Uncovering Central Vietnam’s Lāng Cô Region

A slither of a country, Vietnam is cocooned between China, Cambodia, Laos and the South China Sea. Once divided by war, Saigon formerly held rank as the capital in the south until reunification in 1976 when it was renamed to Ho Chi Minh City, and Hanoi in the north took the reins. In Central Vietnam, and just an hour’s drive from Da Nang International Airport, the Lāng Cô region knows no such drama.

As we approached our resort Angsana Lāng Cô and passed by grazing water buffalo and conical hats bobbing in rice paddies, the verdant Truong Son mountain range shrouded in mist threatened to tumble into the East Sea. Visiting in January during winter, we were surprised at how chilly this part of Vietnam was at this time of the year and if you’re after a tropical frolic, it’s probably best to visit during the high season from May to October. I personally didn’t mind the relief from the humidity of the south and loved any excuse to remain horizontal with a signature Rainmist Classic experience or tension releasing Vitality starter massage at Angsana Spa Lāng Cô after a yoga or Pilates session.

I doubt I’d ever need an excuse to linger in our two-bedroom beachfront villa, which was 159m2 of luxury featuring a central living and dining area leading out to the deck and private pool with Canh Duong Beach at our feet. Each bedroom included an en-suite bathroom and was located on either side of the living area, making it perfect for families (especially with the fully-supervised kids club), two couples or friends travelling together. Other configurations ranged from the Garden Balcony Grand to the extravagant two-bedroom Angsana Skypool Sea View Loft.

There’s as much adventure or relaxation as you can handle including the 18-hole Faldo-designed Laguna Golf Lāng Cô or a visit to the local fishing village or on-site activities such as Vietnamese cooking classes. Also on offer are jungle hikes, bungee trampolining, ATV safaris, mountain biking, parasailing, paddle-boarding, kayaking or follow the lazy river snaking for 300 metres through the entire resort.

Onsite are several restaurants from the buffet style Market Place (it’s easy to spot the Australians as they make a beeline for the vegemite at breakfast) to Vietnamese favourites at Moomba and the rooftop Upper Deck for sunset cocktails. The standout was the hilltop Saffron Restaurant, a short buggy ride away at the Banyan Tree, also part of the Laguna Lāng Cô complex. Offering Thai cuisine inspired by the Imperial family and served on hand-crafted stoneware and gold cutlery, we began with a hand-washing ceremony in jasmine-scented water.

Under the direction of Chef Renu Homsombat, we were lavished with refined dishes such as crispy noodles wrapped in sweet prawns, chicken and beef satay, and squid with squid ink sauce. The mango sorbet was so delicate it barely existed on the tongue before dissolving into fleeting bliss. The duck curry with lychee and pineapple compote delivered a mix of sweet, sour and spicy flavours with each mouthful. The pork rib with pepper and honey, and beef short rib with logans were rich in flavour and served with four types of rice – brown, saffron, jasmine and pandan. Just as I was willing rice pairing to become the next food trend in Perth, our desert of mango sticky rice arrived.

A true escape from Western reality, Laguna Lāng Cô is a destination in its own right. However, if you did want to venture further afield here are two incredible day trips.

Day trip to Hoi An

Once a busy port between the 15th and 19th centuries, the UNESCO-list town of Hoi An holds an ethereal quality within its lantern lit streets. Boasting grand colonial architecture interspersed with temples billowing in clouds of incense and ancient teahouses, travel back in time while meandering through the many museums and the iconic Japanese covered bridge. Don’t forget to enjoy a haggle at the markets and if time permits, linger after sunset to witness the ancient tradition of lanterns floating down the river at night.

Must eat: Cao lâu noodles are only served in Hoi An and legend has it they are prepared with the water from the ancient Ba Le Well mixed with the ash from trees from the nearby Cham Islands.

Hue’s Imperial Palace

If you’re lucky enough to extend your trip in Hoi An, Namia River Retreat is due to open in late 2024. Set on the Thu Bon River, 60 luxurious pool villas inspire mindfulness and wellbeing, with plenty of gastronomic indulgences and cultural immersion. With so many fantastic deals with VietJet and direct flights from Perth, I’m definitely adding Namia River Retreat to the list.

Namia River Retreat

Day trip to Huê

Exuding the glory of imperial Vietnam, Hue modestly remains off the tourist radar. Just an hour away from Lāng Cô and situated along the Perfume River, the 19th-century Citadel dating back to 1362 still stands and is testament to the country’s resilience. You could easily lose an entire day just wondering through the expansive ruins and its alleys outside of the citadel moat. Or join a countryside cycling tour through rice paddies, markets and villages for a unique perspective.

Must eat: Emperor Tu Duc, the emperor of the Nguyen dynasty, was rumoured to have never eaten the same meal twice in a year. As a result, the legacy of his inventive personal chefs remains with dishes such as bânh bèo (rice pancakes), co’m hên (clam rice) and Bùn bò Huê (spicy beef noodle soup).


For more information about travel in Vietnam, please check out Visit Vietnam and click here to read more about my travels in Vietnam, to stay up-to-date with Fluffy Towel, please subscribe. Thank you!

    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop