Thursday, November 29, 2012

itinerary: hanoi and halong, vietnam

i headed to northern vietnam early this month and the weather that time had started to get cooler which i love! i was supposed to go during a long weekend in august but i had a lot of apprehensions that time, considering my dough was at its utmost scarcity. i was also a bit scared when the posted weather in those months would mean chances of typhoons and needless to say but i say it anyway, northern vietnam likely equates to halong bay. although news can sometimes be downright horrible, as human as i am, reading news about boats that sunk in the bay slightly deterred my yearning to visit the UNESCO world heritage site.

but i am just glad that i took the leap of faith!

A typical ricefield in Vietnam on our way to Halong Bay
A typical rice field in Vietnam on our way to Halong Bay

i purposely chose an unusual photo for an introduction to northern vietnam because there are already tons of photos of halong bay all over the online world. and i don't want to be predictable.

oh let me cut this vague chase.

Day 1: 10-Nov, Saturday
10:00 Head to Changi Airport Terminal 3 by train
11:30 Check-in Vietnam Airlines VN 662 bound for Nội Bài International Airport in Hanoi
13:25 ETD SIN to HAN
15:35 ETA HAN (UTC +07:00)
~         Head to hotel
17:00 Check-in at Rising Dragon Palace Hotel
~         Arrange Halong Bay Day Tour
18:00 Quick City Tour
        Hoan Kiem Lake
        Book tickets for Water Puppet Show
        Dinner around the lake
20:00 Water Puppet Show at Thăng Long Water Puppet Theatre
21:00 Roam around while heading back to hotel
22:00 Back to hotel

Day 2: 11-Nov, Sunday
06:00 Wake up
07:00 Breakfast at the hotel
08:00 Halong Bay Day Tour pickup
~         Transit to Halong Bay
12:30 Arrival at Halong Bay Tourist port
~         Halong Bay Tour
17:00 End of Tour
~         Head to hotel in Halong
17:15 Check-in at The Ky Moi Hotel
18:00 Roam around the area
        Night Market
        Hang out by the beach
22:00 Head back to hotel

Day 3: 12-Nov, Monday
05:30 Wake up
        Head to the beach for a no-show sunrise
        Roam around the beach
08:00 Head back to hotel
~         Hotel Check-out
08:30 Take a taxi to Bãi Cháy Bus Terminal to Hanoi
08:40 Depart from Halong to Hanoi
~         Commute
        Take a rip off taxi to Rising Dragon Palace Hotel
13:00 Hotel Check-in
        Arrange transport service to the airport
        Lunch at the hotel
14:30 Roam around Hanoi a bit more
        Random places
        St. Joseph Cathedral
        Hoan Kiem Lake by day
        Chase daylight by riding a motorbike
        Circle around an already closed Temple of Literature 
        Hopeless saga to a market for souvenirs
18:30 Not so fast-food dinner at BBQ Chicken
        Buy delicacies
20:00 Back to hotel
        Make use of the strong Wi-fi signal in the lobby
22:00 Sleep

Day 4: 13-Nov, Tuesday
06:30 Wake up
07:30 Breakfast at the hotel
08:30 Head to airport with the arranged car
09:30 Arrival at Nội Bài International Airport
        Last minute souvenir shopping
        Check-in for Vietnam Airlines VN 661 bound for Singapore
        Extended lounging due to a delayed flight
16:00 Back to reality  (UTC +08:00)


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