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Friday, March 24, 2017

Honeymoon Number Two: 6D5N Hanoi, Vietnam.

with the Muthu. 
on the 6-11 February 2017.
to Hanoi, Vietnam

Few reasons to his agreement on this trip:
  • He has never been to Hanoi. I've been there once. 
  • He loves Vietnamese food, so do I. 
  • He wants to go winter-ish country but with a tight budget.
  • Airasia promo shows RM388 only! LIES! 
First thing we did was to secure the flight tickets. Of course it has to be with Airasia because budget ma. NOT! 

By the time we add a 20kg luggage under his name only (means have to pre-decide what to weat and pack wisely all), include the PEN-KUL-PEN flight (because promo means fly from KL only) and pay with credit card, it totaled to RM 588 per person! 

Not so budget please. Pfft. 

We agreed that if a destination requires more than 4 hours of ride, Airasia is out of the picture. Heh. So, this one still okay since less than 4 hours. I don't like Airasia at all to be honest. Commercial airlines for the win. I don't like that they don't have entertainment on board and their seats are very straight even after pressing the button to recline. I have motion-sickness so I need some sort of 'distractions' on board, and also I don't want to feel all bleh when I arrive so yeah. 

It is cheaper I know but I just rather pay extra a little to not have my whole day ruined. And if you notice, Airasia's price isn't that cheap anymore after you add the luggage and the "extra" charge when you pay either with credit card or online banking. 

Anyways, then we went online and searched for hotels. This was not difficult because I've been there so I knew that we must stay at the Old Quarters of Hanoi, near Hoan Kiem Lake. 

I booked the hotel via Expedia (see hotel details here) and also for Halong Bay (click over here to see details). I did all the pre-trip arrangements and his job only begins when the trip begins. 

That includes the itinerary, but actually right, when I did the booking for hotel, Halong Bay and Tam Coc, basically the entire itinerary was done up already. Hah. 

It's like in our understanding already that everytime we travel, he will be in charge of the trip itself and I will assist in all the prior bookings. 

If the role is reversed, we will probably never go anywhere because he would never do all these research for flights and hotels. Hah. 

SIXTH OF FEBRUARY
Penang-Kuala Lumpur


Allow me to brag about this soulmate for a while.

Every time we got on an Uber or taxi or chartered vehicle to anywhere, he will end up becoming friends with the driver. He will always choose to be in the front seat because he wants to talk to them. I love that this man is like this. Something that I'm not. Love you, noob.

Our flight  to KL was at 7:55pm and we finished work at 5:30pm. We had less than 2 hours to get home, bathe and Uber to the airport which was a crazy idea because of the after work jam. 

Imagine our relief when we received a text message from Airasia about our flight delay of 1-hour. That 1-hour made all the difference. 

We got to KLIA 2 and walked around to find food. We had our dinner in Penang already but we needed to eat again because you cannot just ignore nasi-kandar cravings when it comes. 

We asked around and no one seemed to know where we could get nasi kandar in KLIA 2 at 10:30pm. In the end, we found a food court and guess what we had for supper? 

NASI KANDAR FOR SURE.


Our flight to Hanoi is the next morning at 6:05am so we walked around some more to find a place safe enough to sleep. We asked a staff and she pointed to the place that we went. There were other humans trying to sleep to so we tried to be as quiet as we can. 

We didn't realize that we were sleeping next to the place where they decided to gather all the aiport trolleys. G. 

The entire night, it felt like we were lying next to a railway where the train comes and goes loudly. I was too tired to be bothered by the noise, but Koay did not sleep at all. It was super bright too FYI. 

So, if we ever had to sleep in KLIA 2 again, we will find other place that is dimmer and quieter and even if there isn't anyone in that dimmer and quieter place, we would be the first one to start the sleeping trend there. 

We actually found a few place that was a lot cleaner, darker and quieter but we didn't stay there because no one else was there and we thought maybe it's not allowed. Manatau, the next morning when we passed that area, there were people sleeping there so peacefully. 

Lesson learnt: just go for whatever your heart tells you to. Heh.


Oh and the place that we were at was so dirty! I only realized that when I got up the next morning and looked around. Despite that, there were more hotel-less tourists around us at 3am. 

The reason why we didn't want to pay for a night at their container-kind-hotel is because we wanted to save the money to spend in Hanoi. It's about RM99 per person for just 5 hours of rest. We chose adventure. Hah. 

SEVENTH OF FEBRUARY
Kuala Lumpur-Hanoi


We got up at 4am to do the international check-in and make full use of our 20kg luggage purchase. At 4am, everyone else was so awake and happy! We were so easily frustrated because of the lack of sleep and feeling so bleh, but to our surprise, we laughed it off everytime something annoyed us. 

You know that KLIA 2 is really big right?

So, I thought I saw the gate correctly and followed the crowd flow. We walked to the end of the airport and realized that we were at the wrong gate and the correct departure gate is at the other end of the airport. 

I was scared that we will miss the flight. He was just busy teasing me the entire way. Heh. It was stressful fun. 

Of course we were early and of course the flight was delayed a bit so no stress. 


We saw the sun rises and we saw the sun shining up in the sky. I meant I saw since he KO-ed the moment his butt touched the seat.  The journey took about 3-hours so he had 3 hours of sleep and I watched Greys Anatomy on my iPad that I pre-load with the free internet at KLIA 2. 

After that, the struggle begins because I tried to sleep but it was difficult. Heh. 


We arrived at the airport and the boy was ready to start his job. We looked around and decided not to take the taxi because they costs a bomb. 

We asked around and decided to take the local public bus like the locals. 

Bus 86!

When you are outside the arrival hall, the bus stand is on the outer side of the driving lanes. It's best if you could ask a local to direct you there because it's easier. Just say to them Bus 86!

One thing though, when you're in the bus, do ask the bus conductor which is the nearest bus stop to the Hoan Kiem Lake because they wouldn't tell you on their own. You will have to ask. 

We only asked when we saw that he was directing some Mat Sallehs down and we figured that this could be it. 

It's very very cheap so please take the Bus 86 instead of taxi. 

I would love to share with you on the price but I LOST ALL THE DETAILS! 


We bought a local sim card while walking to our hotel nearby Hoan Kiem Lake for his phone because he was still in the working mode although on leave. Get from Viettel because it's highly recommended. 

Life of a Stock Broker. Heh. 

Way cheaper here than in airport. Everything in airport is expensive, that is the conclusion. Expensive but convenient. 


We got to the hotel but we could not check in yet because still too early, so they asked us to walk around and maybe eat a little first. At this point, we were already so tired and hungry. 

We walked out and saw this small shop with so many locals in it. That means must-eat! Heh. 

Go where most locals are and you will find the true yummy local food. 

We had pho and it was still too early, so we decided to expand the walking area and walk further to find more food. Find banh mi I mean. Heh. 

We were so obsessed with banh mi (Vietnamese style of sandwich-like-Subway) that we had )I think) 5 banh mi on the first day itself. Not kidding. 


Then, we spotted a local kopitiam with all these locals drinking coffee and snacking on sunflower seeds, and guess what we did.

We went in, find the perfect mini chairs and table and sat our backside down.

The weather felt like 20-degrees so it was just super comfortable to be seated outside and chilling a Tuesday. Best.


We got back to the hotel at about 12:30pm and settled in.

We decided to rest in the room till evening so that we would get to enjoy the rest of the night outside and not feel like a walking zombie.

Super love our balcony, especially with that kind of weather. The man slept while I used his laptop to transfer the photos and just enjoying the cold breeze. Then I slept too. Best sleep ever.


Our hotel is located very near to this hidden gem and I have no idea what's the name of it. St Paul something if I'm not mistaken. Can you see that our faces still very fresh from sleep? Hah.

We were still a little tired but no time to waste because we need to banh mi some more. Hah.

Dinner was at the ever famous Xuan Xuan BBQ that I had with the gang last time we were there. Then, it's more walking and to our surprise, we were not tired of it because the weather was perfectttt!


One of the best place to experience winter wind will have to be at Highlands Coffee, but not at the seat that we were at. If you really like to challenge yourself, go to the outside corner area. It was ridiculously too cold! 

We watched Hanoi people ride the bikes and walked through the traffic like a boss, like seriously crazy. We witnessed a guy looking at his phone the entire time he walked past the middle of the traffic with bikes going at every direction.

We were worried for him. Hah.

Of course he crossed the road safely and happily.

Like a boss. 


After coffee, the man wants to go some shopping. HE WANTS TO DO SHOPPING.

He is the bigger shopaholic than me people. Know that already.

He got 2 pairs of shoe laces, 3 t-shirts, a cap and a pair of slippers. All this on the first night.


EIGHTH OF FEBRUARY
Hanoi Old Quarters-Halong Bay

We booked the 2D1N Halong Bay tour prior to the trip so all was settled for. We woke up early for breakfast and Glory Legend Cruise picked us up with a mini van and some other tourists.

We stopped once at a 'rest stop' (more like a shopping stop) and then continued our 3-hours journey.

The rest of it just go read there okay. Click on the link :)



NINTH OF FEBRUARY
Halong Bay-Hanoi Old Quarters

We left Halong Bay at about 1pm (lunc on-board) and reached the Old Quarters at about 4pm and  immediately looked for food because when on holiday, we shall never let ourselves go hungry. Hah. So, we ate some more. 

Our receptionist was very friendly and helpful. She gave us all the details of good local food that we should have so that was very nice and convenient. 


Of course everyday we have to have our banh mi! More like every 4 hours! Hah. I miss them already!

One of the things that we struggled with was deciding on what to eat. Every thing looked new and nice. He would decide on one thing and then he would ask me again if I was okay because he wanted me to eat what I wanted, which was Thai food. Tomyam to be more specific but we were in Vietnam. Hah.

I didn't want to eat Tomyam but I wanted to. Get it?

Struggles like this. Pening.

Of course we ended up having Vietnamese BBQ and steamboat! I wanted soup and he wanted BBQ so both win. HAPPY NEWLYWEDS. Hah.


TENTH OF FEBRUARY
Hanoi Old Quarters-Hoa Lu & Tam Coc

Blessed birthday to me!

We booked another 1-day tour to Hoa Lu & Tam Coc before the trip and it was USD 32 per person.

Tour includes:
  • Two-ways transfer from hotel to destination.
  • Local Vietnamese food, buffet style, excluding beverages.
  • Visit the ancient capital of Hoa Lu.
  • Local boat ride through the Tam Coc wharf.
  • Biking from Tam Coc to Bich Dong (countryside villages).
  • All entrance tickets.
  • English speaking Tour-Guide.

We reached back to the Old Quarters at 7pm and wasted no time at all to enjoy our last night here. We actually booked a romantic dinner at the balcony of a very nice cafe overlooking the cathedral church but we decided to cancel that so that we may have more local food!

It was one of the best, yummiest birthday dinner!

Before that, we of course had to get the local coffee first!


After all the food and because of our unwillingness to leave this country, we decided to walk around the Haon Kiem Lake and boy, this is a huge lake but he did the right decision.

The view around it was amazing! It was already past midnight but there were still people around and it felt so safe. I don't think I would ever feel this safe in Malaysia at this time in places like this to be honest.

We sat at the park facing the lake and just enjoyed celcius. It was super cold, like about 14-degrees.

It was perfect Hun!


ELEVENTH OF FEBRUARY
Hanoi-Kuala Lumpur-Penang

Goodbye Hanoi.

We left our favorite city at 6:30am via a taxi (USD12) and got home by 5pm. Then it was Converse Service and when we got to our bed that night at about 11pm, we slept like a log.

Like a log.


This honeymoon was better than the first official honeymoon that we had in Bali.

Again, because I lost all the details of money-data on the phone, this post is not as detailed as I would like it to be. Boo. Next time perhaps.

Now got a new excuse to go back there. Hah. 

TOTAL MONEY SPENT/person

For 6 days 5 nights at Hanoi, Vietnam

PEN-KUL_PEN via Airasia: RM147
KUL-HAN-KUL via Airasia: RM441
4D3N stay at Hanoi Gortage Hotel: RM250
2D1N stay at Glory Legend Cruise, Halong Bay: RM518
1 Day Hoa Lu & Tam Coc Tour: RM144 
One-way taxi ride from Hanoi Gortage Hotel & Travel to Airport: RM54
Food, shopping and miscellaneous: About RM500


TOTAL SPENT: RM2,000
(I lost the entire trip spending details so this is just a rough spending based on what think)

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