Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Hanoi

I'm finally getting down to writing this. Compared to the articles I have to write at work, i think my boring holiday post beats new boutique openings and product launches over here.

This is my first holiday since i graduated in 2005, and my first family holiday in about 6 years. So i'd say I REALLY needed this trip to sorta get away and unwind and do whatever it is that people do on holidays.

So anyway, I left at a very busy time at the company. It wasn't intentional and i was worried sick that things would be messed up when I left for my holiday. I even checked my office mail from Hanoi and freaked out at the surge of emails.

Well I've learnt my lesson. A little advice... NEVER check emails or have your mobile on when you're on holiday. You need to let go and just have fun. You don't want to be plagued by thoughts of work when you're on holiday man. Trust me!

I stayed with my cousin in Hanoi and she's got a lovely place near the city. And that was our little haven for a week. As I was traveling with family, I couldn't really plan my own out-of-town trips and take off whenever so my activities were restricted to the town area.

My parents shopped a lot and we visited the Old quarter and the French quarter and the area near St Paul's church where my cousin's boutique is situated. My cousin's this business woman from Australia and after having travelled the world from the time she was 18, she decided to settle down in Hanoi with her husband.

Simmone owns two fashion boutiques in Hanoi and one in Ho Chi Minh. She's got two labels under her called 'Things of Substance' and 'Contraband' which features really chic fashion wear for young and old alike. Department stores like Parkson carries one of her labels too! We spent a lot of time at her stores trying out stuff and i invested in two tops for work.

She's pretty much a greenie and packs her sales in pretty nylon bags instead of plastic bags. I loved that about her store! Now i have a new tote to carry stuff in!

Well besides doing the whole family bonding thing, we did get to visit a few key places in Hanoi. We went to the Ho Chi Minh Mosoleum which was a little bit morbid. And everyone was in such a sombre mood. We walked the grounds of where Uncle Ho (as he is fondly known in Vietnam) lived and heard about the history of Vietnam.

What's pretty evident is that they REALLY REALLY hate the Americans. Read Vietnam war for more info. Well after that we visited the Temple of Literature and frankly, I was a bit dissapointed. I didn't see any books!!! It was just brick walls, some ancient architecture and lots of stone turtles and storks and our guide said they were based on legends surrounding the Vietnamese beliefs.

But one thing that I realised was that they used Malaysian Timber when they reconstructed the university in year 2000. =D yeay Malaysia! Well I'll post up pictures soon, I promise!

Of course we had loads of coffee when we were there. And we ate really healthy food (except Pringles). We even woke up at 6 every morning, and went to bed by 10! Fat chance that's gonna happen back here.

So all in all, although I got tired and was in a pissy mood towards the end, I think it was an okay trip. But if you plan on visiting Hanoi, DO book a trip out to Ha Long Bay. That would definitely make your trip worthwhile.
(thanks Fairuz, Robyn & Rachelle for the tips! It really helped!!)

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3 Comments:

Blogger Stephanie Yong said...

Your trip sounds great, especially the shopping part :p glad you're back safe!

5:17 PM  
Blogger hoyden said...

hey babe!
well yeah shopping was good i suppose. You'd love it definitely!

1:01 PM  
Blogger eric said...

hey. meet up. share bout trip. must!

8:36 PM  

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