Sunday, December 25, 2005

My Vietnam Travel Itinerary

This travelogue has been integrated with Travel Diary that contains all existing and future travelogues.

The full itinerary and the activities on the trip to Northern Vietnam, in descending order:

Monday, June 13, 2005
- My Postcard Arrived

Thursday, May 12, 2005
Around Vietnam Hanoi Old Quarter
- Arriving in Singapore
- Good Bye Hanoi, Vietnam
- Checked in Tiger Airways on Return Leg
- Vietnam Airlines Mini Bus
- Taxi in Hanoi
- A Peek Into Wing Hotel Room
- Bought T-Shirt Again
- Street Vegetable Seller
- Old Quarter
- Ben Ngoc Son and Huc Bridge
- Ly Thai To Statue
- Mail a Postcard at Post Office
- The Tortoise Tower at Noon
- St. Joseph Cathedral

Wednesday, May 11, 2005
Hanoi Ba Dinh (Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum), West Lake, Temple of Literature and OldQuarter
- Thap Rua (The Tortoise Tower) at Night
- Sinh To Hoa Qua Tuoi
- Shopping at Old Quarter Hanoi
- Different Dinners - Cha Ca and Bun Bo
- Xich Lo (Cyclo)
- Temple of Literature and Royal College
- Summer Weather in Hanoi
- Quan Thanh Pagoda
- Pretty Girl in the Park
- West Lake (Ho Tay)
- Chao and Coconut Drink
- Ho Chi Minh Museum (Bao Tang Ho Chi Minh)
- Dien Huu Pagoda
- One Pillar Pagoda (Chua Mot Cot)
- Ho Chi Minh's Stilted House
- Vietnamese Long Dress Traditional Costume
- Vietnamese Children
- Presidential Palace
- Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
- Ha Noi Citadel
- Statue of Lenin
- On the way to Ba Dinh District
- Early Check In
- Nice Breakfast
- Good Morning Hanoi

Tuesday, May 10, 2005
Sapa and Beyond with Vietnam Minorities
- Train from Lao Cai to Hanoi
- Painful Sunburnt
- Beautiful Vietnamese Girl
- Cute Hmong Girls and Small Tout
- Bus to Lao Cai
- Sapa Town
- Dinner at Royal Hotel's Friendly Cafe
- Experience with Mountain View Hotel
- Sapa Markets
- Where is Ma Cha Village?
- Hang Ta Phin Cave
- Ta Phin Village
- Native Agriculture Cultivation
- The Way to Ta Phin Village
- Sapa Church
- Hoang Lian Hotel and Modern Girls
- Thac Bac (Silver Waterfall)
- "Protection Fee" for the bike
- Tram Ton Pass
- On the way to Thac Bac (Silver Waterfall)
- Bike Rental
- Hmong Girls (or Child Exploitation)
- Bus from Lao Cai to Sapa
- Soft Sleeper Berth
- Safety on Train

Monday, May 09, 2005
Halong Bay, Ngoc SonTemple and Vietnam Water Puppet
- Vietnam Railways Train to Lao Cai (Sapa)
- Bag Keeping in Hanoi
- Sugar Cane Juice
- Mien Luon
- Thang Long Water Puppet Theater
- Monument in Vietnam
- Ngoc Son Temple
- Vietnamese Hospitality
- Traffic in Hanoi Vietnam
- Mid Way Stop
- Halong Bay Tour Package Selection Guides and Tips
- On the Way to Hanoi
- Lunch at Thang Long Restaurant
- Bien Mo Junk
- Chat on the Junk
- Fishing in Halong Bay
- More of 'Other Part' of Majestic Halong Bay
- Our 'low cost' Bien Mo Junk
- More of Cat Ba Island
- Cat Ba Island
- Back to Cat Ba Island, Again
- Bien Mo Junk Cabin
- Good Morning Halong Bay

Sunday, May 08, 2005
Vietnam Halong Bay
- Sleep ON Halong Bay
- Dinner ON Halong Bay
- Route to Cat Ba Island
- Kayaking in Halong Bay, but no life jacket!
- Hang Sung Sot Grotto (Cave of Surprises)
- Shrine in Halong Bay Grotto
- Halong Bay Floating Fishing Village
- Halong Bay Limestone Rock Islets
- Dao Ti Top Island & Beach
- Vinh Ha Long (Halong Bay)
- Lunch on Boat
- Pretty Down Mood
- Vietnamese Women as Workforce
- Refill Water.... For the Junk
- Boat Hawker
- Halong City Bai Chay Tourist Junk Pier
- Thang Long Restaurant
- It's Raining All Days
- Dai Nghia Humanitarian Center
- Bus to Halong City with the Guide

Saturday, May 07, 2005
Vietnam Hanoi
- Banh Bao
- Hanoi at Night
- Booked Train Ticket to Sapa
- Booked Halong Bay Tour
- Sinh To Trai Cay Fruit Shake
- First Taste of Vietnamese Food - Bun Thang
- Thanh Vinh Tourist Hotel
- Minibus to Hanoi
- Hanoi NoiBai Airport
- Some Arguments with Adeline
- Tiger Airways Check-In and Boarding
- Heavy Backpack Caused Delay
- Finally, depature time!

Friday, May 06, 2005
- Last Minute Shopping
- Weather in Hanoi Vietnam a Big Concern
- Travel Insurance

Thursday, May 05, 2005
- Huong Hai Junk
- Bai Tho Junk
- Let's Go Vietnam Travel Guide

Tuesday, May 03, 2005
- Final Travel Plan
- Final Countdown
- Things to Pack

Monday, May 02, 2005
- Response to Email Enquiry

Thursday, April 28, 2005
- Virtual Tourist
- Change in Travel Plan again

Wednesday, April 27, 2005
- Vietnam Railways Tickets

Saturday, April 23, 2005
- Temporary Travel Plan
- Some Arguments

Friday, April 22, 2005
- Tiger Airways reduces fare again, and I am furious

Thursday, April 21, 2005
- Travel Guide in Singapore National Library

Monday, April 18, 2005
- Still Undecided

Thursday, April 14, 2005
- No Update?

Saturday, April 09, 2005
- Air Tickets Booked

Thursday, April 07, 2005
- Tiger Airways
- Destination Vietnam

Monday, June 13, 2005

My Postcard Arrived

I mailed a postcard to myself from Hanoi at 12th May 2004. I would have thought it was lost after such a long time. But finally the postcard reached me today, 1 month after I posted it. Late is always better than none.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Arriving in Singapore

Tiger Airways flight was punctual. We arrived in Singapore at around 11 pm. Adeline went back by bus, while I tried to catch the MRT train to the city, but there was no more connecting train to the city at Tanah Merah interchange. So I had to rush to take the bus at the basement area of the airport to the city. The bus runs well until 12 midnight.

Good Bye Hanoi, Vietnam

We arrived at Noi Bai airport at around 4.30 pm, pretty early as our departure time was on 6.45 pm. This enabled me to walk around the small Noi Bai airport.

Inside the Noi Bai airport departure / arrival waiting area, it was pretty empty without much passengers. And, amazingly, the chairs are all hard steel seat. Inside this area, which was after checked-in and immigration checked, there didn't seem to have any restaurant available. However, there are 2 restaurant at the highest floor of the public area in the airport, albeit the price is expensive.

Checked in Tiger Airways on Return Leg

Checked in to Tiger Airways was handled by Vietnam Airlines staff. The print out of the confirmation email of the reservation was needed here. The process was fast and smooth, and the Vietnam Airlines staffs were very friendly.

However, international departure from Noi Bai airport will be levied USD $14 Ve Thu Phuc Vu Hanh Khach, or in English Passenger Service Charge. It was in essence departure tax, which I thought was very expensive.