Wellness Family Retreat: 2-Day Itinerary in Nong Son, Quang Nam

Recently, our family had a retreat to my hometown of Nong Son, Quang Nam, we invited a family friend from Hoi An along with their 3-year-old baby to join us.

With both families having young children, following a fixed schedule is not our priority, however, our kids are already had many experiences exploring new places before so we enjoyed most of everything we planned.

Although this post may be quite long, I encourage you to save it for later if you can’t read it all at once.

The reason why I want to write the article is that most families visit the My Son Sanctuary and then return, as they are unsure of nearby places to explore, which is truly unfortunate.

Located just 15km from the My Son Sanctuary, Nong Son is an irresistible destination for nature enthusiasts.

In Nong Son, you can visit Dai Binh fruit village, enjoy the mountain stream, experience the hot spring wells, take a serene morning walk amidst the mist, and eat delicious local dishes made from home-grown ingredients. All of this can be experienced in just one day or two, allowing you to indulge in the full beauty of the region.

At first, our friends had planned to stay for only one night, but the tranquil and rejuvenating atmosphere was so refreshing that they decided to extend their stay for an additional bonus night just to savor more of the morning ambiance.

Day 1- Exploring the Mountain Streams And Hot Spring Wells

6:30: Departure from Hoi An by car.

At this early hour, the kids were still asleep, allowing us to enjoy the cool morning breeze and light traffic with the windows down.

7:30 am: Breakfast at the 5k Quang Noodle

Though the price of a bowl of noodles has increased to 8k each now, it remains incredibly affordable. We each had two bowls. This place is a familiar spot to the locals.

Noteworthy for its pocket-friendly prices, the quality is outstanding as well. The noodles are handmade and traditionally cooked in an earthen oven. Fresh vegetables, mostly sourced from banana trees, add a unique touch to the dish. The simple yet delicious flavors left us speechless, and even my friend couldn’t believe that Quang noodles could be this tasty. Two kids both love their meal.

8:00 am: Stopping at the Top of Le Pass

As we continued our journey, we encountered Le Pass, a scenic route with breathtaking views. However, my friend, who wasn’t accustomed to traveling by car, felt a bit dizzy while ascending the pass. To help them feel better, we decided to take a 15-minute break in the middle of the pass to rest.

At this spot, tourists typically purchase tickets to explore the area, but we chose to let the two children enjoy themselves by the roadside, splashing and playing in the nearby stream instead.

9:00 am: Arrival at My House In Nong Son

We arrived at my house, which is located at the foot of the pass on the other side. The children wasted no time and immediately began playing games together.

We decided to start our real adventures in the afternoon after a brief lunch break.

11:00 am: Lunch Time With Family

For lunch, we savored a simple yet delicious fish noodle dish. The highlight of the meal was the basket of fresh and flavorful vegetables picked right from my garden.

12:00 pm: Children’s Lunch Break

After lunch, we allowed the kids to take a short nap and recharge.

3:30 pm: Exploring the Mountain Stream

About 2 km from my house, we set off on foot to bathe in a delightful mountain stream. The experience of walking and sightseeing with the children made the journey even more enjoyable than when we used to ride motorbikes here.

4:30 pm: Arriving at the Stream

As it’s just a small stream yet nobody seems to visit as tourists, the peaceful atmosphere allowed us to fully immerse ourselves in the serene surroundings, feeling like we had discovered a hidden gem.

A word of advice for those planning to bathe in the stream with children: it’s best to do so when the sun is still shining. After 5 pm, the stream water becomes quite cold, and those unaccustomed to it might catch a cold. After bathing, we warmed ourselves by lying on the sun-kissed stones.

5:30 pm: Walk to the Hot Water Well

As the stream bath came to an end, the rain began to fall. We hesitated for a moment but decided to continue our trip despite the rain. We took shelter in a nearby empty pub until the rain subsided, and then continued our walk when the rain stopped.

7:00 pm: Arrival at the Hot Spring Well

By the time we reached the hot spring well, there were not many people there. The period from 4:30 to 6:30 pm was when most people visited the well.

Initially, my friend was hesitant to try the hot water, but after seeing my husband and me enjoy the experience, she decided to give it a shot. Gradually, they fell in love with the soothing and relaxing sensation the hot water provided.

As we finished showering, the rain returned, creating a unique combination of spring bath, hot water soak, and rain shower – an indescribable feeling best experienced in person.

8:00 pm: Back to our house

As we made our way back to my house, we were greeted with a warm meal prepared by my parents. The main dish consisted of delectable fried green bananas, soup, and a mixed pickle dish that delighted both adults and children.

After dinner, the two kids were completely satisfied and drank water before drifting off to sleep, undisturbed until the following morning.

The journey took nearly 5 hours in total, walking with the children taught us patience and understanding. There were moments when they stopped for a long time, captivated by simple things like picking up stones or exploring backward. As adults, our role was merely to wait until their curiosity was satisfied.

In the end, the key to a successful trip lies in enjoying every moment, rather than just anticipating the destination.

Day 2: Explore the Village and Traditional lifestyle in Nong Son

5 am: Wake up and Begin the Day with a Walk and Yoga

Starting the day early with a refreshing walk and invigorating yoga session leaves you feeling fully charged. Today, our morning routine is extra special as my friend, a yoga teacher, leads us through the practice, making it even more enjoyable than following exercise videos as I normally did.

6:30 am: Visit the Village Market

In the early morning, we head to the village market in my hometown. Although my parents grow most of the vegetables at home, the market offers a chance to find delicious local produce. I can’t resist buying some of the mouthwatering dried bananas, a delightful specialty of Nong Son. We also pick up leaf-wrapped cakes for breakfast.

Thom Market (Chợ Thơm) – Nong Son District

8:00 am: Herbal bath for kids

Back at home, my mother prepared a herbal bath for the kids using unique bath leaves found only in Nong Son. The children joyfully play and splash around before having their breakfast.

9 am: Exploring Our Garden and Its Plants

With a diverse collection of plants in my garden, my parents take pride in showing them to my friend. Each plant has its name and usage, making the trip both educational and fascinating.

10 am: Walking to Our Grandmother’s Old House

While waiting for another friend to arrive, we take a walk to my grandma’s house, about 1km away.

Our Grandma’s house is located in a very cool corner of the mountain edge, most of which still retains the scenery of the old village. My friend was very impressed, especially with the traditional kitchen by fire in the corner next to the house.

12 pm: Journey to Dai Binh Fruit Village

We keep eating cakes bought in the market in the morning and went to Dai Binh Fruit Village. The kids take a short nap during the bike. Instead of the 15km motorbike route, we opt for the 7km journey and then go to the boat to pass by Thu Bon River, making the experience even more exciting.

12:30 pm: Exploring Dai Binh Village

Since it’s not peak season for the village, it feels tranquil and serene. Nestled between the protection forest and the Thu Bon River, the atmosphere is comfortable and peaceful, known for contributing to the long lives of its inhabitants.

We stopped to drink sugarcane juice and let the children continue to rest. Sugarcane juice here is picked nearby, so the sweetness is quite bar, very different.

2 pm: A Special Garden Visit

With flexible plans, we decide to visit Ms. Quoc Anh, a renowned gardener in the village. Her warm welcome and stories about her life and unique plants make the visit special. Trying the rare Hong Nhung fruit, which is said the only tree in Quang Nam makes the trip simple yet special.

3:30 pm: Leisurely Walk around Dai Binh Village

We take a leisurely walk around the village, savoring the pleasant atmosphere. Ms. Quoc Anh enthusiastically introduces us to various plants in her garden.

6 pm: Boat Ride Back and a Relaxing Hot Spring Wells

As the day winds down, we bid farewell to Ms. Quoc Anh and return on the boat. Before heading home, we can’t resist stopping for a relaxing hot bath at the spring wells,

7:30 pm: Dinner Time

After two days filled with adventures and new experiences, the kids still seem lively and happy. Soon after dinner, they doze off, exhausted from the excitement.

My friend’s family decides to stay for one more night, cherishing the feeling of being treated like family during the trip.

These two days have been a refreshing escape, offering rustic food and a rejuvenating atmosphere. The children had a healthy dose of exercise and learned many things from their peers.

As we return to Hoi An, we eagerly plan to visit Nong Son again, knowing there are many more places to explore and mountains to conquer.

If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading. This trip has brought forth special emotions, witnessing the growth of the children and the pride they feel for this beautiful land.