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Because I couldn’t decide whether to post about Singapore first or Hanoi, why not give the summary of where we’ve been.

The trip started and ended in Sydney (doh!). Thanks to Scoot, we got Sydney-Singapore return for $600AUD per person, including food and baggage. The fare sometimes even go as low as $400 return, but I’m still happy with what we paid considering that we left on a Saturday, return on a Sunday and had 25kg baggage allowance each.

So first stop was Singapore. We stayed 3 nights and 2 whole days, just enough to see its highlights and meet-up with good friends who are based there. Also, less days in Singapore means less expensive days for the whole trip.

Merlion and Marina Bay Sands at 6AM

Merlion and Marina Bay Sands at 6AM

Then we flew to HaNoi via Jetstar.

Huc Bridge at Hoan Kiem Lake

Huc Bridge at Hoan Kiem Lake

2 nights in Hanoi then 2 nights in HaLong-CatBa Island tour.

HaLong Bay

HaLong Bay

Then back to Hanoi for a night before flying to HoiAn.

There’s an overnight train from Hanoi to HoiAn but I knew we don’t have the patience for it. Haha! Besides, we didn’t really have enough days for the trip. Spending a night on train means recovering for the whole day when we get to HoiAn. We got a 10AM flight to HoiAn via AirAsia.

Lanterns at HoiAn

Lanterns at HoiAn

We stayed for 3 nights in HoiAn. HoiAn can be a tourist trap, but I have to say it’s one of the most relaxing leg of our trip. I was happy with the length of our stay there, and an afternoon flight  for Ho Chi Minh gave us some time to enjoy more of HoiAn in our 4th day.

We arrived around 6PM in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), and an ex colleague met took us out for dinner. I initially planned to do 1 day city tour and then do a 3-day Mekong Delta tour that ends in Phnom Penh. Good thing I didn’t book earlier because me and Andrew both caught flu. Well, he got it first, he was already sick on our first morning in HCMC, and I was still able to visit a pagoda. After lunch, I just started felt week and went back to the hotel. I think for 2 days we were just stuck in our hotel. We couldn’t even get proper food! Good thing antibiotics are possible over the counter in Asia so we just self prescribed.

District1 - Ho Chi Minh City

District1 – Ho Chi Minh City

On our 4th day, we were already able to leave for Phnom Penh. It was a 6-7 hour bus ride. That bus ride was a bit of an expedition, it needs its own post. Anyway, we arrived at Phnom Penh at around 8PM and the road in front of our hotel was closed and people were walking everywhere. I asked the guy at the reception, “is there a feast or something?” then another hotel guest answered me “oh, it’s the King’s funeral!” Major oops!! In fairness to me, I read about the death before. Apparently, it was a 4 month funeral and that was the last week as it was scheduled to be cremated the Monday that we were there.

Mourning Phnom Penh

Mourning Phnom Penh

We were only supposed to stay in Phnom Penh for 2 days and leave on the 3rd day for Siem Reap. However, I saw a a tour to a wildlife rescue center and was really keen to go. And because of the funeral, we were only able to get a spot on the 3rd day. We decided to slash a day off Siem Reap, and meet the wild life animals 🙂

Lucky, the elephant at Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre

Lucky, the elephant at Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre

And then 2 days in Siem Reap. What else to do in Siem Reap?

Angkor Wat and the other tourists

Angkor Wat and the other tourists

Then it was a pre-boked flight to KL. We were supposed to reach KL before midnight but Air Asia couldn’t close the cabin door. I think we were only able to get to our hotel (which was just 10 mins away from the airport) around 3AM. The following day, our flight to Manila was at 6PM. I thought that we could leave early to go to the KL city, see Petronas and go to the airport before 4PM. But because of our delayed flight, we just stayed in our room until check out and waited for 6PM in the airport.

And then 6 days in Manila! And I didn’t have a good photo. Haha! Sorry, I wasn’t a tourist there so I forgot to take photos. Besides, I was busy doing errands and catching up with family and friends. I finally met my niece, Georgina!

Baby Georgina!

Baby Georgina!

Then we spent the last weekend travelling back to Sydney. Left Manila on Saturday, at 1PM for Singapore. Then our flight from Singapore to Sydney was not until Sunday 2AM. We flew with CebuPac so the delay was quite expected. And so it would’ve been just be a rush to leave our 50kg baggage, take the train to city center, eat dinner and then train back to airport. Besides, we had to pay more than 10SGD to leave our bags. I wasn’t worried too that I’ll get bored in Changi. I walked around while Andrew enjoyed free power at Starbucks and free internet. We checked in at 12 midnight, I just slept on the floor near our boarding gate. I was half awake half asleep when we boarded, and was asleep the whole duration of the flight (except when the food was served!).

4 weeks was fun and tiring at the same time. I learned a lot about travelling for quite a long period. I usually just travel for a long weekend, or for a week maximum. I’ve never done a 4 week trip prior to this Asia trip. It was also my first time in Vietnam and Cambodia. Being in countries nearby Philippines, I couldn’t help but to compare Philippines to each. Specially on tourism, I was surprised on the number of foreigners in Vietnam and Cambodia while Philippines doesn’t that much. So maybe that will also be another post.

I have so many posts to make. Good luck when will I finish all. I’m just happy I finished the first one now.

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