My first visit was to Danang, central of Vietnam, in year 2012. And I had food poisoning due to indigestion. Because of the food poisoning, I had a not so enjoyable trip impression towards Vietnam. Sadly, I had phobia to visit Vietnam again as the food is the main thing during the vacation. But my mum was so interested to visit Vietnam again. Especially after my uncle and aunties came back from their vacation to Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. I was still 0% interest at that time but what encouraged me to visit Vietnam again?? Pretty simple, I just want to get rid of my phobia towards that country. So I made a bet to myself. If I really that bad luck again, perhaps that will be my last visit to Vietnam. My second visit to Vietnam was during mid of March 2015 and yes, it’s Hanoi. 🙂
It was a 9 days trip (accurately, it’s 8.5 days. Last day was just travel to the airport from hotel). The itinerary was Hanoi > Sapa > Hanoi > Halong Bay > Hanoi.
Hanoi, a busy city full of motorbikes and cars. I think it’s quite common to see the busy traffic even if I travel to Danang or Ho Chi Minh. But there are something special in Sapa. Sapa located in Lao Cai province in north-west Vietnam. It requires taking a night train, sleeping in the train cabin. There are many kinds of packages. Mine was an aircon cabin, not too old not too luxury, it’s just nice and comfy enough. One cabin has 4 beds but there were only 3 of us, and we prefer more privacy, so we bought that extra bed. When we awake on the next morning, it’s about time reaching Lao Cai station.
Tips: Must travel to Sapa during the weekend, because there is Bac Ha morning market in Lao Cai!
Things to do when you visit Sapa:
Visit Bac Ha market. It is an interesting place where you can discover the culture of the locals during their weekends!
Discover the shops nearby your hotel. You will discover old women doing their sewing craft and sell at the roadside.
Mountain Trekking: starting from Sapa to the South East of Sapa alongside Muong Hoa valley to Y Linh Ho and Lao Cai village of the H’Mong minority. I’m not a mountain person and my first try on mountain trekking was this heavy. Yeap, rain before and during, so there was mud everywhere and it’s very steep. There are villagers to bring you tour around so no worries. Just that imagine a 50-year-old lady hold your hands or even carry your backpack walk the same way as you do and they do this everyday. I felt embarrassed but I have no choice. At least I took pretty images and enjoy the view along the way.
I was just overnight 1 day in Sapa. Perhaps can spend few more days to relax and chill at the province.
Back in Hanoi! Interesting place you can visit: Hoa Lu Tam Coc. Interesting as in experience how the locals use their feet to row the boat passing through 3 caves Hang Ca, Hang Hai, and Hang Ba. That’s it. lol. And they definitely want you to buy something from them. You are on their boat, nowhere could go, the only choice is to buy, a bit.
Next, Halong Bay! I just love the scenery so much! The peaceful of the bay, enjoy the view and weather. Tips: 2D1N is enough because there are not many things you can do there.
Tips: If you go with your family/ friends/ loved one and don’t want to social (meet new friends), then bigger cruise probably is your choice. If you think social is fun, I think the small cruise with the group of 10 pax is nice to meet around.
Oh ya, after this trip to Hanoi, I have cured my phobia towards Vietnam. I love their Pho so much!! Most importantly is take care on what you eat, don’t too full and probably won’t has any issue. 😉
Free and easy tour is so much fun. I even doubt was it because of join group tour and they just kept on feed you luxurious food and that’s why I got my food poison from. Lol. Once again, say no to big group tour traveling! #nooffends #justmypointofview