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Hanoi, Ninh Binh & Halong Bay, Vietnam (Sneak Peek)

Xin chào Vietnam!

Three years ago, I went Vietnam for the very first time and spent a week in Ho Chi Minh City alone. Although it was my maiden visit but this beautiful yet chaotic country was so fascinating and captivatingtremendously intrigued me to explore more. At that point of time, I always looking forward to visit the rest of Vietnam's cities such Danang, Hue, Hoi An and Hanoi.

Cut the long story short, I was lucky to grab the airfare to Hanoi last year within my limited budget from one of my favourite airlines, none other than AirAsia for as low as RM290 for return flight,. How could I ever resist this? One year passed in the blink of an eye and without realised here we are, landed in Hanoi, the capital city and second biggest city of Vietnam. 

Vietnam 01 - Hanoi
#1: Red Huc Bridge of Hoen Kien Lake  

Vietnam 02 - Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre
#2: Thang Long Water Puppet Theater 

Admission Fee: 60,000 dong for normal seat and 100,000 for VIP seat
Schedule: Daily at 3.00 pm, 4.10pm, 5.20 pm, 6.30 pm and 8.00 pm

Initially, our plan was to go Sapa which takes about 9 hours by train but we changed our last minute plan to Ninh Binh, which only took two and half hours by train instead. In Ninh Binh, we're given a choice to visit either Tam Coc or Trang An, and so we decided to choose the latter one which is renowned for boat cave exploration. 

#3: Travel on their local train is what I always want to experience and now I had accomplished it

By Train:
From Hanoi to Ninh Binh: 79,000 dong for airconditioned soft seats and schedule at 6 am, 9 am, 1.10 pm, 7.30 pm, 8.10 pm and 10.00 pm
From Ninh Binh to Hanoi: 68,000 dong for airconditioned soft seats and schedule at 1.06 pm, 2.30 am, 3.21 am, 9.56 am, 1.14 pm and 5.27 pm

The journey from Hanoi to Ninh Binh takes about two and half hours. 

Vietnam 04 - Ninh Binh
#4: Trang An is also known as "Inland Halong Bay"

Last but not least, Hanoi trip is incomplete without a visit to one of New Seven Natural Wonders of the world, Halong Bay. We even signed up for the two days one night package where we got to experience the amazing and spectacular overnight cruise. Trust me, it's way better than Star Cruises which I experienced early of this year.  

Vietnam 03 - Halong Bay
#5: Junk boat along the Halong Bay

Vietnam 04 - Halong Bay Papaya Cruise
#6: Papaya Cruise booked from Agoda. Thanks to Jeff Chuah for recommended this

Of course, every trip of mine couldn't avoid with all these non-stop fun-packed gastronomic delight.

Vietnam 05 - Hanoi Food
#7: Banh Mi (the best baguette I ever had), Pho, fresh spring roll and legendary egg coffee 

Summary of My 6D5N Trip
Day 1: klia2 to Hanoi 
Day 2: Hanoi to Ninh Binh by train (US$12 for a single trip but it is advisable to purchase directly from train station as only charge 79,000 dong)
Day 3: Ninh Binh back to Hanoi (68,000 dong for one trip by train)
Day 4: Halong Bay cruise
Day 5: Back to Hanoi around 4.30 pm
Day 6: Goodbye Hanoi 

The exchange rate: US$1 = RM4.358 and 5,000 dong for RM1
We may not cover as many places as we want but still, travel independently is definitely way more fun than joining the organised tour operators. 


  1. naughty you ah...making rabbit ears LOL

    sounds like a fun trip you and the gang having

  2. Thang Long Water Puppet Theater looks interesting
    I also prefer travel independently with using local transport :)

  3. I have been procrastinating my trip to Vietnam but kept flying to Japan and China instead. LOL
    Only your blog postings could lure me anywhere with all your travel details which is so useful.
    The photos posted look so nice and good. I like that Water Puppet.

    1. Need to borrow your space here to reply.
      Yes, this Kamakura is a quaint, quiet and small town which my wife liked very much.
      It reminds me of Nara, with narrow shopping streets and nice Kannon temples. It rained so much yet we enjoyed, so I believe it would be more fun without rain.
      I asked my Tokyo Japanese buddy why he visited Kamakura several times?? He said it is relaxing and nice to visit.

  4. I heard from friends that we can get good bargain in Vietnam, good place to shop. A place full of history too.

  5. I will never can experience the overnight cruise even though it looks interesting because I have severe motion sickness =.="

  6. Your well-written post depicts that you had a fun trip to Vietnam. Thanks for sharing the useful tips which will surely benefit many travellers like you. The snaps show the life of Vietnam, which seems to be so colorful. Interesting post, I must say.


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