Highlights of Vietnam Trip

Coming back from a humid and hot weather in Hanoi, the two of us acquired a sore throat and are slowly nursing it back. Vin had to take two days of sick leave. I wondered if it was due to the things we ate on the last day or the heat we suffered at the airport without air conditioning…

Anyway, we did a fairly relaxed trip this time and managed one to three locations each day with plenty of rest in-between. Due to this, we had to miss some locations I had planned but it was all good. It was just a 7 days trip but we all felt as if we had been away for a long time as we had experienced so much in the Old Quarters and the natural Ha Long Bay. It felt strange when I came back and walked around in the orderly streets of Singapore.

Travelling in a foreign country on our own could be stressful when we want to see and learn so much. After experiencing many trips, I am learning to take it easy and just go to a few choice places of interest. That’s why we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly and had a great bonding time in Hanoi, Vietnam.

I had wanted to walk to our destinations but we ended up taking more taxis due to the hot weather and busy traffic. We also did lots of walking in a destination and ate at roadside stalls, observing the locals and what they do. Due to our Asian looks, we blended in mostly and didn’t get too much attention, which was great. A number of people actually thought I was Vietnamese and kept speaking Vietnamese to me.

We were also happy with our new camera and photographed many nice moments. It’s really better compared to our previous one and details could all be captured well. I was able to use the Wi-Fi function to transfer the photo to my iPhone and uploaded a few photos to our Travel.Snap.Stories Facebook Page.

Something new that I did for this trip was, I finally wrote and drew in the journal book I brought along! I got Vin to write in it too so we had both our experience recorded immediately or right after! This would help me to compose our blog posts better with lots more details so you could follow us on our travels to different places in Hanoi. For my previous trips, I often brought along a book but they ended up being blank or only started a page. I’m determined to start doing my travel journaling for every trip now!

For the posts, I’m still thinking of how to compose and I want to do them differently from the past. I expect the posts to have more individual photographs this time too since they are all so gorgeous that it would be a pity to collage them into small sizes!  Stay tuned…

Great Moments

  • Great hospitality experiences from the Vietnamese people, whether from shop staff or hotel staff. They are so friendly! (Pretty and handsome too…hee)
  • Learnt many things from educational visits to the museums.
  • The sights and sounds of the busy streets of Hanoi, overwhelming but interesting.
  • Tasted authentic Vietnamese food. It’s not only Pho!
  • Watched a cultural water puppet performance with musical instruments I had not seen before.
  • Had fun in an indoor water park, with one whole pool to ourselves.
  • First time we mingled with other travellers and learnt a little about where they were from or heading.
  • Had an interesting conversation about Singapore on a fishing boat in the middle of Ha Long Bay.
  • Saw some amazing natural scenery of Ha Long Bay listed as a UNESCO site and touted one of the seven ‘new’ wonders of the world.
  • Had a great 3 days 2 night cruise trip with Dar with an upgraded luxury cruise. It was his first time onboard a cruise, doing island hopping!
  • Experienced fine dining and tasted delicious food throughout the cruise trip.
  • The first time we kayak and kayak as a family, with no training provided! Dar was holding on tightly to his Daddy for his dear life while I’m concentrating on not overturning.
  • Our first walk through a limestone cave, looking at naturally crafted beautiful stone structures.
  • Walked through the huge area of Weekend Night Markets and tried some food.
  • Got to look at and buy hand-made, local souvenirs which excites an artistic person like me. I just love those crafty stuff!
  • Was given a Vietnamese straw hat from a fellow traveller onboard the cruise ship. I hadn’t thought to buy it since it was bulky but it would make a nice souvenir now on our travel wall.
  • Had the time to write our travel experiences in a travel journal.
  • Crossed one destination off my travel bucket list! (*to see Ha Long Bay ^_^)

Bad Moments

  • That it turned dark too fast after 5.30 pm and we missed the sunset by a little at Westlake.
  • Walking through the traffic at peak hour was crazy!
  • Hot humid temperature that made us perspire too much. It’s hard to get a good portrait with my face and hair all sweaty! However, we are glad for no storms or rain too as it would be difficult to explore.
  • Unable to do certain things on the cruise which I thought we could experience. Didn’t get to see any fish rearing place or pearl extracting which I had read about.
  • That it’s hard to find seafood meals in Hanoi Old Quarters! (except for Westlake which was pretty deserted)
  • That too much of the same food gets tiring after a few days. Rice noodles and spring rolls for breakfast, lunch and dinner… They sell the same few Vietnamese cuisine in almost every roadside shop and we didn’t know what else to order.

Looking at the list, you could tell we had a great time since there were more great moments than bad!

Highlights of Hanoi and Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

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