RAW BEAUTY

Written by root. Posted in FEATURES

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Published on July 05, 2017 with No Comments

Revealing the magnificent home of King Kong.

Words ABDULLAH VOO
Images EXOTIC VOYAGES

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Venture deep into the depth of Vietnam for a primeval experience of the country. Credit(s): Exotic Voyages

 

If King Kong were not a figment of some moviemaker’s imagination, there’s a very good chance he would have climbed up out of the wilds of Vietnam, where producers of Kong: Skull Island filmed much of the movie. Hollywood had been searching a film destination of King Kong 2 movie since 2015. With wild and spectacular nature as pre-requisites, Vietnam was a natural choice. Its wealth of tranquil beauty, both majestic and primitive, easily shaped and contributed to the no-man Skull Island.

For movie buffs keen to experience the otherworldly settings in actual Vietnam where much of the movie was shot, they can now do so with Exotic Voyages that spotlights Vietnam’s raw and unspoiled beauty. Its 10-day “Kong’s Vietnam” trip ventures into the depths of Vietnam from Quang Binh Province to Halong Bay, where dramatic limestone karst mountains provide a primeval backdrop for Kong’s adventures. In Quang Binh, guests can explore the massive caverns of Phong Nha and Paradise Cave in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. Further afield, the world’s largest cave, Son Doong Cave, awaits. With caverns that can comfortably fit a 747 jet and its own localised weather system and underground clouds, Son Doong Cave will give you one of the most captivating adventures you could ever imagine. Be forewarned though that Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park restricts the number of visitors to the site, hence a one year advance booking is required if you wish to explore the cave.

“There are natural settings in Vietnam, off the beaten tourist path, that are as raw and unbelievable as King Kong himself,” said Andrew Carroll, global head of Sales and Marketing at Exotic Voyages. “That’s why the filmmakers came here. That’s why so many travellers come here.”

Indeed, Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park that was inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2003, claims some of the top caves in the world, holding records for the longest underground river, the highest and longest cave, the broadest and most beautiful fine sand beaches within a cave, and the most spectacular stalagmites and stalactites. Paradise Cave, at 31 kilometers long, is also the longest dry cave in Asia. In Quang Binh, travellers will visit Nuoc Mooc stream for a picnic lunch, surrounded by dense tropical jungle and celestial limestone karsts.

The UNESCO World Heritage site of Halong Bay, another major shooting location for the film, is also on the itinerary. Here you will see the iconic towering karsts and teal waters as King Kong would have – from high above. A scenic seaplane tour gives a bird’s eye view over the 1,600 isles and islands that pepper the Gulf of Tonkin, and an overnight cruise on the bay immerses visitors in its raw beauty.

Another tour highlight is a traditional sampan boat ride deep into Van Long Nature Reserve in Ninh Binh, an often overlooked destination on the Vietnam circuit. Ninh Binh features spectacular waterways and the country’s unique limestone landscapes.

Of course, no tour of Vietnam is complete without visiting the country’s two major cities, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. In Hanoi, a stay at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi will reveal why this has been the city’s most iconic landmark since 1901. With its timeless elegance and colonial splendour, and just mere steps away from the Opera House in Hanoi’s French Quarter filled with exotic food markets and restaurants, this stately abode will transport you to the romance of a bygone era. Vietnam’s bustling largest city, Ho Chi Minh City, rounds out the agenda. The former Saigon boasts of classic French colonial architecture and boulevards wide enough to make your city tour on a classic Vespa the ultimate in city discovery.

Kong’s Vietnam is the latest instalment in a series of packages that deliver travellers direct to the sites of their favourite movies. In September last year Exotic Voyages launched “A Modern Take On Classic James Bond,” inspired by the 1974 flick and its locations in Thailand and Hong Kong. Kong’s Vietnam package is available from now till December 10, 2018. For more details, please visit exoticvoyages.com/king-kong-tour/

 

Royal Brunei flies Ho Chi Minh City 4x weekly for connections to Hanoi. Discover things to do in Hanoi in www.muhibah.com.bn

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