Shout Out From Vietnam

I’m sitting at the departure hall of the airport once again.

Uncle Ho Chi Minh. He looked like some old dude you’d find on the bottles of some Chinese medicine

In a moment I’ll be flying off to Hanoi on a backpacking trip. Hanoi is the last major destination on my 2007 travel itinerary, and the trip gonna be a stark contrast to the 6-star luxury I enjoyed in Macau.

Of the four nights that I’ll be spending in Vietnam, two nights I’ll be sleeping on a train, one night I’ll be sleeping on a wooden boat, and one night sleeping in a cheap guesthouse. On my itinerary is hiking in picturesque Sapa Valley, kayaking at Halong Bay, and dining at the famous Bobby Chinn’s Restaurant in Hanoi.

I’m also curious to try cobra meat, a local delicacy there. Hopefully I’ll live to tell the tale when I get back.

During my absence I’ll be regularly sending travel updates directly to kennysia.com from my phone using PacMee.

PacMee is something similar to Twitter, but cost-wise it works out a lot cheaper because it’s Malaysia-specific. It’ll be useful for me ‘cos I’m gonna be having trouble finding an outlet to charge my laptop on a wooden boat, let alone getting an internet connection to blog.

If you’re on Maxis, you could even subscribe to my shoutouts so anything funny that happened in Vietnam will be sent directly to your phone. Yes, this may be a paid ad, but PacMee is still cool that way.

Just text ON KENNYSIA to 22700. It costs just 25c per month unlimited, which makes it cheaper than keropok. Ok, maybe not keropok, but cheaper than a pack of tissues definitely.

The PA is calling. Cobra meat for dinner awaits. 😛

Take care!

There is no short talk because I am in a rush.

68 Replies to “Shout Out From Vietnam”

  1. Kenny’s Itenerary as requested 🙂
    Thursday, 6th September 2007
    3:35pm – Kenny arrives KL from Kuching. Flight AK5207.
    4pm – Meet at LCCT Airport.
    5pm – Flight AK672 KL to Hanoi (3.5 hours)
    7:30pm – Arrive Hanoi Noi Bai Airport. Check out and book ‘Airport Taxi’ to travel agency in Hanoi town (45mins, USD$10). Travel Agency address: Vietnam Impressive Travel ltd. 19 Tran Phu, Ba Dinh, Ha Noi. Tel: (84-4) 747 8271
    If time permits, also book one-night boat tour to Halong Bay.
    8:45pm – Pick up train tickets from Travel Agency (USD$44 per person, booked). Depart for Hanoi Train station a short distance away.
    9:15pm – Take train from Hanoi Train Station to Lao Cai Train Station (9 hours). Overnight in train.
    Friday, 7th September 2007
    6am – Arrive Lao Cai Train Station. Change into hiking outfit and store luggage at train station. (If no luggage storage facilities available, we will book a cheap hotel in Sapa). Take shuttle bus to Sapa town (25,000 dong per person, 1 hour)
    8am – Arrive Sapa town. Go to Sapa Tourism Information Centre.
    Pre-book bus back to Sapa at 6:30pm.
    Visit Sapa Market.
    Either arrange for guides or self-hike to Cat Cat Village (3km south, 1.5 hour) and surrounding areas (5,000 dong admission fee)
    Walk to Cat Cat Waterfall, then to Sin Chai Village. Take motorcycle back to Sapa (USD$1 per person)
    If return to Sapa before 2pm, hire a 4WD to Tram Ton Pass for breathtaking mountain views and waterfall. Otherwise, hike up to Radio Tower lookout within Sapa town.
    6:30pm – Return to bus terminal, Sapa town for bus to Lao Cai.
    8:15pm – Take train from Lao Cai Train Station to Hanoi Train Station (9 hours). Overnight in train.
    Saturday, 8th September 2007
    5:30am – Arrive Hanoi Train Station. Free time until 8:30am. (If haven’t yet done so, book Halong Bay tour from nearby travel agency or hostel, expect to pay USD$40 – USD$55 per person)
    8:30am – Wait for bus to pick up from stated location in Hanoi to transfer to Halong town (3.5 hours)
    12noon – Arrive Halong town, go on boat tour around Halong bay.
    Swim and kayak around the area.
    Overnight on boat.
    Sunday, 9th September 2007
    6:30am – Follow boat tour programme.
    12noon – Depart Halong town for Hanoi
    4pm – Arrive Hanoi. Check into guesthouse (yet to book. About USD$6.50 per person. I’m thinking this.)
    6pm – Dinner at Bobby Chinn’s restaurant. Explore surrounding areas.
    Monday, 10th September 2007
    8am – Explore Hanoi’s sights and sounds, according to Lonely Planet guidebook.
    Visit Ho Chi Minh’s Masoleum
    One Pillar Pagoda
    Temple of Literature
    Dong Xuan Market
    Vietnamese massage
    6pm – Depart Hanoi town for airport
    8pm – Depart Hanoi for KL. Flight AK672 (3.5 hours)
    Tuesday, 11th September 2007
    12:30am – Arrive KL. Nicole to return home, Kenny to stay overnight in KL.
    7:40pm – Kenny’s flight from KL to Kuching. AK5214.
    Note:
    – Hanoi is one hour ahead of Malaysia (meaning when its 8pm in KL, it is 7pm in Hanoi)
    – We might be having trouble finding a power socket to charge our gadgets. Get a spare battery for your phone and make sure its fully charged because we might not be able to find a power socket until Day 4.
    Packing List:
    – We’ll be hiking on the 2nd day so make sure you got good shoes, windbreaker, warm but light clothing (Sapa is the coldest town in Vietnam). What you wore to Taman Negara should be fine.
    – We’ll be doing some swimming and kayaking on the 3rd day so make sure you have some swim wear with you.
    – Bring your own towel. We won’t be getting any 5-star treatments anytime in Hanoi.
    – Vietnam uses Type C European round style sockets (refer to: http://users.pandora.be/worldstandards/electricity.htm#plugs_c). Bring a converter.
    – Vietnam uses a mix of US dollars and Vietnamese dongs. Bring a mixture of both. About RM1,000 equivalent should be fine.

  2. Dude, don’t insult Uncle Ho while you’re there. He’s greatly revered by the Vietnamese.
    Other than that, enjoy your trip. I love Hanoi!Great food, and the weather’s good at this time too.
    If you need a break from the busy traffic and crowds – go to church street. Very nice restaurants and cafes there.

  3. Oh great, Kenny is going to Vietnam. Your trip seems fun but quite packed. I wouldn’t rush to too many things. Hanoi is a place to relax and take it all in. Don’t forget to spend a few hours walking around Sword lake (Ho` Guom) and try co^’m ice cream. Yum!!!

  4. Wah, travel all over…
    Hopefully you can see something interesting and share with us.
    Maybe you can try on 致富的环游世界八十天。

  5. take your blog when u got internet connection and pc with you la….i doubt there will be people so interested in your every freakin move to want to subscribe to the services….

  6. wow real cool dude! Been reading this blog the whole day.. its so cool you get to travel quite often.. Any pkans to visit the middle east anytime soon? Like in Abu Dhabi or Dubai? Winter approaching hehe.. Cheers

  7. be very careful of your personal belongings during your train ride. i often heard that there are thieves in the train, it happns before that they blow smoke into the cabin so that the passengers blur blur and tidur syok syok. i took the train dozen of times, but never encounter before. sapa is like a french village, nice n its cold. there is casino both in lao cai and halong bay. if you have 2 or 3 days more, you can cross the border to yunnan, china.

  8. Cool, i’ve been to HAnoi last year and i also spent a night in the ‘ship’ at halong bay. It’s really beautiful and they serve fresh seafd =)

  9. You have a save Sumatran rhinos icon on your blog.Aren’t you contradicting your message by saying you want to eat cobra meat.Even though they fall under different categories of animals,both species have 2 things in common,they are endangered and also used in traditional chinese medicine.Please think about the message you’re putting across.Like you have mentioned,blogs are becoming more popular with the masses

  10. cobra still a lot in the world christine where as rhinos is difference story,so dont worry kenny consume as many as you CAN.

  11. My dear, you are off again. Enjoy your trip then and come back soon to blog so I won’t be bored staring on old blogs in the morning while having my cup of coffee at my working desk.

  12. you should try this dish called Buddha’s Delight when you are at Ho Chi Minh. Its a vegetarian dish but its sooooooooo good. I can’t remember the shop name that I went to though, its a popular vegetarian restaurant there :p

  13. My family have just moved to Ho Chi Minh City. Have fun in Hanoi. Never tasted cobra meat before though. Dunno whether I have the guts to do it.
    Take care!
    P:S// There are a lot of pretty girls with rosy cheeks there! =)

  14. Whoa, is this coincidence or what. My mum’s there right now too! She even showed me that ahpek currency!
    And, please, do not eat cobras. That’s equivalent to erm, killing me.. Oh nah, haha, not that serious. That’s equivalent to cutting my hair- 3inch of it. (Yours truly is born in the year of the snake.)

  15. KENNY SIA TZE FOO DONT EAT COBRA MEAT! THE EXCESS STING WILL FLOW INTO UR BLOOD STREAM AND CAUSE YOU TO GROW GIANT NIPPLES… ON YOUR TESTICLES!!! HAHA. TAKE CARE THERE. =)

  16. it’s because of people like you that animals are becoming more and more endangered.no animal started off endangered.you’re just supporting his actions because you’re a fan of his blog.I like reading his blog,but that doesn’t mean i condone all that he does,no offence kenny

  17. Gosh…
    I just got back from Hanoi
    It was good, yes
    especially when you saw how simple Ho Chi Minh’s life was
    He did not want to live as a rich person while his people are poor
    have fun! and drink coffee as much as you can, because IT IS FABULOUS!!!

  18. 朋友介绍我来看看您的部落客,因为小弟最近也有开始搞类似这样的东西.观赏以后心中真的一言难尽,一句话:好!写的太好了。

  19. Hello.
    I’m planning to go from Hanoi to Macau and back. How did you get from Macau? It seems like there’s no direct train (?), so maybe I have to fly via Peking or Hong Kong? I would very much appriciate your advice if any. Thanks in advance!
    Best regards,
    Miriam, Sweden

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