Hanoiiiii Pt I: Introduction

Pt I: Introduction [Planning]
Pt II: SIN-KUL-HAN [Flights]
Pt III: Essence Palace Hotel [Accommodation]
Pt IV: Hanoi Sights [Sightseeing]
Pt V: Eating in Hanoi [Dining]
Pt VI: Bloom Microventures Tour [Activity]
Pt VII: HAN-KUL-SIN [Flights]
Pt VIII: Epilogue [Review]

Our first trip in 2015 was a quick jaunt to Hanoi with Malaysia Airlines.

Why Hanoi?

Ying visited it in 2012 and it was one of her favorite cities.

Why Malaysia Airlines?

Because it cost only 60 SGD!

Air tickets

KUL – MH Central

In August 2014, there was a Flyertalk thread about the mistake fares offered by Malaysia Airlines to destinations in Southeast Asia on online travel agents (OTAs).

I only learned about it some days later but to my surprise, the deal was still available. Malaysia Airlines had a torrid year in 2014 and I actually felt bad taking advantage of it.

However the deal was too good to ignore. Hanoi priced out to be 94.40 USD for the two of us on Orbitz and it didn’t take long for us to purchase it. On hindsight, we should have at least booked one more trip!

Accommodation

Ying was in charge of researching on the accommodation and our criteria were pretty simple: centrally-located, affordable (less than 30 SGD per person per night) and clean.

Essence Palace Hotel, at around 60 SGD a night for its standard room, fit the above requirements perfectly and we booked three nights there with our Citibank credit card on Expedia.sg, earning us 6 miles per 1 SGD spent.

Transfer

Two days before departure, I booked the airport transfer with Hanoi Transfer Service to avoid the hassle of getting a taxi from the airport. It cost me 350,000 VND or 22.44 SGD and I could pay online with my credit card.

Itinerary

Both Ying and I were no strangers to Hanoi and had visited Halong Bay, the top attraction in northern Vietnam. She hadn’t been to Sapa though but we wouldn’t be able to fit it in in our short trip.

I started looking for interesting day trip out of Hanoi and Tam Coc initially seemed appealing. However, the reports of pushy locals put us off and we decided to shelf it.

Then we came across Bloom Microventure Tours on TripAdvisor. It sounded interesting and we booked ourselves on the weekly join-in tour which departs every Saturday.

Vietnamese countryside

Food

To be honest, the main reason going to Hanoi is its awesome food! Ying compiled a list of food to try and looking at it already made us excited!

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