…Vietnam…Another unforgettable journey…
I’ve been to Southern Vietnam about 10 years ago, where I went to Ho Chi Minh City which was formerly known as Saigon. During that trip, I’ve learned from our tour guide that somewhere in the northern part of Vietnam there’s located one of the seven wonders of the world, known as Halong Bay. But unfortunately I could not plan a trip there since I have to further my studies abroad, until these recent years, where I started to revisit Vietnam again.
And this time, I’ve made it to northern part of Vietnam, Hanoi, Halong Bay and Sapa. Along the trip with me are xiangyun, my parents and my sister. Altogether we’ve spent about a week in Hanoi, Sapa and Halong Bay.
In my personal opinion, travelling to Vietnam have not always been as easy as travelling to other parts of Asia as the main problem faced there is language barrier, as most of their daily conversation are in Vietnamese. There were a few locals who having contact with the outside world, are able to speak bits of English and Chinese. So, I chose to take a tour trip this time, rather than backpacking since I am travelling along with my family as well.
So, here are some tips I would like to share with you guys, on how to plan a trip to Vietnam…
First of all, AirAsia is my all time favorite companion while travelling throughout South East Asia for its value for money and services for low cost carrier. I have always enjoyed travelling with AirAsia in recent years. So, booked your air ticket few months in advance before your trip for it helps to save lots of money.
Currently, AirAsia flies once daily from Kuala Lumpur to Hanoi.
Secondly, choosing your tour agency.
Well, I don’t know about other places, but for travelling to northern Vietnam, best to book your tour as soon you arrive in Vietnam. This is because the tours are easily available and you can make a comparison for the value of money, and you get to travel to more places of interest on bargaining with them.
On how I planned my trip, I would like to thank to my friend, Kok King who travelled there 3 months earlier before my trip. He got me the brochure of the locals travel agency, and I’ve made my booking via Haprotic, a Hanoi local tour agency who can help you to come out with an amazing schedule for travelling Northern Vietnam.
Even though my father was delayed due to unforeseen circumstances for 2 days as he missed the trip to Sapa, we were still able to meet up and travel to Halong Bay and Hanoi together, special thanks to Hannah…;)
7 Jun: Arrived Hanoi at 0900. Check in hotel then relax in leisure or drop off luggage in TIC office. Catch the train to Lao Cai at 2100. Overnight on train.
8 Jun: Reached Lao Cai at 0500. Guide and mini bus pick up from train station for Sapa trip. Overnight in Holiday Sapa hotel.
9 Jun: Around 2000 get train back to Ha Noi. Overnight on train.
10 Jun: Reached Hanoi Train Station at 0500. Take a taxi to get back hotel .
Bus pick up for Ha Long Bay Trip at 0800.
11 Jun: Ha Long Bay Trip end at 1600. Bus drop off at hotel. Overnight in hotel in Hanoi.
12 Jun: Free. Took a day trip in Hanoi.
13 Jun: 0500, book a taxi or bus to the airport. Say goodbye to Hanoi.
So, as soon as we reached Hanoi, we checked in to the daytime hotel which we need to check out by 1900 to a break. While doing window shopping around Old Quarter, we were still able to catch up with the Water Puppet show at 1700 before we boarded the train to Lao Cai.
Edited by Jo.