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Friday, 1 March 2013

It's first of March and I guess my holiday is officially over *pouting* I learnt alot during my 2 weeks Vietnam holiday and majority from the people I met. I guess the difference in travelling alone is that 50% you are experiencing the place, another 50% you are experiencing the people. Believe me, you will talk alot to strangers.

Things I have learnt :-
 1) Vietnam is not as dangerous as everyone claims. You just need to be streetsmart and adventurous. I never been rob or threaten. No petty thieves around me. There is a few times people get too close to my bag or they tried to cut my queue. I changed from my innocent little girl look to teeth baring tigress look. It's help. If ganna horde by locals (either want you to buy some stuffs or try to sell their services), give innocent puppy looks, yap like helpful puppy and keep waving NO with your hand. Sooner or later, some angmo old couple will come rescue you *true story*
2) No matter in Singapore or Vietnam, I always look like 18years old. I tried to tell them my real age, but everyone just think I tried to hide my actual age. Then I tried telling them I'm 25yrs, they insist I'm 18years old. Oh well, you caught me. I'm 18 *shrug*

3) Generally Vietnam people are very friendly. They willing to take you on their bikes and tour around the city. Bring you to eat local foods, and I tell you some of the food I don't even know what is that. Prawn paste otah, but is really the whole prawn. So I ate the whole head and shell too. Rojak noodle - Noodle mixed with dried pork skin, dried fruits and some sauce. Oh ya, beware of male bikers, they are lousier than female. But 1 thing amazed me is that Vietnam guys are not shy. If they like you, they will tell you directly and even serenade to you.

4) My white shell & mussels dish is well received by Vietnamese too! They ate everything! I don't even have chance to eat my own food *EMO*

5) Babies in Vietnam is much easier to take care than Singapore. They cried to catch your attention and show you what they want. They raise their arms means they want you to hold them. They wobbled wobbled means they want to dance to the music. They are really interactive! Unlike Singapore babies, I never know what the hell they are crying about. Furthermore they are given less but very contented. I seen babies with head as big as their bodies. I seen babies born with a twisted body. I seen babies can't even swallow water and need to be drip thru their noses. But believe me, they don't cry as much as Singapore babies.

6) I guess most fruitful is all the people I know. A Hungary couple whose honeymoon is cycle around the world and they have been cycling for more than a year. A Vietnam family who never seen foreigner in their lives and welcome me with open heart and big fat meal. A Taiwan husband & Vietnam wife whom is always full of love for each other and they are married for very long time. Catch is their age gap is more than 10years. A Vietnam divorcee that came from Hanoi to HCM because of too much gossip. Her ex hubby divorce her because she cannot give birth, but she remains happy and now have her bf who loves her. A Japanese girl who started travelling the world when her bf of 10years broke up with her, and she been travelling for more than a year. A young China girl who just started travelling last year October before she finally head to her world holiday in New Zealand. A Vietnam guy learnt several languages by his own, because his family is too poor to send him to school. And by his own hardwork, he managed to work in tourism and will be coming Singapore soon.

7) I lose 3kg! Too much exercise!

8) For those who visiting HCM, please send some time volunteering in Go Vap Orphanage. As you may know, I always swear off doing good deeds due to some special circumstances :P But these kids really need your help. If you can donate some money, it is even better!

9) Vinaphone is 1000 times better than M1, Singtel or Starhub! Even I'm at highlands in Sapa or Bana Hill, or even somewhere out in the ocean at Halong Bay, the reception is good. Unlike Singapore telecoms, I have limited reception when I'm at Jurong & Tuas. Furthermore just $50,000 dong (which is around SGD3+) can last me for 1+ weeks! I surf internet, make calls and sms throughout my trip.
10) Will update my trip in my blog soon. Afterall I have post most of the photos up in the facebook. I guess I just extract some good ones into my blog.

Total amount spent for 15days is SGD1008.82:-
-> Air ticket for (SG to Hanoi)+ (Hanoi to Hue) + (Hue to Danang) + (Danang to SG): SGD202.50 + VND2,711,487 + VND1,595,000 = SGD463.50

-> Halong Bay Cruise:  USD132 = SGD106.45

->  Sapa 2D1N tour, inclusive of hotel & overnight trains: VND2,280,000 = SGD138.19

-> Hue to Hoi An tour by motorbike: USD42 = SGD33.88

-> Hotels / Homestay for Hanoi, Hue, Hoi An & Danang = USD24 + USD14 + USD19 + USD28 = SGD105.40

-> My Sons Tour = USD8 = SGD9.92

-> Tam Coc and Hoa Lu Tour = USD25 = SGD31

-> Hue Imperial City Entrance fee = VND80,000 = SGD4.85

-> Hanoi Ho Chi Minh Museum = VND15,000 = SGD 0.91

-> Hanoi Literature Temple = VND10,000 = SGD0.61

-> HCM Reunification Palace = VND30,000 = SGD1.82

-> HCM War Remnants Museum = VND15,000 = SGD0.90

-> Bana Hills = VND400,000 = SGD24.24

-> Total Taxi Airport Transfer = VND1,438,000 = SGD87.15

The airport transfer cost between USD10 to USD15. The food costs about USD1 to USD5. You be wondering why some of the places I didn't stay at hotel. Because I couchsurf someone's house. Some of the places I walk around by myself, so I saved on the tours.

P.S: I will slowly update my travels... as and when I'm free during the day :P