Escape Plan to Vietnam December 2019

A brief summary on the itinerary

Escape Plan to Vietnam:

Total duration 9D8N
Singapore is 1hr ahead of Da Nang.
Flight time is 17hrs 15mins on Singapore Airlines from Singapore to Newark Airport, New York. Return flight is 2hrs 10mins on Scoot from Ho Chi Minh to Singapore.

Evening flight on 24th Dec at 650pm and arrival in Da Nang in the Night at 835pm. Return flight from Ho Chi Minh on the 1st Jan at 555pm and arrival in Singapore at 905pm.

Day 1 Arrival into Da Nang and transfer to Hoi An
Day 2 Hoi An Old Town tour and My Son tour
Day 3 Hoi An free and easy
Day 4 Day trip to Hue
Day 5 Ba Na Hills and Dragon Bridge
Day 6 My Khe Beach and transfer to Phu Quoc
Day 7 Vinpearl Land and Waterpark
Day 8 Bai Dai Beach and transfer to Ho Chi Minh NYE 2020
Day 9 Home Sweet Home

This escape plan was to getaway to somewhere close and not too expensive while at the same time, see how people are doing Xmas and New Year’s Eve.

Budget nature: Inexpensive except when in the resort

Costs of living was pretty low in Vietnam and thus we found that things were relatively inexpensive. We catered SGD$800 but wouldn’t have overspend if we didn’t buy stuff along the way. It could also be that we had paid upfront for private tours and transfers and even so, it was still affordable.

Complexity: Easy

It was easy since most of the transportation was taken care by our private transfers and tour. Phu Quoc transfer was taken care by the resort while Grab app worked pretty well in both Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh.

Escape plan to Hanoi in November 2013

A brief summary on the itinerary

Escape Plan to Hanoi in November 2013:

Total duration 5D4N
Singapore is 1 hr ahead of Hanoi, Vietnam.
Flight time is 3hr direct flight on Tiger airways from Singapore to Hanoi.
Thursday morning flight on 7th Nov and arrival in Hanoi at 10 mins after 10am. The return flight was on Singapore Airlines as it offered a better return time and costed just as much as the budget carrier.

Day 1 Hanoi half day city tour to Temple of Literature, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum & residences, one pillar pagoda and Dong Xuan Market
Day 2 Halong Bay cruise on Alova Gold, Titop island and kayaking
Day 3 Sung Sot Cave(Surprise Cave), Hoan Kiem Lake, Water puppet show.
Day 4 Trang An and Hoa Lu
Day 5 Home Sweet Home

This escape plan was planned as I wanted to celebrate my birthday overseas and was looking for a affordable location with a beautiful and UNESCO listed landscape and at the same time, suitable for my parents.

I have always wanted to visit Halong Bay with an overnight cruise and this was the opportunity to do so.

Budget nature: Affordable. 

If you want to save, this similar itinerary can be carried out in less than SGD700 ALL IN. For us, as we preferred to spend a bit more for better comfort, we spent a little more. The food and accommodation was cheap by standards and that was the primary reason. 

Complexity: DIY possible but require to join local tours

Though Hanoi is a tourist location, communication can still be challenging. Transportation to various places in the city can be done by cab but I don’t know whether scamming is prevalent since I went by tour. Day trips are taken care by tour operators that pick up direct from hotels and should not be a problem. Attempts to drive would be suicidal and day trips drive are too far to be worth the effort.

Escape Plan to Cambodia and Vietnam January 2008

A brief summary on the itinerary

Escape Plan to Cambodia and Vietnam January 2008:

Total duration 11D10N
Siem Reap and HCMC is 1hr behind Singapore.
Flight time is 2hrs 5mins on Jetstar from Singapore to Siem Reap. Return flight is 2hrs 20mins on Jetstar from Siem Reap to Singapore.

Morning flight on 24th Jan at 6am and arrival in Phnom Penh in the same morning at 705am. Return flight from Siem Reap on the 2nd Feb at 750pm and arrival in Singapore at 1110pm.

Day 1 Arrival into Siem Reap, Angkor Wat, Bayon, Ta Prohm, Prasat Kravan, Pre Rup
Day 2 Kbal Spean, Banteay Srei, Srah Srang, Preah Khan, Phnom Bakheng and old town
Day 3 Neak Pean, East Mebon, Bakong, Tonle Sap Lake and Floating Village
Day 4 Bus to Phnom Penh, Phnom Penh Palace and Phnom Penh visit
Day 5 Bus to Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh city tour
Day 6 Mekong Delta River cruise and village tour
Day 7 Cu Chi tunnel tour 
Day 8 Bus back to Phnom Penh, Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocide 
Day 9 The Killing Fields and mine museum
Day 10 Bus back to Siem Reap, Beng Mealea, Tonle Sap river and mangrove tour
Day 11 Home Sweet Home

This escape plan was planned as a trip to celebrate our anniversary and a visit to a Angkor Wat, a re-owned monument in Cambodia, and also then taking a chance to visit Phnom Penh and also a first visit to Vietnam.

Budget nature: Cheap

Costs were generally affordable due to the lower standard of living, stronger currency and choices of transportation (mostly by Tuk Tuk around Siem Reap, Buses for interstate travel) and accommodation (hostels)

Complexity: Not too difficult

We got around Siem Reap in a tuk tuk and booked the same driver to take us everywhere, even to far away temples. The interstate buses and border crossing is a little more trickier but not too difficult too as we just followed the instructions on the bus operators. Walked mostly in Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh and took tours or taxis to out of reach attractions.