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Thread: Please Help :- Anyone Been To Hanoi?

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Please Help :- Anyone Been To Hanoi?

    both "little hanoi" are located on the same street few shops away.

    the "real" one is on the street level while the newer one is on the 2nd level..

    Nice food there,but nothing special la..

    i believe it is cheaper to book the halong trip from the tour agencies all over OQ

    the mini bus to the ferry port from hanoi is about 4hr or so..followed by another 1hr+ to Cat ba island..

    would recommend the overnite package as well..the island is practically dead at nite..nothing much there..

  2. #22

    Default Re: Please Help :- Anyone Been To Hanoi?

    3D2N is a little short though....haha....nothing much to shop for..and no much big attractions.

    Whether Hanoi is beautiful or not depends on what kinda placeas you like to go to. I like old old places...so to me...Hanoi is beautiful in that way. It's very 1970s Singappore. But it could have changed given i was there back in 2001. Sapa would have made a good side trip, but that requires a full day travel on the bus jus to get there.

    Eat the Pho Ga (chicken) or Pho Bo (Beef). It's all along the streets and it's cheap. Really nice. Dun eat at the restaurants...it's an experience squatting by the side of the road earting with the locals. Of cos...ur stomach must not be too weak.

    Try the spring roll (raw one..not the fried one) where they give u the skin plus 100 different kinds of raw leaves to roll it with. Really interesting.

    Hanoi has more of historical sites than major tourist attractions..jus get a guide book..and walk ard...

    Have fun exploring.

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Please Help :- Anyone Been To Hanoi?

    Was in north vietnam last September, my friend wanted to go on December and this is the email i wrote to him. Tired of typing it again, but it think it will help any one here who likes to give this lovely country a hit.

    *********************************************

    Hmmm first of all, i don't know how many days you will be there. I was there for 16 days covering the following main places

    Hanoi
    Halong Bay
    Perfume pagoda
    Ninh Binh (Tam coc)
    Sapa
    Hanoi
    Back home.

    What was your budget? i am going on a shoe string, only spend 700 sing for 16 days excluding air fare.

    Food wise, most of the road side store should be ok as long as they have boiling water. I eat anything along the road. Avoid Bun Cha if you can, this one is usually serve cold. But i have not have any problem with it. The cheapest food i had is a plate of Zhu Chang Fen in Ninh Binh Market for singapore 20 cents so u go imagine. Normal noodles cost about 1 SGD to 1.2 SGD.

    Don't change too much money to dong, hold your money in USD is easier as hotel uses USD frequently. I change 200 usd and still left about 70 usd worth of dong. One place to change dong in hanoi is at 87 Phu Doan.

    My purpose of the trip was mainly photography and get to know ppl there, so i sleep early and wake up very early most of the day to catch the light. Did not cover many attractions, stay with ppl most of the time.

    Ok that said, give you some highlights

    Hanoi

    i stay in little hanoi in Hang Ga for 6USD a day. Some place go for cheaper. Prince Cafe at Luong Ngoc Chuan has room with balcony at 6 USD but must climb a lot of steps for 6 floor room. My advice is to stay near Ma May or Hang Bac if you can, you got all the tour agency there. But they are confirm noisy one.
    Dinner, must try i think is Highland Cafe or something like that, located above Trung Tam Thuong Mai Supermart (Check lonely planet for location, this is a popular supermart). There is two storey to this restaurant, go for the roof top level.
    Go for beer hoi at junction of P.Dinh Liet and Ngoc Quyen. There is 4 stall selling beer for sing 15 cents per cup. Cheap and good beer. U will find ang mo here everynight. i spend most of my night there. They close at 11 pm. Last order is 10:45pm.
    If you want good restaurant or big pubs, go for places near hilton hotel.
    Restaurant written in lonely planet is often packed with ppl. Little Hanoi restaurant is also good. Note that the restaurant has been shifted to near Ta Hian Street, just beside where you will drink beer.

    Attractions, no need me to intro go for temple of literature, must try the water puppet (remember to book early. if want good photo go for 1st 4 row, min need to book 1 week in advance). The rest u go find out.

    Riding a bike on your own is rather dangerous, but once you get used to it, it is the best thing to do in hanoi.

    Oh yah for sea food, you must try those in West Lake. Check out lonely planet Central Hanoi map. it is broadly publicised.

    night market is good for shopping. try asking your hotel. They are available on weekends. Market stretch along Hang Duong all the way to Dong Xuan market. If you want to do shopping, buy your stuff at Dong Xuan Market. U need to bargain. Things are really cheap. i bought a GE cordless phone for 38 SGD when singapore sells at harvey norman at 99. i remember buying one similar one in Canada for 70 sing after tax. So go for your grab! Bargain Bargain Bargain! But please lah, average ppl pay in vietnam is USD 200 per month so you agar agar lah hor!

    If you want to book tour and save money, don't book at your hotel. Go straight to tour agency. hotel charge commision of 3 to 5 USD.
    One tour agency that will definately give cheap rate is Khanh Sinh Travel Address: 61 Haang Buom, Hanoi Vietnam Tel:8449261718 email:khanhsinh@khanhsinh.com website:www.khanhsinh.com. They are the main tour agency for many places like halong bay and many others.

    Halong Bay

    Go for the 3 day 2 night package with some time for kayaking if you can, else go for the two day one. Take Khanh Sinh Travel booking, theirs is the cheapest. Food is relatively cheap and good. Of cos there are luxurius ones at 100 usd if you want. i pay only 30 usd fr 3 day 2 night. some others pay even lesser. Anyway don't compare. Once you get used to vietnamese you will know how to bargain.

    Perfume pagoda
    This one is very tiring. Advice not to bring too many things.

    Ninh Binh (Tam coc)
    this one must go. A relatively expensive place, ppl here like to tok your money.
    Must go places are Tam Coc, Bich Dong Pagoda, Hoa Lu. And one more Van Long. This one is the most recommended nice scenery, not in lonely planet so not so may ppl. i found the place myself on motor bike. You can actually go by tour for this place. Good hotel to stay is Thuy Anh Hotel a 2 star hotel. Check out lonely planet. I pay 8 USD for 1 night.

    Sapa

    This one is a must go, but note that weather is very cold now. My friend just came back last week say weather is now at 2 degrees at night. So bring clothings. I recommend joining tour for this one. Go for Topas Tour only as they cover some place which other tour agency cannot go. Only they have the rights to these place. Places like My Son, Nam Sai area is only for topas. Check out with the agency. They are located at 20 Cau May, Sapa, Laocai. Telephone (84)20871331. website: www.topas-adventure-vietnam.com email:info@topas-adventure-vietnam.com. Check out the hanoi office if you want but i don't recommend you book from hanoi. Very expensive and ppl are not experience to advice u. Home stay in village is a must to try.

    Most recommend place to stay Cat Cat Guesthouse. Oh Cat Cat is the first hotel you come across when you reach Sapa. You won't missed it. Rooms are not cheap about 12 to 15 per night, but can try bargain down.

    Sapa attraction is the market at Bac Ha. If you can go for the Saturday market (Can Cau Market), go at 9 am to avoid the tourist. Market hours is from about 8.30 to 2 pm. Tourist come at 10.30 onwards. If you want, you can get package to here through Topas. Can cau market is the best market. Other than that, try the bac ha sunday market. i stay here for 3 days.

    Sapa train ticket, try to get the soft sleeper cost about 16 USD for normal and 18 USD for good ratraco railway. When buying ticket, i would advice buying single trip as you can change your itenery anytime you want to. Coming back, buy from mountain view hotel in sapa, they charge 18 usd for train ticket and bus ticket from sapa to laocai. Normally if you go from laocai to sapa, the bus ticket is 25000 dong fix rate for most buses.

    Oh forget to warn you. Topas is very expensive but definately worth it. Use them for SAPA only, the rest of the place, they are not as strong. I go all over the place myself cos i have lots of time. i spend 8 days in Sapa alone. So plan your time. Photography is best here. ppl are most friendly. Views in Ban Ho Valley is the best. Motor biking here is ok if you are not afraid of landslides. Traffic is not heavy.

    I think i cover the highlights. Any queries you can email me.

    Enjoy your trip! Sorry for the long email
    Last edited by Manfred Ng; 6th March 2006 at 11:10 PM.

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Please Help :- Anyone Been To Hanoi?

    Outside Hanoi, most of the younger folks below 25 speaks english. Those above 25 don't speaks so much english but they get by. But generally english is ok. try to bring a phrase book with you. Oh yah there is one more beef noodle store at a small streets along P.Dinh Liet that is most popular in the morning. They serve the best beef noodles in town. The beef are just cook and are still red. Real nice. Miss the beef noodle. Cost about S$1.20 per bowl.
    Last edited by Manfred Ng; 6th March 2006 at 11:16 PM.

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Please Help :- Anyone Been To Hanoi?

    Quote Originally Posted by plainsunset
    3D2N is a little short though....haha....nothing much to shop for..and no much big attractions.

    Whether Hanoi is beautiful or not depends on what kinda placeas you like to go to. I like old old places...so to me...Hanoi is beautiful in that way. It's very 1970s Singappore.
    Yeah, this is the same feeling I have of Hanoi, very nostalgic... the 60s 70s feel, wat's more most of the Hanoians look very Chinese (as diff from the HCM Southerners).

    3D 2N too short to plan for anything ambitious. Just stay in the Old Quarters and explore the streets and wet markets shopping for the ladies is silk scarfs, lacquer wares, tailor-made ao dai (it's in vogue now), etc etc... Generally shopping is much much cheaper in Hanoi than HCM. Do bargain even though prices seems alright to you.

  6. #26

    Default Re: Please Help :- Anyone Been To Hanoi?

    me going hanoi too. singaporens no need visa right? anyone been to mai chau? is there any free and easy packages there? thanks

  7. #27

    Default Re: Please Help :- Anyone Been To Hanoi?

    yah,
    me had been there quite many times. what u want to know?

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