Hanoi Experience

PauTravels in Hanoi

In October 2003, I was assigned by my company to support our client in Vietnam for a whole month.  This was my first international travel and I was alone.  I was sent specifically to Hanoi.  At first I was clueless of what the Vietnamese people are or how does Vietnam looks like.  Well, I was up for a whole month to experience it.

Hanoi is the seat of government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.  It is found at the northern part of the country.  It is bounded by the Red River at the north. Hanoi is about 1,092 miles from Manila.  From Manila, it can be reached using Cathay Pacific connecting through Hong Kong or using Philippine Airlines connecting through Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon).  I took the Manila – Hong Kong – Hanoi route using Cathay Pacific and Vietnam Airlines to get there.

While our plane was landing, the first thing that I saw was vast rice paddies.  It reminded me of the rice fields of Central Luzon.  When I alighted the plane, the first one noticeable was that there were soldiers stationed throughout the airport.  Since it was new to me, I was cautious since I know that it used to be a communist region.

Continue reading

Cruising by Ha Long Bay

PauTravels Cruising by Ha Long Bay

My very first international travel flew me to this exotic country that was caught in the midst of war a few decades ago.  In October 8, 2003 through my work, my company sent me to Hanoi, Vietnam for a whole month.  Hanoi, is the capital of this socialist republic and is situated on the northern part of what used to be the communist North Vietnam.  Famous spots in Hanoi includes the Hoan Kiem Lake which is in the center of the city.  Within Hanoi is the old French Quarters which is basically a section of the city filled with French architecture that was left by the long French occupation, including the Hanoi Opera House.  Also, here you can visit the frozen tomb of Vietnam’s national hero, Ho Chi Minh.

During my long stay in Vietnam, I, with 2 lady friends planned on going into this serene place and is one of UNESCO‘s world heritage sites.  On the 2nd of November, we took an overnight cruise to Ha Long Bay.  We got our cruise package from Handspan travel agency in Hanoi.  Our package includes transportation from Hanoi’s busy commercial area to Ha Long Bay, guided tour to one of its caves, and our sumptuous meals. It costs US$50 each person in 2003.

Continue reading