8D7N Hanoi, Sapa and Fansipan trip with full-fledge flight at >$1,500 for 2

If you are looking for a budget destination, how about heading to Hanoi, and adding in Sapa, Fansipan for an extra spice to your tour?
The husband and I were there for a 8D7N trip (disclaimer - not my honeymoon. I haven't plan one yet hehe)
Most people exclaimed - so long!? What's there to do?
It is indeed long if we were to stay in just Hanoi alone. After all, Hanoi was pretty boring as we could cover Old and French Quarter in a day. Our days in Hanoi were spent on food, facial and massages 😛If you are planning to tour Hanoi only, a 4D3N tour would suffice.
But we inserted a 3D2N trip to Sapa and Fansipan which was notably the highlight of the trip!
And, I'm proud to share that our expenses were around $1,400 for two which includes a full fledge flight via Vietnam Airlines instead of a budget flight ðŸ˜Š and our anyhow spend also can expenses at ~$250 (we ate whatever we like, and also had pampering facial and massage sessions!)
Here's a rough guide of our itinerary: …

My comments on NTUC Income

Previously, I talked about my upgrade of my NTUC Enhanced Incomeshield Plan from Advantage to Preferred, because I wanted to purchase the best plan possible when I'm still healthy (and could afford the not-so-hefty-yet premiums). 

If you purchased The Sunday Times (3 Apr edition), you can take a look at the article on the comparisons of the various IPs from the major insurance companies. A good read to tell you that it is best to purchase "as-charged" plans. 

Anyway, the cause of this post is to complain. I went down to the Income branch on 3 Mar for my plan upgrade and was told that I'd receive my documents within 3 weeks and I'll have to make payment for it.

It's been 1 month and I've yet to receive my document. Was told it is still in processing stage. Huh? Why did it take so long? I'm feeling anxious cause my Advantage plan was supposed to end on 31 Mar 2016. Did a check on the Income portal which showed that my plan is still "in force"...phew...but it is still the old Advantage plan. 

Another comment I gathered from this episode is the lack of agent's communication from Income. After all, my purchase was through the walk-in service which assigns me agents randomly. This is probably a big (?) downside of purchasing the insurance from NTUC Income as :
  1. You're unlikely to have a main contact point should you require assistances, unless the agent provides you with his/her hp number. In my case, the agent was the one who contacted me at the start asking if I wanted to buy endowment plans from her, which was how I got to check on my plan status. However, her replies weren't prompt as she only replied after I sent a reminder for updates.
  2. If you're looking at having an agent whom you can contact at any time for quick assistances, I don't think NTUC Income works for you. I get it that they have hotlines, but imagine requiring claims advices ASAP or in the middle of the night (do note their operating hours, they don't stand-by 24/7), and all you had is an operator who don't know you nor your predicament and you might have to relay a long story to them VS having an agent who knows you.
  3. With no agents to call your own (so corny), nobody is going to settle your claims for you! D-I-Y here hor! Although I understand from the agent at the branch, that for restructured hospitals, all you need to do is to tell the nurses that you're covered under NTUC IP and the claims will be reimbursed. I'm now questioning what she said (with ease) after reading through the claims page which is.....

HA! Will I have the energy to settle the administration of the claims when I'm sick/recovering ahhh???

I guess the above points contradicts or complements the positive points I made here. Well, goes to show everything has their pros and cons. 

What say you?


  1. Hi, I have just been hospitalized and I think that private insurance is very important. I am glad I bought when I first started working. I know of some friends who cancelled their private insurance after Medishield Life kicked in. They said to me, Aiya don't be so scaredy cat lah. Stay in B ward in govt hospital also very good. 2 weeks later, one of them went to see doctor for his leg injury and had to queue for few months to get a surgery in govt hospital. Anyway at the end of the day we just want to be at ease when we are sick. I can imagine the govt hospital filled with many people waiting for beds and all... Its not something that I want for myself...
    btw If you think Income is not good enough, do consider to switch other companies assuming you do not have any pre existing conditions. :)

    1. Hi Cheryl, thank you for your sharing! I'm glad I upgraded to the Preferred Plan :).


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