Well a few week of work has gone past and it all seems a little surreal being back. I can truly say that the journey with my family was one of the best experiences we have shared and I hope there is more to come. Connecting with my children and partner, seeing beautiful parts of the world and seeing how other people live is truly a gift and everyone must try and experience this sense of family adventure. I hope our kids carry these memories forever.
A few people have asked us for advice on travelling with a family in Asia so I have decided to list what worked for us.
Take a little bit of currency for each country before you leave….
1) Our flights were pre booked from home, they included from Gold Coast>Singapore>Hanoi>Kuala lumpur>Gold Coast. All of these flights were manageable lengths of time and didn’t once put us under pressure. We used Scoot, Vietnam and Air Asia Airlines for our travels. Vietnam airlines was amazing, fantastic service, great food and comfortable. Scoot was good but I advise booking any extras you want online before leaving, basic is basic. Air Asia you pay for what you get, I wasnt that impressed. We got there in one piece.
2) We booked our accomodation for a few days in each place that we landed so that we new where to catch a taxi and get familiar with our surroundings. I recommend booking a taxi coupon in the airport so you don’t get scammed. If you get a good driver ask for his number so you can book him again. Always ask if they are metered and get them to switch it on when you jump in, motorways and tolls can be extra. We used a private driver between destinations, 7 seater, aircon, stop for pee pee, stop for coffee and fresh fruit stalls. $70 usd for around 3.5 hours.
Singapore: http://www.hotelboss.sg/ always check where your windows are located for best view of city. Great Hotel, excellent service and with swimming pool. Breakfast buffet is the go.
Singapore Adventure Cove water park for cooling off: http://www.rwsentosa.com/Homepage/Attractions/AdventureCoveWaterpark , this place is fantastic, take a water proof camera to record the thrills and spills.
Singapore night safari, kids loved it, beautiful on a balmy night http://www.nightsafari.com.sg/
Singapore http://www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/en.html , this is a must see horticultural, futuristic and gastronomical lovers paradise, I’m going back here for more.
Most things we booked online for huge discounts and then booked our own taxis.
Vietnam http://www.cosianahotel.vn/ , this hotel had awesome service, the rooms were good and the location was 30 minutes walk from the heart of Hanoi. We loved being slightly away from tourist boulevard.
Air BnB we had the most wonderful stay with a fantastic couple. Cozy 2beds with Alain and Sandrine was one of our most memorable stays. beautiful hospitality, fantastic home and they made us fee so welcome. You guys are beautiful and we will stay in touch.
Hoan Kiem Lake, also known as Hồ Gươm, is a lake in the historical center of Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam. The lake is one of the major scenic spots in the city and serves as a focal point for its public life.
https://lafermeducolvert.com/en/ is a truly amazing experience. If you want to be surrounded by nature, water and organic produce this is a must see. Sandrine from Cozy 2 beds also helped us book our private driver for our whole Vietnam trip through lafermeducolvert.
Quan Thanh Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi 10000 Vietnam, Truc Bach Lake, a must here is to hire a swan paddle boat and lose a few hours. Grab a coffee at Highlands Coffe on the lake, top floor is a great view.
A must is the Old Quarters where you can snack on the street food, check out the markets and wash it all down with a cold beer. Walking is the only way to take it all in.
Sapaly express train is a must to Sapa. Cosiana Hotel was a five minute walk to the night train so it made it really easy for this stage of the trip. This trip is all about paying for the thicker mattresses, Sapalay is our hot tip for the day.
Sapa http://www.sapadragonhotel.com/ , this hotel is 10/10, we could not fault it. If you are going to Sapa which you must, then you must stay here. Request a room with a view. When going on tours of villages and waterfalls we recommend you ask for a beautiful lady by the name of Chai, she is gorgeous. Tell her Joff, Bianca, Marley and Elkie miss her and will be back.
Great spot for coffee and sweet treats is http://www.legeckosapa.com/ , take the spiral staircase and enjoy the best view in town.
Sapa is full of so many options from shopping, eating, trekking, biking, national parks and waterfalls. Take your pick.
Hai Phong, Cat Ba Island http://www.catbasunriseresort.com/ , if you want the full monty then this is the place. catch the fast boat to cat ba and use the tourist information at the wharf to arrange pick up for you from hotel chauffeur. Hire a scooter and BUZ around the island, tour the floating villages and kyak the aqua waters. Book a massage for sure and make sure you find the pool table out the back near the Koi carp pond.
Nimh Binh http://www.hoaluecohomestay.com/ this was the highlight of our holiday in many ways. Nimh Binh is Halong bay on land we highly recommend hiring bicycles and visiting the local surroundings. Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex, boat cave tours and the Rong markets are a must.
I hope this helps anyone who is thinking of planning a trip.
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