Saturday, January 26, 2013

halong bay day tour

technically, the tour in halong bay itself only lasts about 4 hours or so. consider it then a day tour, if you include the travel time from hanoi to halong which takes half of your day. fair enough. so, don't you dare sleep on the entire trip because it's part of the deal! haha

i booked our halong bay day tour in advance through our hotel. we really didn't have much time if we still had to scout a good deal when we reached hanoi. luckily for us, our hotel booked a wonderful tour and it turned out to be a value for our money.

Halong Bay, Vietnam

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

on our way to halong bay from hanoi

i can't think of the most proper way to start blogging about halong bay. i admit it. halong bay was our main purpose of visiting northern vietnam but no offense really, to hanoi. we tried our best to squeeze our little time in order to explore as much as we could in the eclectic and equally, interesting capital. but there's no point on weeping over it now.

well, much of our time was spent on our travel from hanoi to halong bay and vice versa. travel time is about 4 hours; plus or minus depending on your mode of transport. going to halong bay was much faster since we were on board on the travel tour's coaster-- still faster even if we made an obligatory stop at a community center. meanwhile, going back to hanoi was more overwhelming and fun since we took the public transport!

then, what did i do during those long hours of journey? uhm, i have already mentioned a number of times in this blog that i don't and can't normally sleep during commute, let alone to an unfamiliar place!

how about taking offhanded and misaligned photos? yeah sure! i can do that. 'coz you know, a speeding vehicle and a gloomy weather were too much to handle for my little camera.

Rice fields in Vietnam
See? It was really raining!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

thang long water puppet theatre

i didn't have the flights that had great timings when i visited hanoi but i had no choice because vietnam airlines was cheaper than tiger airways -- a supposedly budget option. the flagship airline left singapore in the afternoon and arrived in noi bai international airport at around 4PM, vietnam time. the travel time from the airport into the heart of hanoi took an hour with an exhilarating traffic incident in between. nothing bad happened though. thankfully, vietnamese drivers also wear a good driver's instinct -- a crucial trait one should have when driving in vietnam.

it was november and hanoi was already experiencing a shorter daylight. i was with two other girls and chasing the daylight was very important, especially in a very new and unfamiliar place.

after fixing our room dilemma at our hotel, we were finally out scouring the narrow streets in the old quarter at 6PM. some of which were poorly lit although there were several street food stalls lining along the dark alley. for a girl, it would never be a good idea to walk alone in this scenario, not singling out vietnam but actually to any place.

Thang Long Theatre near Hoan Kiem Lake
Thang Long Theatre near Hoan Kiem Lake

Saturday, January 5, 2013

2012 travel roundup

for the first time in this blog's almost 3 years of existence, i'm coming up with a summary of how it had been the previous year. i guess it's never too late to do anything for the first time and this is such a promising effort for 2013. fingers crossed!

in the year 2012 (as if it was so long ago and not just last week), i managed to write at least once a month which i barely did on december. that time, loose words were all jumbled and i was hoping it would turn out okay and comprehensible for me in the years to come.

anyway last year, i had been hopping buses and flying on planes in a frequency that i haven't done before and i am beyond grateful that i was able to do that.