Monthly Archives: September 2013

Whirlwind ASEAN Day 5: Pak Ou Caves and Mt. Phusi

I was looking for something to do this morning and I happen go pass by the All Lao Travel Service. I booked the 8 AM ferry to Pak Ou Cave (80k LAK) and the 130 PM minivan to Houang Si (50k LAK). On the way to the drop off point, I met Naoki, a Japanese who also took the same ferry. I found it interesting that the “banana boats” used to get passengers were so long but only carried 6-7 people at a time.
Continue reading

Whirlwind ASEAN Day 3 & 4: Hanoi to Luang Prabang in 30 hours

Day 3 (Sep 27)
I checked out from Cat Ba Hostel at 830 AM and headed for the Hoang Long ticket office near the harbor for the 915 AM trip. Things went pretty smoothly on the way back to Hanoi and I was able to catch a few winks. I had to look for a travel agency to book my Luang Prabang bus. After which, I decided to eat my last full meal for the next 30 hours before walking around Hanoi while waiting for the bus. Continue reading

Whirlwind ASEAN Day 2: Halong and Lan Ha Bay

Not much to elaborate on. Got on the boat with 14 other backpackers and had a blast relaxing on the slow boat, kayaking and swimming around Lan Ha and Halong bays. When they say slow boat, they mean SLOW boat. I guess it adds to the relaxation factor. Halong and Lan Ha are both very similar to El Nido and Coron in the Philippines, it’s just at a much larger scale. Hehehe.. Happy hour with the group after the tour 🙂 Continue reading

Whirlwind ASEAN Day 1: Cat Ba Island

Day 1 (Sep 25)

First day high! Time to finally begin the long-delayed ASEAN trip. First stop: Hanoi. We arrived at 1230AM (Vietnam time) through Cebu Pacific (the smallest international airplane I’ve ever been on). I was surprised that they didn’t require an arrival card for Hanoi. Upon deplaning I was through immigration and out into the darkened arrival hall in less than 30 minutes. I decided to stay here for the next 3 hours since I was trying to catch the 520 AM bus to Cat Ba at the Luong Yen Bus station. I withdrew VND from my BPI account and bought a 64k Vinaphone sim card for 200k VND and subscribed to the 650 MB data package (send M50 ON to 888).
Continue reading