Relax, Reflect, Renew. My Hanoi Trip

Our flight to Ho Chi Minh via Vietnam Airlines was at 7am. I hate early morning flights. You don’t get to sleep the night before and you end up tired on the onset of your trip. Altho’ I was able to sleep during the 2 hour flight to Ho Chi Minh.

Our lay over in Ho Chi Minh was 3 hours. We got to Hanoi around 1pm.

First thing we did was visit the oldest cathedral in Hanoi and had a mass with Father Jerry Orbos.

Father Jerry Orbos


with Ella Sanchez, owner of Executive Resources, Inc. the agency that hosted the Pilgrimage. Taken in front of the cathedral.

Hanoi. We only stayed in Hanoi overnight cos the following morning we took a 4 hour bus ride to Halong Bay to catch our cruise ship.

I really didn’t get to see much of the city but with the little time I spent there it reminded me so much of Chang Mai, Thailand.

Everyone rides the scooter. Or most of them.

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On our way to Halong Bay we stopped in this huge warehouse like store that sells all their native products. Food, clothing, accessories, home decor, etc. I wanted to buy these:


But decided not to cos sure ako it wont fit in my luggage. LOL!


We had so much fun in the bus that the 4 hours went by so fast.

Halong Bay. We got to Halong Bay on time and had a short briefing in the lounge. Father Jerry said that the whole cruise is all about the 3 r’s: relax, reflect and renew. I did just that.

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When we boarded our ship we were showered with rose petals:

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Our suite cabin. I love it. So spacious and so old school.

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Our cruise ship.

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Relax. Reflect. Renew. How can you not do that in a place like this?

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Photo shoot. Kalimutan na ang lahat ‘wag lang ang pumosing.

my co pilgrim Marlyn Go. We made sure we have a picture together cos she told me her daughter follows my blog.

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Claudia told me, Mom a pilgrimage is about sacrificing and praying, right? I said, Yes. Sacrifice: no internet (the entire trip) & no shopping.

Praying: we had mass (with Fr. Jerry Orbos, no less) twice a day.

Sunset. We held our mass in the sun deck every sunset


The biggest surprise was:

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They surprise me with a birthday cake on our last dinner. I didn’t know they knew it was my birthday.

Our Vietnamese tour guide:


Do Hoang Dao. we call him Dao. When he told us his name everyone was asking: “ano daw?” Name nya Dao. “Ano daw?”

Vietnamese freelance tourguide. You can contact him at:

email address:

facebook: HoangDao Vntourguide

Cellphone (+84) 905 685 865

(+84) 983 980 280

The best and the sweetest tour guide.


Went home relaxed, reflected, renewed.

I’d like to thank everyone who remembered to greet me on my birthday. And those who forgot to greet me…. bahala kayo sa buhay nyo. Hindi ko rin kayo i greet sa birthday nyo.




  • Thank you Tina, for sharing your voyage with all of your fans out here. Looks like you are having a great time, and we appreciate the opportunity to share the journey vicariously!

  • Ganda naman Ms.Tina! ( opcors, you and the scenery! )
    My youngest brother works for INTEL in Ho Chi Minh and his 4 kids goes to school sa British Intl. Sch. Vietnam. Grabe daw traffic sa City na yun! Intel pays for his kids tuition. 🙂
    I havent been to Vietnam yet, ganda ng Halong Bay! We’re going there! I’ll check your tourist guide’s FB acct. soon! Thanks for sharing your photos.

  • I’m so glad to see you had a lovely birthday trip, Ms. T! ❤ Love your new (celine?) bag! And I loved this long post, hope to read more long posts ahead haha. :-*

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