Saturday, 14 May 2011

Day one to Hanoi....

Its fun to run away from home....
This time we ran from offices....
All four of us..
To Vietnaam....

Long back Abhijeet had a wish to visit Ha long bay....
He incepted the idea in my mind and the plan was hatched.
Ashish and Nihit followed..
So May 13 2011 was the day when we planned to fly for Hanoi....
Some say Friday the 13th is unlucky but not for us.
Cause we were heading towards a Heavenly place..

We left Singapore and reached Hanoi airport by around 7 PM in the evening.
Hanoi Airport is called Noi Bai. Quite a name...
The Visa has to applied online here. The Visa on arrival was as smooth as silk.
We were granted a year and month of Visa instead of a Month as normal.
The immigration realised this mistake and promptly corrected this in about 15 min.

Its wise to book hotel once you are in Hanoi... If you are landing in Hanoi during morning and dont worry much about staying in a backpackers hotels. You can then find hotels for as less as 8USD. Its up to you.
If you have booked hotel before landing here then you better opt for 15 USD taxi ride offered by hotel..

10-12 USD is norm, hotels earn a commision of 2-3 USD for the taxi ride.. but at the airport you will be charged anything between 15 to 20 USD.. So be wise..
We enquired about the sim card but found international calling a bit costly as compared to other countries we had stayed. Instead we planned to rely on the wifi offered by the hotel.

Taxi ride was fun.. The driver knew only limited English which served his purpose...
The drive here is left handed as in the US of A.
I was having a funny feeling that I was driving the vehicle but I was not..
Kinda strange to sit in the front seat after being in countries where cars are right hand driven .
Car was a hatchback and seating was cramped..

The driving sense in Vietnaam is as good as it is in India.
We saw few mishaps on the way to the City from Airport.

When we reached Hanoi's Dong Xuan Market, we realised we are in the third world country really. The roads were not in order, not at all having enough street lights. No Order to traffic.
Saw only Hatchbacks and Luxary cars on road. Most of the capital was infested by two-wheelers. Yes! Infested I should say...

We found our hotel quickly thanks to the taxi driver. We checked in and headed for dinner. The Streets of Hanoi were filled with a plethora of tasty dishes. Presenting few here.
 Prawn Fried Rice
Chilli Frog with spring onions.

After the dinner on roadside we headed back to hotel to login to Fring! and call home that we reached safely.

Monday, 2 May 2011

The planning...

The trip was planned in the first week of May, the travel dates were fixed as 13th May to 17th May 2011. A simple 10 line gmail by Abhijeet started it all.

The wheels turned and we applied for leaves, we had a long weekend in Singapore and the plans were on.

Nihit and Ashish confirmed that they would join me in what could be probably the last trip in ASEAN for Abhijeet. What a way to bid farewell to a place where you have stayed for quite a while!