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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Part 2 - study trip to Hanoi, Vietnam

Let’s the memory of Hanoi trip continues.

2nd day of the trip, 25th March 2011, we went to National University of Civil Engineering, Hanoi. So long, of a study trip, right? So, at least that we can do is visit some local University. =)

The weather was cold that morning and a bit windy. When we enter the university, it looks so much differ from our local university. How can I describe? What is obvious here, most of the students are male! Wink! So, I guessed the population Vietnam is more towards guys? Does that make sense? Aha!

And what I noticed is that their common vehicles at the universities are bicycles and of course motor bikes but more to bicycles. Funny is, they charge parking for the students which the parking is under the school blocks. Well, I guessed it is true that nothing is free in Vietnam. =)

What we did there? Well, the universities greet us and we have conferences, some student presentations of Vietnam and Malaysian current construction industry. You see, Vietnamese are not really fluent with English; even the professors there hardly can speak English. But some are good.

Dalam kesejukan..

Malaysian construction industry presented by Imelda
Camera rolling, action!
Giler serius der..
with uncle Ho
some of camera freaks faces!
me with the Vietnamese students.

okay!fiefa mohd ali in action. =)

Finished programme at NUCE, rushing for our lunch at Tandoor Restaurant, an Indian Restaurant. For me, the restaurant is much pleasant than Nisa Restaurant and the food are quite nice also however, lecturers did not find that so. We were served with naan, chicken curry, some Indian vege, a bowl of rice. I guessed it is not enough for them as they are not variety enough. Actually, the restaurant serves variety of Indian food but I guessed the travel agent booked a cheap meal package so, it become dissatisfying. They don’t know that Malaysian loves eating!
At Tandoor restaurant while waiting for food to be served.

After lunch, we rushed to Gamuda City. Have you heard about Gamuda before? Well, Gamuda Land or better known as Gamuda, is a Malaysian developer who’s been investing huge projects in Malaysia and now they expand their business in investing foreign countries. And yes, Gamuda City is a city! Malaysia Boleh! Unfortunately, I forgot how large the total area is. the land are still under developing.  So, how do things work?

Well, Gamuda & the Vietnamese government agrees that a piece of land is granted to Gamuda for them as an exchange for Gamuda to provide Vietnam a proper sewerage system, that is a treatment plant for the whole city of Hanoi. Unfortunately, again, I missed out the figures. =) but definitely, it is big because it has to cater the city of Hanoi. So, that piece of land Gamuda developed it as a residential township. Another agreement between the two parties is that Gamuda has to cleaned up a large lake where it used to be the place for dark water of  Hanoi, it return they get that piece of land also to developed but with BOT contracts. It is at this piece of land that they developed a city park for publics with commercial buildings and so. 
Project briefing

So, to cut it short, Gamuda is doing the masterplan for the Hanoi which reminds me of what I have been doing in my previous office. MASTERPLAN! Which I used to think that this is wasting time and how can it be done? So, this trip actually opens up my mind and level of thinking. Oh! How stupid I was!

some part of the overall masterplan - these are the landed residential development

Commercial Development

Public park

High rise residential blocks

Landed property
not sure house perhaps?
After the project brief, we were taken to the site of the treatment plant. Hell, it was big! And we were lucky enough to tour around it to take a closer look of how things worked.

group photo with the Gamuda people

di sini, fiefa dh start dh nk conquer still, mcm segan2..=P

aksi mengada saya lagi.layan ajelah yer.

lawan tokey gak mamat ni..hehehe

So, enough packed the whole day with ‘study’ thingy, it’s time for dinner! Again, we head to Nisa Restaurant! Have to, LOL! No other Halal food stall there! Had dinner and then it was time for shopping! Shopping at night market. Night market in the city of Hanoi opens every Friday to Sunday nights. It is quite a long market. And it is where tourists as well as locals shops. From Nisa restaurant, we just take a walking tour. I was so excited! Excited to shop not for myself but families back here. I guessed when you go somewhere, what you have in mind is to get souvenirs for people other than to get yourself one. My target is to get some Vietnamese silks but as I walked along the night markets to are no silks. So, silks are not sold at the night markets, folks. It sold at stores. 

What can you find at the night markets, then?
Obviously, souvenirs! All this Vietnamese arts crafts – key chains, painting etc. handbags, clothes. It is more or like pasar malam here in Malaysia. So, I was a bit frustrated that night. I only bought a flowery vase with handmade flowers and plants out of beads and stones. Thought it is nice. What I can say about Hanoian is that they are a bit ‘sombong’ and bargaining to them is really hard. Seldom or I can say never for them to call you back if you turned your back to head away! They rather lose a customer than to get their stuffs sold at lower price!

So, we head back to the hotel by just walking. Though actually it was quite far and we are already tired by walking back and forth along the night markets. Some of us, took taxi. And hell, different charges are charge. Some are charged by meter, some are charged by per person which is not fair it turns out to be so expensive. So, advise, before you take a cab, kindly ask the driver, I want to be charge by meter and please bring us straight to the hotel, not taking the long route, please. This actually works to me on my last night at Hanoi where I go shopping with Kak Nida, our Malaysian travel agent who’s got the experiences. If they want to charge by head, it is ridiculous! Just take another cab!

3rd day, 26th March 2011, enough with all this study tour, it is time for real trip! So, that morning after breakfast we went to Ho Chi Minh mausoleum. We have to line up quite a long queue as it is only opens on weekends. Oh! It was windy and cold as always! We were advised by Suan (local travel agent), to behave ourselves, no chit chatting, no laughing and not to put your hands inside the pocket or even to hugs yourself but we have to put our hands at the side, straight with respect to Ho Chi Minh. So, who is this Ho Chi Minh? He was the president of Vietnam, the father of Independence. Inside the mausoleum, you can see uncle Ho (that what Vietnamese call) is ‘sleeping’. They preserve his body not like his real. So you can actually his real face and body.

After that, we went to the president’s house which is just around the mausoleum itself. The whole life of uncle Ho, he has lived in 3 houses. He was granted with a big mansion which is now the current official resident of the president, (obviously we can’t enter that house!) but as this guy is a humble person, he moved out to a smaller modern house but still not satisfied. At last he moved out to a traditional Vietnam house made of wood.

Meanwhile, my friends still got the time to shop. This Malaysians are..I tell you! Are so generous! Anywhere they can find something to buy, they just can’t help themselves!

Supposedly, according to plan, we are to visit a temple. Historical temple, of course. But since we spent a long time ‘shopping’ at the mausoleum, the time is to cut short. But ha..ha..ha..Malaysian of course they will choose food rather than historical places, so we head straight to Nisa to have our lunch. From Nisa, starts our journey to Ha Long City. The journey to Ha Long takes about 3 hours. Actually, it wasn’t that far but because of the road infrastructure are not developed, therefore it lengthen the journey. 

that is that for the time being..suppose to upload pic from the musoleum visit..but malas lak..later lah.. peace!

p/s- my classmates doesn't actually know that I'm a camera, I was a bit shy here and there to 'menyemak' di sana sini..but I guessed, you can't hide yourself forever,terbongkarlah sket2..ehehe..

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