Monday, January 14, 2013

My Vietnam Trip (Part 1)

I am so glad that we chose Vietnam as our holiday destination.. It’s a beautiful country, with great food, really friendly people, deep culture & history and wonderful weather. Talking about weather, I think Jan is not exactly the best time to go, because it is the coldest up north –in Hanoi and rainy down the south.. But nevertheless, the weather didn’t dampen our spirits.. we made the best out of the weather.

As it was the first time visiting Vietnam, I kind of went all out, in terms of extravagance. We booked a private tour for the 4 of us, flew Silkair (due to a promotion, which made it the same price as other budget airliners), stayed in 4* and above hotels and had meals at restaurants. A bit hard not to enjoy since we are INDULGING?!?! HAHAHA..

Day 1: Arrived at Hanoi

Met up with our tour guide, Ngoc, who will be with us for the next 4 days. It is ALSO the first time, someone holds up a placard with my name on it at the airport arrival hall. I felt like a VIP! (ok, cheap thrill)..

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Our vehicle for the next 4 days.. my brother-in-law is pleased to know that his money is well spent. =p

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Our hotel in Hanoi; The Gondola

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The hotel is small but clean, comfortable with very polite staff.

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The hotel walls are extremely sound-proof, NOT. U can literally hear footsteps and doors closing very frequently. It is a problem when you have people checking out early in the morning and you are still sleeping.

Anyway, the food in this hotel, was YUM! Served in large portions.

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After dinner, it was time for us to do some exploring on our own. ok, walking around is a challenge, especially crossing the roads.. There’s no stopping! And very few traffic lights. Zebra crossings don’t work the same way as in Singapore.. After almost a week there, my advise? Just cross! Somehow, the cars/motorbikes will avoid u. U just have to keep walking, and fast!

So after, a narrowing, first time experience at crossing roads.. We found ourselves at a very pretty lake just 5 mins away from the hotel.

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We walked and walked, and because it was so cold, we went to buy scarfs, and continue walking again. P1033236

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There are many cosy cafes that you can just sit down and people watch.. These cafes are typically filled with tourists, like us! =)

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This kind of ended our first night at Hanoi..

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With our new scarfs!

Day 2: Hanoi – Halong Bay

We started the day with a 4hr car ride to Halong City for our Halong Bay cruise.

As we are still very cold, we ended up buying more scarfs at the stop over! HAHA!

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We had to take a small boat to transfer to the main cruise boat. P1043283

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And we boarded the Victory Cruise and checked into our cabins!

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Once again, it’s clean, comfortable, cozy and had a very important function; heater!! It’s so cold now that we are out there in the waters, it’s so good to come back to a warm room!

Check out the amazing cruise and view!

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Meal times were our fav!P1043379P1043364P1043365P1043381P1043374P1043385P1043392

Part of the cruise program included a visit to a cave, so off we went! P1043396

Passed by a floating village!

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We didn’t think much of the cave, I mean, how exciting can a cave be? But the cave was HUGE! We spent about an hour to walk through the entire cave and we walked really quickly!

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After this, we took a 15 min break before another visitation. More on that in my next post!

4 comments:

Rose Apple said...

Hi Joyce,
May i check where did you book for your tour guide and all for your Vietnam trip?

Joyciejewel said...

Hi ROSE APPLE, I booked my tour with http://www.vietnamtoursholiday.com/
They reply really promptly and the tour is well planned. The guides speak english too. =)

Rose Apple said...

Hi Joyce, thank you for your reply! So you booked the Cruise through them as well? may i know if u rem which cruise package you took? i'm torn between all the different cruise companies listed on TripAdvisor! thank you for your help once again!

Joyciejewel said...

HI Rose Apple,
Yes, I booked the cruise package through them too.. We got Victory Cruise =) Should be deluxe package.