Style’s Paul Johnston travelled to Can Tho on the Mekong River and experienced the tranquillity of Azerai Resort Can Tho. This is his experience.

Appearing over the shoreline as we approach the island of Can Tho sits the resort Azerai. Covering over eight hectares with 60 opulent rooms, the resort boasts instant charm and enchanting architecture.

Azerai Resort Can Tho is something to behold. Its traditional architecture has been interpreted in a contemporary light to perfectly mix history with modernity. A notable example is the centrally located 31-metre infinity pool, which was our first stop to cool down from the balmy heat. It provided much-needed respite and the service was amazing with no request too much trouble including light meals and delicious refreshments.

The spa was delightfully inviting, beckoning for us to continue our indulgence. With a huge menu of massages, facials, hair treatments, body treatments and traditional Vietnamese healing techniques, the treatment spaces were all located in gorgeous rooms with a combination of timber, concrete and grey hues. The entire body left feeling completely invigorated after the tropical rain shower, sauna, steam room, drenching shower and ice treatment.

 

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There were plenty of dining choices in the resort, including The Café offering an all-day menu featuring regional and international comfort foods, with a keen focus on fresh, local ingredients and flavours which can be enjoyed while taking in the view of the magnificent swimming pool.

Breakfast drew aromas from traditional Vietnamese dishes such as beef and chicken pho, as well as international menu staples like pancakes, pastries and seasonal fresh fruit. Yet, it was dinner that truly impressed with a tapas-style menu encouraging social dining. For dinners we opted for a more formal experience and enjoyed the surrounds of Grill Restaurant, beneath a canopy of banyan trees. Their specialty menu showcased locally caught and sourced crustaceans, fish, beef and poultry, with sides of fresh seasonal salads, organic vegetables and house-made sauces and condiments as well as traditional Vietnamese dishes.

 

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Beyond the indulgent quarters of Azerai Resort we explored the Mekong Delta. A visit to Can Tho is not complete without an excursion to the famous Cai Rang Floating Market, which starts at 4am and is a buzzing affair until 11am as over 100 boats full of fresh produce and homeware vendors gather to make a sale to tourists and locals alike. The pineapples were to die for and the thought of the Bánh Mì (baguette) stuffed with pork sausage, vegetables and topped with condiments of French derivation still makes my mouth water.

Other stops on the tour included visiting various working businesses such as a local fruit orchard, a traditional noodle-making house, and the historic Huynh Thuy Le Ancient House, which was featured in the 1992 film adaptation of Marguerite Duras’ best-selling novel ‘The Lover’. These visits were particularly humbling. Can Tho is where you will experience the hard-working Vietnamese lifestyle away from the big cities and unwind in true local hospitality and culture.

 

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