Saturday, December 29, 2012

Vietnam - Hanoi/ Sapa / Halong Bay - Dec 2012

Day 1 - Hanoi
Arrived at 1725. Rest and relax around Westlake where we stayed.

Day 2 - Hanoi
 Trishaw ride around Old Quarter

We agreed with the trishaw man on 300,000 vnd (around S$18) for an hour ride for 2 trishaws.  After the ride, he claimed  the fare should be 300,000 vnd for 1 trishaw.....

Hoan Kiem Lake

Vietnamese Women's Museum

North and South Vietnam unification on 30.4.1975

A section of the exhibit featured Singapore

Quan An Hgou Restaurant - 18 Phan Boi Chau St
From left- Banh Xeo (pancake - yummy), Nem Chua (fermented pork), fresh spring roll, Bun Oc Chuoi Dan (vermicelli with snails) and the famous Bun Cha (pork vermicelli) -not in pic

Hoa Lo Prison - Guillotine

Dinner at don's a chief's bistro - Westlake near the hotel we stayed

Duck Pho

Overnight train to Sapa - King Express - depart Hanoi at 9pm arrived next morning 5am at Lao Cai station

Day 3 - Sapa - Cat Cat village

Sapa - 1 hour ride from Lao Cai station - 1600m above sea level.  View from Sapa Eden Hotel

Cat Cat village trekking

Traditional handicraft

Hmong's house

Milling corn

Tien Sa water fall

Day 4 - Sapa - Bac Ha Market (Sunday market)

Vietnam China border - China side (Yunnan) 

Vietnam side (Lao Cai)
Bac Ha Sunday market (the market is 3 hours ride from Sapa and only open on Sunday)

Buffalo market
Vendor selling sticky rice

Barber at the market

Horse market
Sweet Hmong's girl
Village school

Nature View Restaurant - getting some warmth from the fireplace

Day 5 - Sapa Town, Love waterfall

Sapa market

Beautiful lake in Sapa town

Beautiful plum tree next to the lake

Love Waterfall, with our tour guide a Hmong lady who spoke very good English

Eating BBQ sweet potato at road side stall with our guide

Having a cuppa at Sapa O'Chau Cafe - a non-profit organisation

Heart shaped handicraft made by our guide

Overnight train back to Hanoi - Victoria Express.  We traveled on Christmas eve and each of us got a surprise Christmas present from the train operator.  Victoria Express is supposed to be higher end than King Express.

Day 6 - Hanoi

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum 

Ho Chi Minh's Residence

Stilt house where HCM lived
Meeting room below the stilt house

One Pillar Pagoda

Temple of Literature and National University

We saw many youngsters in traditional Vietnamese costume taking photo

Lunch at Newday Restaurant at Ma May St at Old Quarter - a busy restaurant where many local patronise.

Ancient House opposite the restaurant

Egg Coffee at Giang Cafe - 39 Ngugen Huh Huan - must try

Drinking coffee the Vietnamese way - sitting on low stools and eating sun flower seeds

The cafe is not obvious from the street.  We need to walk through a dark alley that led to the staircase to the cafe upstairs

Quilt shop - a non-profit organisation which sells very pretty quilts

Opera House next to Hilton Hotel

Hanoi Stock Exchange opposite Opera House

Night view of Old Quarter - near Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre next to Hoan Kiem lake

Water Puppet show 

Day 7 - Halong Bay

Handicraft centre cum toilet stop - Halong Bay is around 4 hours ride from Hanoi

Halong Jasmine Cruise 

The Vietnamese government has sanctioned all cruise boats in Halong Bay to be painted white.

Cave visit

Dining in the cave

Fishing village

Fishing boat - the lights are for catching squid at night

Fishing village - school

Houses in the village

Supermarket on water

Sampan ride around fishing village

Cooking class - making Vietnamese spring rolls

Halong Bay at dusk - Reflection

Day 8 - Halong Bay - Airport

Halong Bay on a misty morning

Tai Ji class at sunrise

Visiting the beach and climb up the hill for panoramic view of HLB

The boat docked around 11am. From Halong Bay, it takes around 3 hours to the airport.


  1. I really enjoyed the photos especially of Sapa and the village markets. It looks really cold! Halong Bay looks interesting too. I must visit these places one day!

  2. Yes, both places are worth visiting. Sapa was cold particularly in the morning. When it was sunny, the temperature was just right.