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I will be travelling from Hue to Hoi An in central Vietnam in January ...

... and want to spend a few days checking out the best beaches. Where can I find the best long stretch of white sand? Thank you, Antika



Vietnam's coastline stretches for 3,400 kilometres so you are certainly spoilt for choice. The central part of the country offers beautiful beaches from Danang along the coastline all the way down to Nha Trang, many of them just a few metres off Highway I. Facilities are mushrooming to meet the demand of tourists that ply the route. Seafood restaurants, guesthouses and other businesses make this area easy to visit.

China Beach, located 10 km from Danang and 20 km from Hoi An, is where US soldiers were sent for R&R. Ha My beach, 10 km from Hoi An, is quiet. An Bahn Beach, 30 km from Da Nang and three km from Hoi An in Hai Ba Trung, is another local beach with a small fishing village and seafood restaurants. Cua Dai Beach is also beautiful and just three kilometres from Hoi An on Cua Dai Road.

However the weather in January is rather unpredictable. The sea can be rough with the waves pounding the beaches. It’s not suitable for swimming, snorkelling or diving because of the undertow. You will also find the water is a lot colder than in Thailand. If you are looking to visit a beach in Vietnam in January, I'd suggest Phu Quoc in the south of Vietnam. It is the largest of all Vietnamese islands and the largest in the Gulf of Thailand. The island is located 500 kilometres from Ho Chi Minh and only 18 kilometres from the Cambodia province of Kampot.



Please advise what I can get to eat in terms of vegetarian food in Bangkok, especially in the food courts of MBK and other malls. Are there any special restaurants serving vegetarian food that worth visiting when I come in late November? Thanks for your reply, Rashmi.

You can certainly get vegetarian food in Bangkok. At MBK, just head to the food court on the 6th floor. There is a vegetarian stall that has about 10 dishes to choose from. A selection of Thai vegetarian food usually includes green curry, tofu spicy salad and stir-fry dishes with lots of vegetables and brown rice. The food is good quality and great value for money. As you may know, the atmosphere at the food court can get quite noisy, but it's also possible to find a quiet corner to enjoy your meal.

Another mall that has a good vegetarian kiosk in its food court is Terminal 21 next to both Skytrain and MRT stations at Asoke. You will find vegetarian food at just about every mall food court in Bangkok as well as at many restaurants. Worth trying are Khun Churn, a vegetarian restaurant near Ekamai Station for Thai food, the Indian vegetarian dishes at Dosa King in Sukhumvit 11 and Govinda on Sukhumvit 22 for Italian vegetarian food.

As you're coming in November, you'll miss the Vegetarian Festival, which is going on right now all over the country. Bangkok's streets are filled with stalls selling vegan food. Next time you plan to visit to Bangkok, come in October and catch the festival. Have a great trip.


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