and for those backpackers who are looking to socialise, enjoy some downtime and of course in true VBH style party late into the night this is a must in your Vietnam itinerary! Plus, did I mention that dorm beds are only $8 US? (Double rooms start at $39 US). Check availability and book your stay at Ninhvana on Booking.com.