Because of the often difficult modes of transportation from the city to my hometown in Siquijor, I have always packed my bags light because I need to carry them myself. Our provincial transportation is as rough as you can get that sometimes we sit with chickens and pigs and a hundred other people. From an early age, I have carried my own bags and thus have learned to pack light and pack well that now it does not matter what mode of transportation I take. On our trip to Vietnam in August, I managed to fit 30 days worth of outfits in just one backpack weighing a mere 6 kilos! Advertisements
Hanoi is a good destination for weekend warriors because Cebu Pacific flights coincide with weekends, flying to Hanoi on Thursday night and flying back to Manila on early Monday morning. While we stayed in Hanoi for more than a week (and would have stayed even longer), three days should be enough to cover all the must-see places and uncover all the gems (literally and figuratively) Hanoi has to offer. Read on for my sample Hanoi weekend itinerary.
Hanoi was not an expensive city to visit. In fact, even though we stayed there for more than a week, we spent well beneath our budget and was even able to squeeze in an expensive and indulgent (but truly enjoyable) afternoon at the Sofitel Legend Metropole hotel and some shopping. This is my budget guide for Hanoi and this post accompanies my Weekend in Hanoi post.
From many guide books/blogs, I always read about the 36 Streets of Hanoi, which make up the Old Quarter. Every day, for eight days, we walked the Old Quarter, from east to west, north to south, and we almost did not walk on the same street ever. I was counting up to 36 streets, and I was ready to conclude that the guide books are lying. There are no 36 streets. The Old Quarter is a maze and there are a hundred streets!
The Philippines and Vietnam are members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Because of this regional economic and political grouping, holders of passports issued by both countries do not need visas when they visit each other’s countries. For Philippine passport holders, we are given up to 21 days visa free stay in Vietnam when the purpose of our stay is leisure/tourism. When our stay exceeds 21 days or when the purpose of our stay is for other purposes other than leisure/tourism, we need to get a visa. Here is how to get a Vietnam visa from the Philippines.
I am sharing this for everybody who doesn’t know it yet… but I have a feeling that I am the last person to know, that you can use your BDO Debit Card also for online purchases and for purchases outside of the Philippines. I’ve had this card since 2010, and it’s only this year that I’ve used it for online purchases. Specifically, it was only just weeks before I started planning our Singapore + Melaka trip that I learned from a BDO bank teller that I can use my debit card like a credit card.
Planning and budgeting for a seven-day family holiday in Siem Reap and Bangkok.
Before stepping foot in Melaka, I envisioned old buildings, old buildings, and more old buildings. It was only when I actually stepped foot into the city that I realized my research was not as in-depth as I thought it was because (1) I forgot Malacca is actually one of the states of Malaysia, and (2) I didn’t realize it is a city, a modern city, a really modern city.
The photo above (by my husband) represented to me what Singapore is, at least through my eyes. Far from the tourist-filled parks along Clark Quay and Orchard Road, the fast lanes in the MRT, the magnificent man-made structures that signify the city-state’s modernity, is the heart of Singapore — it’s people.
I have a genuine fear of heights. But many times in my life I have proven to myself (always accidentally) that there is no fear I cannot conquer. When my siblings suggested we take ride the cable car in Singapore, I immediately agreed because I read in the website that the trip is only 5 minutes. I think I can handle five minutes of being suspended on air inside a box (which was actually spacious enough for six people). To my horror, my companions took advantage of all the cable car rides, which totalled eight rides in all!
I am home now from our 8-day trip to Singapore and Melaka, and catching up with work at home. It was a fun week — it was my first international flight and the first time my siblings, my husband and I went on a trip together. How did it go? It was fun with a lot of walks. I joked that the Singapore trip will cripple me. Hahaha. Our trip was not budget travelling nor was it a luxury trip. It was what I call an affordable trip. So, I’m going to share our expenses, planning, and itinerary, some tips and tricks we did to save few pesos (and SG dollars and ringgits), and a few lessons learned from the trip.