Monday, January 4, 2016
Celebrating New Year in Hanoi
Reaching the age of 40, I promised myself that I have to explore and do new things in life. And one of first thing that I have to do is to celebrate New Year outside the Philippines and the chosen country was Hanoi, Vietnam.
I spent 4 days in Phuket, Thailand. It was my third time to visit the place and again I promised myself that it would be the last. So from Phuket, I boarded the plane to Singapore. I spent the night at Changi Airport and the following morning boarded the flight to Ho Chi Minh. Reaching Ho Chi Minh, I boarded another flight to Hanoi. My second time to reach Hanoi!
From the airport, I boarded the taxi to my hotel. I paid 400,000 Baht for the fare. It took me almost an hour before reaching the heart of Hanoi. I was freezing! The temperature in Phuket was 32 degrees and in Hanoi 14 degrees. I was not prepared for the cold weather of Hanoi. In fact, I was wearing only a shirt and shorts. I did not know that it was winter in Hanoi.
After nearly an hour, I reached STARS HOTEL.
Add: 26 Bat Su Street, Old Quarter, Hanoi
Hotline: 0989.945.983 (Ms. Anne)
I paid only 14 USD for this room but the facilities, accommodation and staff were more than what I paid for.
The members of the staff were courteous, accommodating, respectful, always eager and happy to serve!
After check-in, I immediately went out and took my first meal in Vietnam - Pho Bo!
Then, searched for my favorite travel brand - Northface!
Day 2 -
The hotel was the one who booked my tour in Perfume Pagoda and Halong Bay Tour. And the price they offered was the best and cheapest! How did I know? I asked my fellow tourmates and the price I paid was always the lowest.
I went out while waiting for my bus service for my Perfume Pagoda Tour. And the weather was still 15 degrees!
The bus service arrived 8:30 am and we went to the jump-off point. Travel time was nearly 2 hours.
We stopped at a souvenir shop for 30 minutes and proceeded to our destination.
Finally, we arrived at the docking area.
We boarded the boat and the boat ride was 1 hour. After 1 hour, we docked at the opposite end.
The boat capacity is 5-6 pax and I was with 4 British and 1 Vietnamese.
The place was a sight for a sore eyes!
Then, we started to ascend for our lunch.
Weather was still freezing!
After the light trek, we reached the spot.
We were treated to a buffet lunch as part of the packaged tour we paid!
After lunch, we went to our cable ride.
My sixth time to experience a cable ride abroad!
Cable ride was good only for 15 minutes.
Then, we trekked towards the cave for 20 minutes.
Then, we reached the Perfume Pagoda Cave.
There were so many locals offering their prayers and flowers.
They were very intimate in praying.
After the tour, we descended. But this time, I did not use the cable car. I trekked for 50 minutes.
After 2 hours, I was back in Hanoi. I ate Bun Cha!
I enjoyed Bun Cha and even shared a beer with a French guy.
I went back to the hotel and Tony and Kim were kind and gracious in offering me to dine with them as part of their New Year celebration. I obliged! I ate duck and silkworm! I consumed so many rice wine and got drunk!
After dinner, I went to the lake area and for the first time, celebrated New Year outside the Philippines!
Happy New Year!
Thank you Tony, Kim, Hien and Xiao Tian!
Thank you STARS HOTEL for my superb and excellent stay in Hanoi!
Thank you also for the best-priced tours!