A weekend in Vietnam: Halong Bay and Hanoi

Hello hello! Happy New Year! Hugest apologies for being this quiet lately. To say I’ve been busy is an understatement. The last few months have just passed by in a flash. In between travelling almost every weekend, I’ve been swamped with MBA stuff. I have to say that I’m really enjoying it now that we’re past all the “compulsory” courses. This term, I’m doing lots of entrepreneurship type courses, as well as one on creative thinking which I’m loving.

As usual, I have a huge backlog of posts to get out, which I hope to do soon. Today, I wanted to share my experience of Hanoi and Halong Bay. We did both over a weekend, which was quite rushed. Halong Bay is about 4 hours away from Hanoi, so ideally one should spend a night there and then 2 nights in Hanoi. What is Halong Bay, you ask? It is an area made up of 1600 islets and islands, which form limestone pillars. There are natural arches and caves which make for amazing scenery.

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We did a cruise there, where we stopped at various points to explore, and then also spent time in Hanoi which I loved. It is a crazy, frenetic place with tons of energy.

There are tons of agents out there and it’s a really cheap place so I don’t think you’ll need to bargain hunt much. We used www.bestpricevn.com and ended up staying at the Hanoi Pearl hotel which was a tad crappy- but their service and pricing were both good so I’d recommend them. Make sure you have a visa letter BEFORE boarding the flight. Even though it’s visa on arrival (expensive at $60!), you still need a preauthorisation letter which your travel agent or hotel can help you with.

Here are 2 pics I took- I would recommend staying in the Old Quarter- which provides plenty of opportunities to walk around and browse quaint boutiques as well as have your share of tasty street food. It’s really interesting to watch people go about their daily lives- I wish I had taken more pics but I am trying to enjoy the moment more while travelling, rather than documenting every moment 🙂 Hope your new year is treating you well! xxx H

 

A photo posted by Hasmita Nair (@jozilicious) on