GOOD MORNING VIETAGE
Train travel in Southeast Asia has always been a bit hit-and-miss...
Whether you’re in a three-stack sleeper with a heavyset, snoring Thai man or lucky enough to have your own private cabin, you should always expect the, well, unexpected.
But when the team here at get lost jumped on board the new luxury Vietage train carriage by Anantara Resorts in Vietnam, the trip was actually an unexpected delight.
Launched in 2020 this exclusive 12-guest train carriage exists to take guests between Anantara’s two beautiful resorts — their legacy Hoi An property and their luxury beachfront villas in the southern city of Quy Nhong. The best bit? The journey takes you through the Vietnamese countryside in five-star style.
From the Indochina-inspired, rattan-clad sleeper cabins to the marble benchtops in the bathrooms, everything in this train carriage has been curated to perfection. And then there is the bar, which can only be described as ‘open and flowing’. With a wine list that rivals most Melbourne speakeasies and a burgeoning craft beer scene that’s spreading like wildfire across southern Vietnam, the bar is not short on choices.
The Vietage is also first-class when it comes to meals. Order your three-course feast ahead of time (we went with the Quy Nhon seafood salad, salmon fillet and creme brulee) and then eat your body weight in cheese and caviar. With a 45-minute session in the massage chair to help with digestion. No complaints here.
THE VIETAGE Hoi An to Quy Nhong
BURMESE SALADS…BEST IN THE WORLD?
Whoever said you don’t make friends with salad has obviously never been to Bogyoke Market, Myanmar...
(formerly Burma) where salad is — for good reason — the most popular kid in school.
Sitting snug between global culinary heavyweights like India, Thailand and China, it should come as no surprise that Myanmar has cooked up (sorry) its own unique national cuisine. What is surprising, however, is that the hero of Myanmar’s menu is the gastronomically complex, hand-mixed-at-a-Yangon-street-market, thoke (salad).
According to get lost editor, Tayla Gentle, these thoke are nothing like the wilted lettuce that accompanies your parma or the mayo-drenched coleslaw of your youth. “The first time I sat down on a tiny plastic stool in front of a salad lady at Bogyoke Market was a taste revelation,” she says.
“These thoke, whether you’re getting the fermented tea leaf salad or the fried samosa tossed with tamarind salad, are big on flavour and super fresh. Also nothing beats tasting your way through a bunch of foreign dishes in a crowded marketplace, the ambience at Bogyoke is unreal.”
Join the lunchtime local crowd for a bowl or three next time you’re stopping by Yangon. The khayanchin thi thoke (tomato salad) is worth the kyat.
BOGYOKE MARKET Bo Gyoke Rd, Pabedan, Myanmar
GO BEHIND THE BAR
get lost are asking the world’s best mixologists to give some insider secrets...
on how to make some of their favourite cocktails.
Cocktail traditionalists might turn their nose up at the very name of The Fairytale Negroni, but that hasn’t affected the popularity of this sickly-sweet twist on a classic recipe, according to Australian mixologist Ben Walker.
“It’s the negroni for sweet-tooths,” says Walker, who is currently behind the bar in Niseko, in Japan’s snow-capped Hokkaido region.
“I came across it on social media a couple of years ago, and I’ve been making it ever since.
“You don’t want to do too much to a Negroni, it’s an iconic recipe. My mates love this one, and even though it’s probably not one for the purists it IS really Instagrammable.
“It’s probably reflective of the modern age of cocktail making, where one cheeky recipe can really get some cut-through on social media, and help bring people into a bar.”
THE FAIRYTALE NEGRONI
Serve with ice
MUDDLER → MIXOLOGIST
BIT OF A SQUARE → CRUSHING IT
1/3 Dry Gin 1/3 Campari 1/3 Vermouth Handful of fairy floss Mint to garnish
Image: Johann Trasch
FOREST LAGOON, ICELAND
Fancy a very cold drink in a very hot spring? Iceland’s new luxury swim-up bar has got you sorted.
Just BYO bathers.
Forest Lagoon, aptly named for its world-class view of — you guessed it, Vaðlaskógur forest — is an architectural wonder. The outlandishly luxe resort seamlessly blends into the nature surrounding it, allowing you to drink an Icelandic cocktail from the comfort of not one, but two, geothermal infinity pools. It would be rude not to, really.
Had one too many Lava beers? Don’t stress, a plunge in the cold pool will straighten you out. Located in Akureyri in Iceland’s north, to get there jump on a quick 45-minute flight from the capital or take a five-hour road trip through Icelandic countryside. Skál (cheers)!
FOREST LAGOON Vaðlaskógur/ Vaðlareitur, 605 Akureyri, Iceland
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