Monday, July 14, 2014

Travelogue: Hanoi, Vietnam (City Tour)


Traveling in Hanoi can be fun and galling at the same time. Though I mostly relished my vacation, I can't say that everything we experienced were good memories. There were also bad ones. But, just like traveling in any other country, I do believe that not all of the incidents you will encounter will leave a pleasant impression. We may have had a few mishaps, but I still highly recommend a visit to this city - if only to experience a different side of the world.

I have a few notes I would like to impart for any of you interested in visiting this city one day. These are just a few tips and observations about Hanoi:
  • Shopping and everything in general is very affordable in Hanoi. 92.5 silver bracelets costs about $25-35 US. That is actually very inexpensive considering the price of silver per gram has been drastically increasing over the past few years. You can also have a complete meal in under $2 US. Shopping is also not a problem. You can buy branded clothes for more than half the price in stores e.g. Stradivarius, Forever 21, Zara, and The North Face. These brands have factories in Hanoi and there are so many shops there that carry overruns (though in my opinion most of them are still pretty good quality). In Hanoi, I was never worried whether I have enough money left to spend because everything is so affordable. I was only able to spend half of my budget. We were all very surprised considering the amount of food that we ate and the amount of shopping that we did.

 Top: Cotton On | Maxi Skirt: SM Department Store | Scarf: gifted from Singapore | 
Cardigan: Jones New York |Bag: LAMB for Le Sportsac | Sunglasses: Forever 21 | 
Watch: Swatch | Sandals: Zara




  • Beware of scammers. As I mentioned in my previous post, a taxi driver scammed us into paying 500,000 Dong for a very short trip. We were arguing with him but we didn't want to push him too much because we are in a foreign country and we are all girls. I mean, you never know what they can do to you, right? In the end he let us off with paying 200,000 Dong which is still very expensive considering all the other taxi rides we did cost us only 50,000 Dong the most. The most common and convenient mode of public transportation there is taxi but you have to be careful of the taxi you want to ride in. Look carefully if the driver is wearing decent clothes e.g. collared white button-down shirt and black pants. Also, look for taxis that look new. If you want more information, you can always ask the receptionist of your hotel. They will tell how to avoid getting scammed and they can give you reliable information on how to choose a taxi.
  • There are hardly any money changers in Hanoi. I believe we only saw like 2-3. But the people in the hotel will be able to exchange your dollar for you. This is a very convenient way of changing currencies. However, you can never know if they are giving you a good and fair rate or not. They will just tell you verbally how much they are willing to exchange your dollars for you. 
  • On the bright side, most shops in Hanoi accept dollars. If you suddenly found yourself short on Vietnam Dong, you can always ask the cashier if they accept USD. But, I don't really recommend this because they round off the total amount costing you way more than what you actually spent.




  • Very few people will communicate with you in English. You can always ask the help of the receptionist of your hotel to write the place, address, or direction of where you want to go. This will help you a lot since many of them find it difficult to speak in English. They understand some of the things you are saying but they find it difficult to speak the language so it will be difficult for you to understand them. 
  • I highly recommend booking a hotel in the Old Quarter because this is where most of the tourist attractions are. Though we weren't able to go to some of them, it was very easy for us to go to the tourist attractions that we really wanted to visit. And don't worry as hotels in Hanoi is also very inexpensive!
  • Be careful with crossing the street as you might get run over by a motorcycle.
Despite some mishaps, I really did enjoy my trip to Hanoi - especially the food and the shopping. In my next visit, I will make sure to visit the Water Puppet Theater (which unfortunately, we failed to get tickets to).

  Top: Cotton On | Maxi Skirt: SM Department Store | Scarf: gifted from Singapore | 
Cardigan: Jones New York |Bag: LAMB for Le Sportsac | Sunglasses: Forever 21 | 
Watch: Swatch | Sandals: Zara





Pictures were taken by yours truly and my friends Karen and Anna

8 comments :

  1. ughh..so jealous dear!!! I can see you have a really great travel in Hanoi! my best friends brother used to workd in Hanoi and he said a lot of good things about the place like how clean it is, how healthy the foods were,etc. So happy for you! wish I can go visit Vietnam someday too hehehe..btw, you look so fresh in your outfit! love it!!! <3

    love lots,
    Tin

    mypoeticisolation.blogspot.com

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    1. Yes, it is a really lovely place! I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a new destination to go to. There are also a lot of backpackers there so we made new friends. It was a really fun vacation.

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  2. I love that you were honest and real about your trip. One must be knowledgeable and plan when they do go. It's ashame they have scammers. Scammers are everywhere and prey upon those they can take advantage of. It's horrid! You looked so beautiful! I love that skirt. Gorgeous scenery!

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    1. Yes. I have to give credit to the people in our hotel as they were very honest with us about scammers and pickpockets all over Hanoi. The city may be wonderful but you really have to be careful with your belongings and your safety.

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  3. I love your outfit very laid back and breezy and cute and that scarf is <3

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  4. nice outfit sis and thanks for the tips. will definitely keep them in mind ;)

    ReplyDelete