Vietnam – truly memorable, period. Vietnam may not be a fully developed country, but rich with historical places, unique culture and super friendly people.
So welcome everyone, to the first instalment of my Vietnam adventure! This post is a maaaaajor throwback to last December.
This time we had not come up with a detailed itinerary. So read on to learn more about the places we traveled to, and to pick up some tips from us.
DAY ONE – H A N O I
Accommodation: Splendora Boutique Hotel – 3 stars (booked through Hotels.com)
Rating: ★★★★☆ – for the hospitality, clean and spacious room!
Room cost: USD48/night with breakfast (depends on the period of travel/stay)
Flight: Jetstar Asia Economy
Length of stay: 1 night
- Ho Chi Minh → Hanoi via connecting flight
- Check in and book a tour for Sapa
- While in Sapa, search for cruise supporting halal tour in Halong Bay.
Touched down Ho Chi Minh City in the late evening and took off to Hanoi by night. We were not prepared for the weather in Hanoi. It was at 18°C with strong wind. XD Sure we know it was gonna be cold but we hadn’t expect the gush of wind.
Cab fare to our hotel was expensive, driver got lost along the way and we believed the price could have been lower if he had not stopped halfway to look back at the map (on the booking confirmation paper we showed him before we got on the cab) 🙄 and made another turn on the same road because apparently he missed the street sign. Cost us 420,000 VND by meter. Couldn’t negotiate because driver don’t speak English well.
Our arrival was made better by the welcome drinks and fruits served by the friendly hotel hosts. We would highly recommend you to book your stay with Splendora, the best we’ve ever had! Furnished with two super single beds for each one of us, a mini bar, tv and a laptop! The hosts at the reception were helpful and Splendora provided her guests with a more generous spread of breakfast (than most budget hotels we went to).
I’ll embed a video of Splendora Boutique hotel in the last instalment for Vietnam!
Our two-way transportation and accomodation for Sapa were arranged with the help of our hosts. We were scheduled to leave our room by 7:00 am to have light breakfasts and wait for the bus which were supposed to pick us up by 7:30 am. We will be leaving on the Good Morning Sapa (sleeper soft berth) bus.
Since we were going to be on a six hours bus ride from Hanoi to Sapa, we were sent off by the hotel hosts with some snacks they have prepared and packed for us. We truly enjoyed our very short stay in Splendora and touched by the warm welcome and sent off.
While waiting for the bus to come, we did what we do best!
Things to note:
- If you’re on a bagpacking trip with no plans, reach out to any tour booths at the airport for guides.
- Or seek help from hosts at the hotel reception. Our tour and transportation tickets were booked by Splendora’s hosts, with our agreement of course. The lady who served us was very patient and kind to wait for us to decide. I’ll explain why in the next post.
- Sapa two-way transport and tour cost us USD260 for two.
- You’d want to consider bringing some USD cause they accept USD in most places. In our case, we realised it would have been better if we paid all in Vietnam Dong. We suffered a loss buying USD with SGD.
- If you plan on traveling to Hanoi, do check for the weather and climate for your period of travel. We learnt our lesson in Australia hence we packed a couple of jackets for our trip this time.