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Immerse Yourself in Vietnamese Culture at Four Seasons Resort the Nam Hai, Hoi An

June 13, 2018 Luxury Hotels No Comments Email Email

Forbes describes its beach as one of the best in the world, but there’s so much more to Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai, Hoi An. A true reflection of the region, the Resort shines a spotlight on the arts and architecture, traditions and customs of one of the oldest cultures in Southeast Asia, from early morning forays to Hoi An markets for the cooking academy to its nightly rituals of illuminating Vietnamese motifs through hundreds of floating candles and lanterns. With more than 98 percent of the Resort’s 620-strong team hailing from the local area – many following in their parents’ footsteps – every guest interaction is imbued with a warm familial pride.

Here are its Top Ten Cultural Experiences:

1. The Vietnamese Art of Architecture – While The Nam Hai might look like a vision of modern architecture, every line is deeply rooted in Vietnamese traditions. Contemporary villas reinterpret traditional garden houses with their union of structure, landscape and Phony Thuy (Feng Shui) principles; binh phong doorway screens distract malevolent sprits carried on the wind; in-villa mirrors replace open spaces and louvers replace grills creating a visually artistic rhythm of repetition; the poolside frangipanis are a fragrant nod to the favourites of the Nguyen emperors; and the Resort’s central avenue of palms echoes the belief that a tree trunk’s straightness (planted adjacent to a residence) is symbolic of the occupant’s integrity.Introducing this season’s Top 10 Cultural Highs:

2. Illuminating Vietnamese Motifs – Lights, lanterns and candles are synonymous with Hoi An and echoed throughout The Nam Hai: lantern-making classes; nightly candle-lighting ritual and floating-candle ceremony at The Heart of The Earth Spa; glass orbs and lanterns in the restaurants; ever-present decorative candle-holders (traditionally lifted from the ancestral altar and carried during festivities); and regular shuttles to the atmospheric lantern-lit streets of Hoi An – one of three local UNESCO sights (along with My Son ruins and the Imperial City of Hue).

3. The Heart of the Earth Spa – Afloat on a lotus pond, discover a haven of connection inspired by renowned Vietnamese Zen master, scholar and peacemaker Thich Nhat Hanh, from healing sound treatments to mediation and AntiGravity Yoga at the Thanh Tĩnh (“Peaceful”) Pavilion.

4. The Nam Hai Cooking Academy – Chef Tran Thi Hong shares the secrets of the world’s healthiest cuisine in the Resort’s professional-grade facility. Daily changing themes span from Hanoi’s haute cuisine to Hoi An’s street food, with each day’s course supplemented by an excursion to a place of culinary interest.

5. Coconut Cutting – Some 4,500 palm trees grace The Nam Hai gardens. Learn the skill of coconut cutting from theatrical coconut master Mr. Dung. A palm tree climber for more than 20 years, his amazing crafts and agile abilities are a sight to behold.

6. Vietnamese Rituals – From the nightly singing bowl filled and candle fuelled “Good Night Kiss to the Earth” at The Heart of the Earth Spa to the Resort’s evening Thắp Nến Candle Lighting Ritual, embrace the local importance of rituals with expert Vietnamese hosts.

7. Thanh Hoang Temple – Visit the perfectly preserved Thanh Hoang Temple, located on its original site. Neither rooted in Buddhist beliefs nor Confucian traditions, it was local fisherman who originally worshipped here, praying for safe passage and return.

8. Conical Hats and Ao Dai – A traditional symbol of Vietnamese people, conical hats transcend age, sex or racial distinctions. Take a class to embroider one or try on a Áo Dài, the local traditional wide-legged trousers and high-necked fitted tunic inspired by Chinese court designs.

9. Cultural Feasts – Weekly dining celebrations embrace the region’s rich culinary traditions: the Nha Trang region’s sweet delicate lobsters (Mondays); the bygone magnificence of a Champa family-style meal (Tuesdays); cook-it-yourself Lau Viet Hot Pot (Thursdays); and vibrant Waterfront Street Food (Saturdays) featuring lanterns, live cooking stalls and local performers.

10. Basket Boating – Surprisingly tricky to master, these virtually unsinkable circular boats are inherently Vietnamese. Join a Fishermen and Palm Paradise tourfor a centuries’ old insight into traditional fishing and paddling techniques along the Cua Dai River and palm-flanked waterways.

Get cultural with Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai, Hoi An. Contact +84 235 394 0000 or book online.

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