November 26 2023  |  Events

Inside a tour of Ba Na Hills and Hoi An at night with APOT

By Jane Hobson, in Danang, Vietnam

Group at Ba Na Hills. Photo credit: APOT

APOT treated its 2023 Networking Event attendees to a tour of Ba Na Hills and Hoi An today, in partnership with Tourism Da Nang and one of the city's top tour operators Asian Companion Travel. Delegates boarded the bus at Furama Resort around 12:30 p.m., right after the judging for the CATRION cooking competition wrapped up.

Tour guide Be, a Da Nang local, energized the gang on the hour-long drive with information about the city, historical anecdotes and song. The rain did not let up much today—but Be brought a "sunshine smile" to all.

Tour guide Be (left) and APOT Founder Keerthi “HappyK” Hapugasdeniya

A rainy afternoon at Ba Na Hills
The trip to Ba Na Hills started with the iconic single cable car ride up more than 1,000 meters to the top and then a walk along the 150-meter Golden Bridge. Other attractions seen at Ba Na Hill included the Linh Ung Pagoda and the giant Buddha statue. The views were obstructed due to the weather, but the experience was memorable nonetheless.

Architecture at Ba Na Hills

The cable car ride

Left to right: PAX International Managing Editor Jane Hobson, APOT CEO Jeremy Clark and Mohan Mathew Kottukapally, Co-Founder and Director at AeroChef, on the Golden Bridge

Photos at Golden Bridge

Views at Ba Na Hill

Ancient city Hoi An
Next, the group headed to Hoi An for a dinner at Vy’s Market Restaurant & Cooking School. This was APOT’s second time at Vy’s—the last was in 2014. The atmosphere of the large market-style eatery is stylish and sophisticated, with live music on the first floor, greenery hanging from the high ceilings, an intriguing bar, warm twinkling lights, a dance floor and several terraces, one of which overlooks the river alight with colourful lanterns at nighttime.

Interview with Chef Vy Trinh Diem, Owner of Vy’s Market Restaurant & Cooking School in Hoi An

“It is so good to see everyone again,” Chef Vy Trinh Diem, Owner of Vy’s, told the crowd. “We haven’t seen each other in so long and I am so happy you’re back. Tonight we will dance and enjoy the food.”

In an interview with PAX International, Diem said having APOT visit Hoi An and her restaurant again is an important factor in her mission to bring more tourists to the city and spread Vietnamese cuisine to more people.

APOT CEO Jeremy Clark (left) with Chef Vy Trinh Diem, Owner of Vy's Restaurant

PAX International's Jane Hobson (left) with Chef Vy Trinh Diem

“The networking is so important. All of you do work in different areas, but all in support for tourism,” she said. “The important thing is to create innovation, to learn how to do the best for our visitors. My job is to bring my culture out of country, out of Vietnam. You come from far way to Hoi An to enjoy the culture, to eat the food. I need to connect with you to send a message to people, and then they go to the airlines and book a ticket to come here. So, we all work together.”

She says she believes tourism to Hoi An is increasing because of this iconic Vietnamese hospitality and culture.

“We are special—and the food. I have so much to say about Vietnamese food. For me, that represents culture—Vietnamese cuisine.”

Atmosphere at Vy's Restaurant

Roast pork was served at the dinner

Live music on first floor of Vy's Restaurant

Hosted in partnership with Taste Vietnam Group, the buffet-style dinner at her restaurant certainly did not disappoint. There was roast pork, mango salad, pork rolls, chicken wings and so many other dishes to go with the wine and cocktails.

Diem delighted guests with several dance performances and songs with her friends, followed by lots of dancing and singing with attendees.

With full bellies and big smiles, APOT guests returned to Furama Resort tonight to get some shut eye before tomorrow’s big day of presentations and demos.

See more photos of the evening below:

View of Vy's Restaurant from outside

Entertainment during APOT Networking Event 2023

Lanterns at Vy's create warm lighting and relaxing mood. Photo credit: APOT

Cocktails were served at the event

View of Hoi An water at night from Vy's Restaurant

Hoi An at night

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