Hanoi & Singapore trip notes

Trip Start Nov 13, 2011
Trip End Nov 20, 2011

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Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Sunday, November 13, 2011

Could not avoid an overnight in Singapore before connecting with our SQ flight to Hanoi, but the Crowne Plaza Changi Airport made that as painless as possible - adjoins Terminal 3 so a short walk from the arrivals area & fast skytrain to Terminal 2 the next morning. Rooms were very spacious,modern & comfy - everything you need for a pleasant stay except free wi-fi in the rooms (available in the lobby) - this should now be a standard amenity in every hotel.

Have been lucky enough to stay in many of the world's top hotels but can't think of any which have been more enjoyable than the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi. Well worth upgrading to a premium grand opera wing room where, apart from a wonderfully luxurious room, you enjoy club facilities. Daily highlights in the club lounge were a fabulous breakfast, afternoon tea & evening cocktails as well as 24 hour butler service. Our butler Mr Nguyen enthusiastically reconfirmed our day tours for us, booked in wake-up calls & dinners at recommended restaurants & even magically appeared as we arrived back to the hotel one evening to help carry our shopping back to the room for us! Service in every area of this historic hotel was outstanding.

We wanted to visit the famous Halong Bay but unfortunately did not have time to spend a night there, which is a popular option, so we settled for a day tour. Definitely worth seeing as the scenery is stunning, but the 3 hour drive in each direction was anything but relaxing.

On our last day in Hanoi we covered some of the major sights,including Uncle Ho & the Temple of Literature, enjoyed a casual pho lunch & left the afternoon for just wandering the streets in the old quarter, taking in the cacophoney of sounds, sights & smells. Became old hands at avoiding obstacles along the footpaths, bravely crossing the streets & escaping the attention of the street hawkers.

All too soon we were on the plane back to Singapore to engage in an interesting conference agenda based at the amazing Marina Bay Sands Hotel.

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