Travelers don’t want to confine inside four walls , So to quench my thirst , after completion of
Singapore+ pattaya trip in October , Mount Abu + Udaipur in November , decided to travel
Vietnam in January. I travelled northern Vietnam for 5 days, cost me 71000 Rs for two person.
Visited Capital Hanoi city, Ancient Capital Ninh Binh, Unseco world heritage Halong Bay,
Beautiful hill station SAPA, Highest peak of Indochina fansipaan at 3143meter height.
Let’s come to detailed itinerary.
FLIGHT: There are few direct flight from India. I took my flight from Kolkata. Kolkata to
Hanoi to Kolkata in Indigo cost me 14500 rs per person including 20+7 kg Luggage.
From Delhi, Viet jet already started direct flight to Hanoi & hochiminh city. Viet jet like
Air Asia, only permits 7 kg luggage. If you want extra, pay more.
VISA: Vietnam visa procedure is very easy. First you have to apply for approval letter,
there are lots of website, providing visa approval letter at 6 USD/per person. Beware of
website Scam. Approval letter takes two working day to process, sometime in few
hours. Vietnam visa cost: 25USD per person for single entry, to be paid during applying
for VOA at Hanoi /Hochiminh/others airport. While Applying VOA, you have to submit
your passport, one VOA form, 2no of photos (4*6), Approval letter. VOA arrival form is
available on internet, you can fill it up earlier to save time at airport.
TRANSPORT TO MAINCITY FROM AIRPORT: There are lots of option available from
airport to main city. Airport to main city is approx. 32 KM. If you want to take taxi, it cost
you 800-900 RS. Let’s come to cheap option. There is bus called 86 No bus. In Just
35000VND or 105 RS, you can go to city. Just google 86 no bus from Noibai airport.
There are lots of space for luggage.
CURRENCY: Coming to most important part of travelling, Vietnam not that cheap for
those who just checked the currency conversion rate. 1 USD: 23100 VIETNAMESE DONG
(VND), for Easy conversion to INR just multiply VND ( removing three zeros) by 3. I took
500 USD from India from Thomas cook. USD is readily accepted everywhere in Vietnam.
From my personal experience, Airport Exchange counter gives me better rate from USD
to VND (23300). I landed during TET festival (Chinese New Year), so most of the shop in
city offered me lesser rate (22400-23000).
HOTEL: HANOI: I stayed in Hay Hostel old quarter, booked private room in 1700 Rs /day
including breakfast from Agoda. This hostel is 10min walking distance to Hoan Kiem
Lake, 5 min walking distance to legend beer, 5 min walking distance to Hanoi cathedral,
nearby minimart open 24 hrs, and 2 min walk to a Pakistani restaurant serving Indian
food. 10 min walk to Dominos, KFC, and Burger King.
SAPA: I stayed there for 1 day, booked SAPA new Villa hotel at 900 RS. In sapa almost all
hotel check in time after 12 PM, if you reach early, keep your luggage there or you can
talk to the property earlier. I did not get early check in due to peak season.
SIM: Booked 4G SIM from KLOOK at 461 RS. 15 GB high speed DATA for 7 days. Just
look out the KLOOK counter at airport, took 2-3 min to start the sim.
TRANSPORT INSIDE CITY: If you are a solo traveler, take Grab Bike, price is cheap. If you
area two or more, book Grab taxi. Grab taxi just like OLA & Uber, prices varies with time.
You can rent a bike or scooty, per day rent 500 -600 rs . City road is full of chaos.
WEATHER: I travelled at the end of January. Didn’t expect the chilled weather in Hanoi,
temp was 8- 12 degc at night. In SAPA temperature near 0 degc.
FOOD: Being a non-vegetarian, street food lover, even I was afraid of having the street
food by checkout the situation, could not figure out from what it is made of. We ate in
PK Spice restaurant near to our hotel all day in Hanoi, they serve veg or non veg food.
Nearby dominos, KFC, burger king also available, lots of Indian restaurant available, also
you can order food from Grab app just like Uber Eats. One thing, I would like all you to
test when in Vietnam: Banhmee (Stuffed bread) & Egg coffee.
26th JANUARY: Reached Hanoi around 6 PM, after clearing immigration headed towards
city. Reached Hanoi old quarter by 8 PM. After keeping luggage at hotel, we went for
famous Hoan Kiem Lake. There are night market in every Friday to Sunday after 7 PM,
road gets closed near old quarter, people enjoying in middle of streets with their
beloved. Unfortunately the night market was closed due to TET festival, but area was
dynamic. In night market, you can buy lots of thing in much cheaper rate. Bargain
bargain & bargain.
27th JANUARY: After having breakfast, left for local sightseeing by taking Grab taxi.
Started with WEST LAKE Tran Quoc Pagoda. Next Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, One pillar
pagoda, Hanoi opera house, Hanoi Train Street, Hanoi cathedral, Hoan kiem lake.
28th JANUARY: Booked full day tour for halong Bay from Hotel at 45 USD per person.
You can buy Halong bay day tour from KLOOK at 2600 Rs. Hạ Long Bay, in northeast
Vietnam, is known for its emerald waters and thousands of towering limestone islands
topped by rainforests. From Hanoi to halong bay , it took 3.5 hrs . 45 USD includes to
&fro transfer to hotel, Entry tickets, Activities, Lunch at cruise. Halong Bay is really
majestic, the sculpture reminds me the time of visiting krabi Thailand. Activities includes
canoe or bamboo boat ride in halong bay, Lime stone cave visit. You can also stay in the
cruise, separate packages available for that.
29th JANUARY: Booked full day tour to NINH BINH TAM COC RIVER RIDE from KLOOK at
2000 rs per person. Ninh Binh province located 100 km from Hanoi, with its hundreds of
limestone cliff emerging from the ground scattered across the rice fields, called
HALONG BAY IN LAND. Package include 1.5 hr. TAMCOC river boat ride, Lunch, DinhTien Hoang King temple. You can also visit to Trang an where famous Kingkong movie
was filmed. You can stay one night , visit all by renting scooter or bike. Lots of homestay
After coming back from day trip, we started for night journey to SAPA.
HANOI TO SAPA: we travelled by night bus, Return journey ticket cost me 20 USD per
person. Sapa is a small, mountain town in Lao Cai Province. It is located about 350 km
northwest of Hanoi, close to the Chinese border. Here's where you'll find the Hoang Lien
Son range of mountains, which includes Fan Si Pan—the country's highest peak. You can
go by train also, train tickets costs you more than bus journey, and another drawback is
that you have to get down in LAO CAI station, from there you have to take bus to SAPA,
for approx. 45 min. There are lots of bus company operates between Hanoi to SAPA like
Green Bus , Fansipaan express bus etc. they are all sleeper bus , we reached sapa by
3:30 AM , but driver allow all the passenger to sleep inside the bus till 6 AM ( regular
practice for all bus ). All the bus company directly picks you from your hotel or hostel.
There are night bus or day buses available.
30th January: we reached Sapa hotel by 6:30 Am, it was a chilled foggy weather, did not
get early check in, kept our luggage at hotel lobby, went for breakfast. After having
breakfast, we went for CAT CAT VILLAGE by taking grab taxi . Cat Cat Village is nestled at
the bottom of Muong Hoa Valley, about two miles (three kilometers) from Sapa town.
Entry Fee : 70000VND per person. We stayed there for 2 hrs .
Later we moved to Fansipaan: Fansipan is a mountain in Vietnam. The height of the
mountain was 3,143 meters, It is the highest mountain in the Indochinese Peninsula,
hence its nickname "the Roof of Indochina.
We booked tickets to reach fansipaan from KLOOK at 2700 RS per person. To reach
fansipan , you have to take first monorail from Sun world sapa station to Muang hoa
station , then you have to take cable car ride from Muang hoa station to SAPA station.
From SAPA station you can go to fansipan summit by foot or by taking Monorail one
way. 2700 Rs includes Monorail up down, cable car up down, monorail to summit one
way. While coming back from summit at 3143 meter, you can also take monorail by
paying few bucks, but you will miss the spectacular view of few temples floating with
white clouds. When you reached fansipaan summit in chilled weather, area was mostly
foggy, but weather was continuously changing .If you go SAPA during summer days, you
can have spectacular view of Indochina mountain range.
31st January: Early Morning Bus to Hanoi , Some shopping in Hanoi Dong Xuan market , whole
seller market , last view of Hoan kiem Lake . Took 86 No bus back to Noibai airport, Reached
city of joy in evening taking all the memory of Vietnam.
COST FOR TWO PERSON : FLIGHT : 29800 RS , HALONG BAY DAY TRIP: 5600 RS , VISA COST :
4500 RS , HOTEL COST : 7500 RS , NINH BINH TRIP: 4000 RS , FANSIPAN from SAPA : 5600 RS ,HANOI TO SAPA TO HANOI : 3200 RS , FOODING & TRANSPORTATION : 10000RS . TOTAL COST
FOR US: 71000 RS.