I had decided before leaving the US I would take a few trips within Vietnam to see the marvelous country that is this place. One place I knew I had to go to was Halong Bay but then I started casting about for a place easy to get to by air, bus, or train and enter Hoi An. So today while having some morning coffee and pastry I started looking at how to get there. There are lots of ways. One could take a bus which is about 18 hours. I could ride the train but since i am already doing the train from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City I opted to fly. The way you get to Hoi An is flying into Danang Airport first and then the hotel you stay offers to arrange a car for about $15. To find stuff for travel, i use two primary sites. one is 12go and the other is Agoda. 12go offers a great combination of all modes of travel but I used it to compare costs against booking on the airlines itself.
Agoda offers a nice comparison of hotels and often has special deals. I’ve booked most if not all my rooms on Agoda including here in Hanoi and before in Japan. Its just very easy to use and the mobile app works nicely too.
After all that tiring research, I decided to book the round trip air travel on Vietnam Airlines and I decided to go for three days. Three days was not some hard and fast rule. The hotel is only about $17 a night for a single room. I could have stayed longer I guess. The airfare came up to about $150 roundtrip. Seemed reasonable to me. To make the trip I figure without food or beer I spent about $200 for everything.
I am not on some hard and fast budget but what I do is to eat a variety of street food and sometimes a nicer dinner here. Like tonight I had Banh Mi which is a French baguette stuffed with great meat, veggies and stuff. Last night I spent more on Indian food. I figure it all evens out in the end. I am somewhat a creature of habit so I find places I really like and end up going there. I will probably do Pho right across the street tomorrow night though to break that habit. The American Diner I like here has breakfast which is very American sounding and it dawned on me that I would like some pancakes so I think this Sunday its time for some “cakes”.
Heres a few pictures from today. I just rambled around wherever the urge took me. This city is great for that!
You’ll notice some pictures of inside this huge bazaar or shopping center. That place was incredible! I have never seen so many different vendors with clothing, backpacks, socks, ties, coats. I don’t buy a lot of souvenir type stuff since in the end I have to carry it out in my backpack but I will get something when I leave Hanoi. I think a T shirt is always something I can do.
So, now I have two trips booked which I think is good. I go to Halong Bay in a few weeks and then to Hoi An after that.