T-minus 23 hours

Arcadia Travel Blog

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So it's the eve before departure and all things considering, Mike and I are pretty much ready now. Can't really say that for the early preparation. Took a while to decide on the departure date due to variable schedules and it probably made our tickets a little more expensive as we waffled on that. There was also a heck of a rush trying to get the Vietnam visa prepped. That along with the expedite fee, amounted to $140 per visa. Can't blame our travel agent at America Asia Travel Center though (recommended by a family friend). She called me every day pressing us to get our paperwork in and in having to deal with such a complicated trip, her concern for us was very reassuring that we'd get as good of a deal as possible.

Another useful service was the travel doctor at Healthy Traveler. Pretty much right next to Pasadena City College. Got my remaining vaccinations super quick along with some recommendations as well as an order of Doxycycline (malaria medicine) there. Very clean and professional environment and they seem to be doing quite well business wise.

Anyways, our flight from LAX will take us to Taipei first where we arrive around 6:30 AM on Tuesday, Jan 5th. 3 hour layover and then we'll take a 2 hour flight to Hanoi. Mike has a contact there who helped him out on his first trip to Vietnam (long story), who is willing to help show us around the Old Quarter of the city. The schedule should be pretty flexible though as we are not going to join any tour groups and will instead be exploring backpacker style. We'll probably work our way northwest into the mountainous regions of Sapa and then circle down and back into the edges of Hanoi before taking a train down south. More to come once we get underway.
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photo by: portia