Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Hanoi trip – Prologue

I have missed out the Bangkok on the first day of Tiger 10 cents promotion hence I am constantly keeping a lookout for those destination which I am interested in. On the 4th day, Tiger released Hanoi for the 10 cents promotion. I did a quick check on the fare and it's cost $115.90 for a return ticket which is half of a usual return ticket. I booked the tickets without hesitation and choose the AXS option which gives me another 24 hours to decide. By choosing AXS to pay for the airticket, I am able to save S$30 too. The fee is $5 per booking and another $1 when using the AXS machine compared to credit card fee of $9 per flight per person. It's a lot of saving if the booking is for many passengers.

Although this is a 4 days trip, technically we only have 2.5 days in Hanoi as the return flight is at noon. I decided to skip Halong Bay since the travelling time will take at least 3 hours. Actually I would like to spend at least a week in Hanoi and covers Halong Bay and Sapa if times permit. However hubby does not want to spend so many days for this trip but he regretted later when he realised that I didn't include Halong Bay in this trip. Hubby's friend Jacky and his girlfriend Melody join us one month prior to the trip.

I have visited Ho Chi Minh City back in 2008 and I always wanted to visit other parts of Vietnam. However there is limited budget airlines serving Hanoi (Served by Tiger, Singapore Airline & Vietnam Airline) and Danang (Served by Silkair), this is one of the reason why I did not revisit Vietnam after many years.
Map of Vietnam (extracted from Lonely Planet)

Hotel in Vietnam is not expensive and usually cost less than US$50 a night for a decent hotel room. I have booked a standard ensuite double room at Hanoi 3B Hotel which includes breakfast for $20 per night and is considered a steal at such price. The hotel is located at the Old quarter and is within walking distance to several attractions.

I have booked a half day tour with Hanoikids. Hanoikids is a non-profit organisation which is run by student volunteers and is a platform for students to improve their English communication skills. It has gathered good reviews in Hanoi tripadvisor and is currently ranked no. 1 activitiy to do. Reviewers have recommend early booking to avoid disappointment. However I realised at a nearer date that I have booked the wrong date and requested to change the tour date. Hanoikids replied that the tours are fully booked and can only put me in the waiting list.

As we have watched the water puppet show in Ho Chi Minh City, I decided to catch the Golden Bell Show which is a collection of Vietnamese traditional art performances. The performance is once every Saturday from 8pm - 9pm and ticket cost VND150,000 ~ S$9.

Itinerary for this trip:
Day 1: Reach Hanoi @ 10.30am (GMT+7), Museum of Ethnology, Chill out @ The Summit Lounge at the Sofitel Plaza
Day 2:  Hanoi Opera House, Vietnamese Women's Museum, Hỏa Lò Prison (The Hanoi Hilton), St. Joseph Cathedral, Turtle Tower (Tháp Rùa), Đền Ngọc Sơn (Temple of the Jade Mountain), Walk around the Old Quarters,  Đồng Xuân night market
Day 3: Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Ho Chi Minh's Vestige In The Presidential Palace Area, Ho Chi Minh Museum, One Pillar Pagoda (Chùa Một Cột), Temple of Literature (Văn Miếu), Imperial Citadel of Thăng Long, Golden Bell Show
Day 4: Depart Hanoi @ 12.20pm (GMT+7)

Budget for this trip is S$300:
- S$40 for accommodation
- S$40 for transport
- S$20 for admission & performance
- S$60 for meals
- S$40 for massage
- S$100 for shopping

2 comments:

Khải Phạm said...

Hanoikids Tour

Hi, our link about Hanoikids is dead.
Could you please turn it to this one : http://hanoikidstour.blogspot.com/
many thanks

Jerlin Tan said...

Hi,

Thks for informing. I have updated the link.