If you follow my story, At a Glance – Unexpected Trip to Hanoi, you should have known what happened on my first day in Hanoi. At that time, I hope that the 2nd day will be much better. In fact, yes…the following days were awesome. Let me tell you why. :)
On the 2nd day morning, after we had our breakfast in the hotel, we were fetched by or our local tour guide, Sunny, from Hanoi Roman Hotel. Still remember that I told you in my post that I bought Hanoi trip for 4D3N deal from Street Deal? Yes, it was started as early as around 8.30am in the morning. The local time was GMT+7. So, it is an hour later than Singapore time.
We joined with other people who bought the same tour package but stayed at different hotel. Our destination was Halong Bay. I was lack of doing homework for this time trip. I only knew that we will spend night in cruise for one night. I didn’t bring any expectation. Follow the flow, thats what in my mind that time. Haha..Luckily, I went there with my friend, or else, I might have lost in the middle of somewhere. :)
To cut it short, we took normal travel bus which accommodate around 13pax I supposed. It took almost 3 hours ride from Hanoi to Halong Bay. The road after out from Hanoi city was bumpy. Got it? Bumpy almost all the way to the destination. For some people, it might be very bad. For me and my friend, we just enjoyed every single minute of the journey. :D Our bumpy journey worth it! Again, you will see why later. :)
You see the guy on above photo? Not near and big one, but far back small behind, the guy who was standing? Yes, his name is Lucky. He was one of our tour guides on the day. He can speak English very well and he’s very humorous, too.
Lucky told us a story about Hanoi and some jokes about traffic in Vietnam while we were on our way to Halong Bay.
” In Vietnam, the easiest way to cross the road is just by opening our eyes and walk forward and don’t stop!”
” In Vietnam, red and green in traffic light may have same meaning, GO. While yellow may means, SPEED UP.”
” In Vietnam, using horn is just like a way to say good morning or afternoon to pedestrian or other drivers.”
Those were indeed few things which also gave me a lil’ bit surprise on my first day in Hanoi city.
• Zebra cross doesn’t have any function at all. So, most of the pedestrian will just jaywalking
• Traffic light is in function but just that not really being followed well by drivers and pedestrians
• Vietnamese drivers tend to use their horn very often. It could be their way to warn other vehicles and pedestrians on the road
From here, I think, driving on our own in Vietnam is not really recommended even though we rent a car there. :)
Around 2 hour later, we stopped by at one place selling handcrafted goods and local snacks. I forgot to take down the name of the place but most probably if we go there with local tour, we will stop by that place for restroom and for some shopping.
We stopped for about half an hour and we continue our trip. We reached Halong Bay terminal in the afternoon. Our group were then divided into 2 groups with Sunny and Lucky as the guide for each group. Me and my friends were with Sunny. We have to take small boat to our cruise where we will spend our night at. Here we go! Boat was leaving to the cruise. :)
There were many cruises in the bay operated by different Halong Bay cruise company in Vietnam. I didn’t manage to take photo of our cruise. So, I grabbed one from Alova Gold Cruise website. Yes, I took that cruise. :D
It was a small cruise but the moment I stepped on the boat, I knew that something good and fun were awaiting ahead! It was really beyond my expectation. Stay tuned for more details! :)
THINGS TO NOTE:
- Be prepared for some bumpy road heading to Halong Bay from Hanoi. It’s actually not that bad though. Believe me, all will be paid off :)
- It is not recommended to drive in Vietnam due to the “wild” traffic
- Remember to bring sun block, swimwear, sandals or slipper