Trip to Hanoi

My current job includes a little traveling. It gets me to places that I have not ever been to. Whether locally or internationally, it still does interest me. Last year, I, along with my boss and colleague, traveled to Hanoi, Vietnam for a 5-day business trip and attended the 3rd International Rice Congress to exhibit our products. The said congress was held at National Convention Center (NCC). It is said to be the largest convention center in Vietnam.

NCC
Image source: ricecongress.com

From the airport, it takes about 30 minutes to get to Hanoi Hotel, the hotel where we stayed. By the way, I traveled alone leaving me worries that what if I don’t get to the right place, how do I survive then? I landed almost an hour after my expected arrival. While I was bargaining at the counter for a cab, I received a call from my colleague checking where I was already but the reception wasn’t so good. When I finally got into the cab, I got more worried when I asked the driver “how far is the hotel from here?” and he didn’t say a word. Meaning, he can’t understand even a simple English. I got there anyway so I was relieved!

Fast forward to the 2nd to the last day of our stay there, I was able to tour myself in one part of Hanoi. I was actually doing my report via Skype when the boss asked me “Is it your first time in Hanoi?” Yes. “Get yourself registered for a day tour, I approved.” I accepted the offer, of course haha! This kind of offer shouldn’t be skipped at all. Unfortunately, my colleague had a meeting that day and couldn’t tag along with me. So I went on my own.

At 7am, on the day of the scheduled tour, I took a cab to the meeting place. As agreed, the taxi fare was refunded to me by the organizing travel agent. I got to see the place where Ho Chi Min stayed decades ago, and the museum made for him. However, I didn’t get to see the inside as it was closed that day due to some public holiday. Too bad!

Ho Chi Min
Ho Chi Min Museum
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6211/6213257228_f77df31346_b.jpg
Some scenic views
Myself with the Vietnamese strawhat

The boss actually laughed at me when my colleague told him that I am dying to buy this hat haha! He says that I could get the same thing in the Philippines. I know but coming from Vietnam is different haha!

Hanoi downtown
Downtown

I also had the chance to shop for shirts and souvenirs. I have also experienced riding on a cyclo but failed to take a photo while I was on it, too excited with the rest of the activities huh!? Aside from the motorbike, cyclo is one of their daily transportations. Believe me, the time I was coming back to the hotel from the tour, it almost brought me to tears when I couldn’t cross the lane. I had to ask someone to help me cross haha!

Pho Bo
Vietnames dishes

Of course, I did not forget to try Vietnam’s famous noodle soup pho bo and fresh spring roll.

All in all, the tour was great especially that I made friends with different nationalities who also attended the congress. We still keep in touch once in a while.

By the way, on the 1st night of our stay there, my colleague and I passed our time at the night club where there are pole dancers performing. The moment our boss landed, he sent us a message asking he won’t make it to our planned dinner, instead he asked if we wanna go somewhere as it was late for dinner anyway. Of course, we had to tell him we were already at the night club just down the hotel haha! So he came and stayed for few hours with us. Cool boss eh?

I am really grateful for my boss’ offer, otherwise, I would have stayed in the hotel without having the opp to see the beauty of Hanoi and just spent the nights at the hotel bar with my colleague, the usual thing that we do each time we travel haha!

 

Mitch Carvalho

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