Experience Central Vietnam through the eyes of a local at Zannier Hotels Bãi San Hô
Surrounded by ancient architecture, rice paddies and charming fishing villages, Zannier Hotels Bãi San Hô occupies a special place in the rural heartland of Central Vietnam, a far cry from the usual tourist trail. Guests staying at Zannier Hotels Bãi San Hô can be enlightened on the ways of local farmers, fishermen and craftsmen with vivid immersions and personal experiences that will stay with them forever. Whether it’s a leisurely cycle through emerald green rice paddies, learning how to rustle up the perfect Vietnamese dish or taking to the sea with a fisherman and net, there is no better way to get to know a place than with some local expert help.
Those embarking on the hotel’s ‘Local Lifestyle’ tour can look forward to an early morning trip to the bustling market, where hundreds of stalls laden with fruit, vegetables and fish jostle for trade. From here, they have the unique opportunity to visit a traditional healers’ house to discover Thuốc Nam, traditional Vietnamese Medicine, which has roots dating back thousands of years. The journey continues by meeting a rice paper-making family, before stopping by a traditional salt farm, where mounds of natural salt are manually harvested from shallow fields along the beach.
In the company of a local guide, a visit to a nearby craft village can also be arranged by the resort. These villages have existed for centuries and offer a glimpse into rural life as well as the opportunity to meet with artisans and discover the beautiful traditional arts that define the country. Nearby is a village that specialises in the ancient technique of crafting rice paper – an integral part of Vietnamese cuisine, whilst another village has been producing bamboo fish traps for over one hundred years. Guest can watch as the locals skilfully weave beautiful underwater traps which are used to catch fish and eels.
Meanwhile, guests seeking a hands-on-farm experience have the chance to venture behind the scenes of one of the richest agricultural zones in the world. Being a basic component of the Vietnamese diet, the rice served at Bãi San Hô’s restaurants is cultivated directly from the resort’s paddy fields, and adults and children alike can learn the ropes of rice cultivation from ploughing and transplanting to harvesting. Guests are also welcome to join fishermen as they head out for the catch-of-the-day. With waters teaming with grouper, tuna, and oysters, they can learn the art of this ancient tradition before returning to the resort to cook up a feast with their prize catch.
Renowned for its vibrant flavours, zesty street food and sea-plucked produce, food is always at the fore during a trip to Vietnam. Zannier Hotels Bãi San Hô introduces guests to this incredible cuisine with a culinary journey under the guidance of a passionate and knowledgeable chef. The experience begins with an immersive trip to soak up the sights, sounds and smells of the local market. From stacks of herbs and dried fish to fresh noodles and exotic spices, the chef will help pick out the very best daily produce before returning to the resort for a hands-on lesson to learn the principles of Vietnamese cuisine. Little one’s can also get stuck in with pastry classes where they learn to make and decorate Vietnamese sweet treats.
For a very special gastronomic experience, guests can follow a picturesque walking trail to a hilltop for a sunrise breakfast whilst taking in the breathtaking views across the bay. Alternatively, a signature ‘Bãi San Hô Bento Box’ picnic or private Vietnamese barbecue can be arranged in a secluded bay or surrounded by rice paddies.
No trip to Vietnam would be complete without stepping back into history. Dotted around the hillsides and valleys are the centuries-old ruins of Champa Towers, relics of the civilisation that once dominated central Vietnam.
Under the guidance of a local expert, guests can learn about the lives of the Cham people and witness the elaborate carvings on majestic towers such as the 11th century Nhan Tower and the Po Nagar Cham temple complex, which was constructed between the 8th and 13th centuries.
MORE ABOUT Bãi San Hô
Situated on a secluded peninsula in the Phu Yen province on Vietnam’s south-central coast, Zannier Hotels Bãi San Hô opened in December 2020. Sitting amid 98 hectares of ancient rice paddy fields, lush green hilltops and palm and bamboo groves, the resort takes its name from the private one-kilometre coral reef bay it overlooks and offers the perfect balance of serenity and adventure.
The 71 villas, over half of which have private pools, have been ecologically built using age-old techniques and are inspired by traditional Vietnamese dwellings, with pared-down interiors featuring a collection of Vietnamese paintings, silk prints and furniture handcrafted from reclaimed wood and bamboo.
Gastronomy is integral to the resort with three dining options available: Bà Hai – meaning ‘Grandmother Hai’ – which sees Chefs use traditional recipes handed down from their mothers and grandmothers; Nhà Ở which serves all-day South East Asian menus; and Làng Chài – a beachfront restaurant offering fresh fish and seafood dishes.
The beautiful Hoa Sen Spa which comprises seven treatment rooms, hammams, saunas and a relaxation area, with treatments fusing ancient Vietnamese traditions with indigenous ingredients. Further facilities include a panoramic infinity pool, water sports centre, tennis court and kids club.