Travel Plan – Vietnam

With my tickets booked for Vietnam , I’m getting ready to go! Ideally I would spend a good year or two there but unfortunately it seems like things don’t work that way , and I’m left with a mere week. *Sigh*

Waiting too long to buy tickets and getting shell-shocked at ticket prices has left with me with pretty crap tickets. I would love to fly straight in and waste no time but am left with two overnight stays in Hong Kong. I haven’t been to HK so this is actually awesome. Otherwise I would be groaning about the waste of time. However, I also have tickets in November to HK to see my uncle and cousin. Ah well, this is how life works. It’s still good because my girlfriend gets to stop in Hong Kong as well. Chinese get a few days access to Hong Kong visa free if they have an onward ticket.

So here is the plan:

October 1st : Leave Shanghai at 7:00pm and fly to Hong Kong.
October 2nd : See as much of Hong Kong as we can. See the famous skyline and take a trip up to Victoria Peak , leave Hong Kong at 5:40pm and arrive in Hanoi 7:40pm.
October 3rd : Explore Hanoi.
October 4th : Leaving early morning to Halong Bay.
October 5th : Early morning leave for Hanoi and take the soonest bus possible for the non-touristy rural town of Ninh Binh.
October 6th : River rides and temple exploring in Ninh Binh.
October 7th : 2 hour bus ride back to Hanoi, do more things in the city , leave at 7pm on a flight to Hong Kong. Sleep in the ghetto ChungKing Mansions.
October 8th : Noon departure for Shanghai , get in around 2:45 pm and chill the rest of the requested off and pay-free day.
October 9th : 7:20 am wake up and back to reality.

Things we are really looking forward to :

Hanoi – FOOD FOOD FOOD , exploring The Old French Quarter , enjoying a coffee and baguette breakfast in one of Hanoi’s numerous cafes, Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum , walking around Haon Kiem Lake, seeing the beautiful Temple of Literature , drinking the local Bia Hoi microbrews, and catching a water puppet show.

Halong Bay – Breathtaking karst mountains rising out of the sea , kayaking trip , cave exploration , and spending the night on a boat in the middle of the bay.

Ninh Binh – Billed as a Halong bay set amongst the rice paddies. Taking a river cruise with the karst mountains towering over head , sampling the local specialty ; goat , exploring Bich Dong Pagoda , and seeing the local caves.

Next time around I’ll have to make a trip to the South and see the beautiful beaches , Ho Chi Minh city, and maybe try to work my up the coast. (Vietnam stretches quite the distance south to north , no?)