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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Pre-Vietnam Discovery


So, I've got myself a flight ticket to Hanoi. What's next? Shouldn't I feel excited? Yeap, but not very. I'm dead nervous! I'm going alone! I'm kicking off as a solo traveller!

"You're looking for trouble," many says.

Trouble whatsoever, I'm not giving the ticket up. I'm definitely going. Below are things to look into right now:-

1. Where to go? - Hanoi, Hoi An, Halong Bay, Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC)

2. How to go and get around? - buses, taxis, and what Vietnam's infamous for - the motor rides, plane down south to HCMC from Hanoi

3. Where to stay? - couch surf and at traveller's lodge with the backpackers

4. What to see and do? - crossing the suicide motorbike infested streets, sightseeing and water activities at Halong Bay, visit the local malls and food markets, get a closer look on the ao dai(traditional costume), joining the locals for morning exercise at parks, snapping pictures of course

5. Any particular food to try? - coffee (get thumbs-up from backpackers), rice paper rolls, whatever looks appetizing and proven to be a hit with others.

6. What to be cautious of? - being served dog meat, bull's organs, pig's organs, rat, spider, and such I don't consider edible.

7. Any foreseen hindrances? - language differences when I dine/shop at the street, and when I need directions, safety, food hygiene, overly charged, thefts, loses, bad weather.

6. Communications, funds & safety preparations? - find out the service limitation of my phone, what to do to be able to call back from Vietnam, credit card, Vietnam Dong, learn some basics on self protection, picture book will come in handy when one I approach doesn't understand English.

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