Monday, October 23, 2006

My Horniday Story

Hi, I’m back - arrived home on Thursday evening. Was at Hanoi airport on Wednesday morning for the flight home but unfortunately the flight was cancelled and we were then shuttled back to another hotel in town (meals and accommodation, courtesy of the airline). On Thursday, the flight was supposed to be at 10.00am (Hanoi time) but again it was delayed for another 1hr 30mins. Finally landed on Malaysian soil at about 3.45pm. Pheewwww…. What a relieve!

Day 1 – KL/Hanoi
Reached Hanoi at dinner time. Thought that we’ll be feasting on Vietnamese food but was given some simple everyday dishes with rice. Anyway, when you’re hungry, everything tasted good.

The restaurants I went to all had these big jars of snake wine. Yucky or not??

We were then sent to a budget hotel. OMG, in all my travels, I’ve never experienced this type of accommodation – it was dirty and it smelled awful. Aiyeerrr.....

Day 2 – Hanoi city tour
Visited those tourist spots. This city is really, really polluted – every other person is either wearing a mask or tying a big handkerchief to cover their nose and mouth. Yours truly started to cough.

You have reckless motorists, motorcylists (with 3 to 4 persons on a small kapchai)with their incessant horning all the time; cyclists and rickshaws come in all directions.

Afternoon – on a bus for about 3 hrs to Halong Bay. Had another unappetising dinner

Day 3 – Halong Bay
Short boat ride in Halong Bay to visit a cave. Had lunch on the boat. Was told that we would be served some yummy seafood but again it was a disappointment. I think I can cook better.

# Coughed real bad and lost my voice again. :(

After that, we had to take another old and rickety ferry across the bay to Dong Xi and then another 3 hrs or so bus ride to the Vietnam/China border. Got through Immigration and put the night at Nanning.

Day 4 – Nanning/Guilin
After breakfast, it was another 5 1/2hrs of bus ride to Guilin. Visited another cave, some parks, lakes, etc. – cannot recall all the names of those places as I was quite drowsy – must be due to the cough mixture which I had taken earlier.

Inside a lighted cave.

Did some window shopping at West Street – something like our Petaling Street. Many foreigners there.

Day 5 - Guilin/Longsheng/Yang Shuo
Another boat ride in Li Jiang – very touristy place. Then the bus took us on a mountainous drive to visit some traditional settlements. Had a most enjoyable and delicious lunch with the natives – cannot remember what they are called.

(You see, both the local guides in Vietnam and China speak Mandarin and I can only guess a bit here and there what they were saying. Haiyaah……that’s the problem la)
After dinner, the guide took us for a cultural show, another river boat ride in the night to see the black birds (dunno the correct name) dive into the river to catch fish for their master. Those birds have a string tied to their throat to prevent them from swallowing the catch.

Day 6 – Yang Shuo/Guilin/Nanning
Visited another cave. I think I have enough of caves for my lifetime already. This cave is more modern – you take a ride on a lift, a short buggy/train ride and a boat ride so, you use less leg power here. The formations in this cave is actually quite spectacular.
Next stop was the Liu San Jie Park. This lady, Liu San Jie is a famous folk song singer and she was there at the park. Some visitors took photos with her and the other performers dressed in traditional folk costumes. Of course, have to pay la.

We were then brought to a Chinese tea outlet whereby we were introduced to different types of teas and of course, were subtly coaxed to buy.

Day 7 - Nanning/Hanoi
One more cave, the Elephant Cave on the edge of the river – luckily no more climbing but just to take some photos with the river and cave as the backdrop. The guide then took us to a small pharmaceutical outlet to try out their creams, ointments, herbs, plasters, etc. Next 2 stops, a silk outlet and a pearl jewellery outlet. Very sienzzzzz…. la, all these.

Then another 6 hrs ride back to Hanoi. Crossing the border was truly an unforgettable experience – the bus had to stop somewhere up a small hill and we had to carry our own luggage downhill and walk across to the old immigration building; I thought we kinda looked like refugees. I dared not take any photos because all the armed guards and soldiers looked rather intimidating.

After getting through Immigration, it was another walk down another slope passed a construction site (they are building the new Immigration Complex) before we were met by our Vietnamese guide who had been waiting for us for the past 4 hrs or so.

Hopped onto the bus for another grueling 2 hrs to reach Hanoi, just in time to catch the famous Water Puppet Show. Just so, so only, if you were to ask me. Maybe, I was really tired to the bone that I actually nodded off in the midst of the show.

Then we were served another sub-standard dinner before proceeding to do some last minute shopping. Just too bad, the shops and stalls were already closing and moreover, all I could think of then was sleeeeppppzzzzzz……..

Day 8 – Hanoi/KL
Wake-up call at 6.00am. Served some horrible kuey-teow soup for breakfast before heading for the airport about 40mins away. Felt happy that we would be leaving the polluted city soon. But it was not to be – the flight was cancelled and so back we went to Hanoi city centre again.
After lunch, followed my tour mates for some free-and-easy shopping. It was quite hilarious – the locals can’t speak English and they don’t understand much Mandarin either. So when we were asking for some particular item or haggling over the prices, it was like just playing Charade – arms flaying all over and fingers jabbing at the calculator which was being pushed forth and back. Honestly, I found the things here overpriced.
Had another round of shopping with my tour mates at the street nightmarkets. Worse, similar items are priced about 5 to 8 times compared to those in Halong Bay.
Had to hail 2 cabs to sent us back to our hotel. I was in the second vehicle, which as luck would have it, the driver was new and he took us round and round looking for our hotel. To make it a more exciting ride, the cab mati-enjin 4 to 5 times in the middle of heavy on-coming traffic. OMG , I thought I would end up a road accident statistic in Hanoi.

Day 9 – Hanoi/KL once more
Yippee! Information board showed confirmed flight departure at 10.00am local time and boarding at Gate 6. Passed through Immigration and then waited happily. Aikksss! 9.30am already and still not calling to board yet???? Aiyah….. another 1 ½ hrs delay. So a few of us went up to the small coffee lounge to have some drinks. As soon as we sat down, a sweet Vietnamese waitress approached us with a drinks list (soft drinks, coffee and tea) and told us that each of us can only order one item. We were quite perplexed as to this queer ruling. Then another two uniformed ladies came by with a printed list and asked to see our boarding passes. Wahhh…..why so much hassle just to have a drink? After much sign language, pointing and nodding and shaking of the head, only did we understand that the airline is providing free drinks because of the flight delay. ;)

Planned to sleep on Friday but had to run some errands because of the Raya holidays coming up next week. Then went to see a doctor (not my regular doctor) for the cough and this is what she gave me for RM99.00

Do I need all these??????

I think I need another horniday to recover from this horniday. Meantime, shall settle for a good sleepzzzzzzz……..

posted by nyonyapenang at 12:05 AM, |


  At 2:12 AM Blogger angel said:
Nyonyaaaaaa!!!!! Welcum backkkkk!!! Waaaa!!! So looong mya post!!! I not yet read! Too sexcited see you kambek liao!
*read later*
  At 2:21 AM Blogger angel said:
Can't wait later liao, so i read already :D

*spies a sexy nyonyazzzz*

Oh dear, was Hanoi that bad?
Alamak, sakit lagi??
Get well soon, nyonya sayangzzz!
  At 3:12 AM Blogger AceOne said:
Welcome back and get well soon.
  At 8:53 AM Blogger jazzmint said:
wow sounds like a caving hubby bought a bottle of that snake liquor when he went cambodia haha
  At 9:07 AM Blogger See Fei said:
goodlah you come back alridi! look like a very hectic trip.

your lie down pose veri sexi hor... i like!!
  At 9:22 AM Anonymous ah pek said:
hanoi oso got haze isit? how cum you face all hazed out wan?
looks hazy.. means our neighour damn generous.. can share all the way up north.

so you were challenged by the motorcyclists there compared to those back home?

wow, RM99 for a simple doc visit!
  At 9:44 AM Blogger Chen said:
welcome back nyonya :D
a very detailed journal of your trip :)

I can see nyonya in the pict,
nope, i cannot see..
can see but cannot figure out.. LOL

next time if i go to Hanoi, must remember to bring face mask ;) I also have that "peeing" little boy.

RM99? o.O wowW
hope u get well soon..
Welcome back Nyonya! I was just telling my colik aiya this Nyonya go horniday so long one..miss her la...sekali I reached my site I saw that u updated! Yippee!!!! Ayo..sounds bad la ur trip..yeee..I had high hopes of Vietnam
Cough syrup again ah... better take care
Liu San Jie, watched the movie before...
I guess it was a great trip nonetheless right
Rest well during the holidays
Didnt stop over at Ho Chi Minh meh? The south is more exciting than Hanoi.
Yeah...over there they serve you combat ration only. Don't expect 10-course cuisine.
  At 1:36 PM Blogger Kenny Ng said:
fuahhh... what a long entry. Welcome biack! Looks like quite adventure trip leh... get well soon yah!
  At 2:45 PM Blogger sengkor said:
ur trip so stressful and tiring one..

go on another trip.. a beach to relax will be perfect..
hi frens, i missssss allll of youuuu...

aiyoooh, Hanoi very, very, very polluted - you smell exhaust fumes only.
sayangz, i thot you went for some cool and fresh mountain air?
Enjoy yourself max ya?

thanks alot.
kambek and read blog, feel better ledi. ;)

so, so your hubby tried out the wine? power or not leh?

see fei,
orang tua macam gua ini, tak tahan hectic trip. need a few days to recuperate.
the pose - you mean that fatty bom-bom ah? LOL

ah pek,
worse than haze la - severe air pollution, so the face covered by soot. LOL

las montanas,
The air in Hanoi and Halong Bay doesn't smell of burning but of thick exhaust fumes. :(
so hor, no money better don't fall sick.

dr chen,
thank you.
my pics ok gua, can see bulat-bulat mia shape lidat. LOL
GP oso charge so mahal leh. and i suspect that Lacto puff thingy gave me gastric pain in the middle of the night, so i stopped using ledi. anyway, now no more cough liao.

i went to the wrong vietnam. LOL
ho chi minh city would be a better bet. i'm planning to go there too.

ya, the trip though hectic, was quite an eye-opener.
i lurve maraysia!!!!

cocka doodle,
thinking of going to ho chi minh city next. this time must make sure they give better hotels.
btw, you got any to recommend?

it was an adventure trip alright. it's just that i'm no jungle jane, that's why i complained so much.

actually got another trip coming up early next week to Shanghai but i gotta give it a miss. tua ledi, beh tahan.
thinking of going to penang tomolo but now got flood hor?
  At 6:35 PM Blogger angel said:
aiyo, ah-nia-chee!!! u shud go shanghai lerrr!!

oh, i came back from the highland liao... :)
  At 7:05 PM Blogger ikanbilis said:
yay nyonya balik dah!! anyway apa pasai cun face manyak censored??
  At 10:40 PM Blogger JoMel said:
welcome back nonya. can't believe 10 days have passed. Do you believe it??
  At 11:31 PM Blogger sming said:
Yay !!
You are back !!!
The bill can claim from office or not ???
  At 2:38 AM Blogger Bernard said:
Yahooo, nyonya's back! Hanoi is nice and quaint eh? Got try the dog and duck in the egg or not? You can tell me 'cos i sure didn't!! I think the water puppets are nice worr. Very original.
i would be in Hanoi next year. It seems you had a lovely trip! I can't wait for mine.. hee hee