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: …

Hello BOC Smartsaver

A little too late, or it's never too late?

BOC Smartsaver has been around for some time now. I've heard of it when their promo came out, but kept to my OCBC 360 account. I did my sums previously and concluded that it was best for me to keep my money at OCBC.

But I redid my sums recently after my brother reminded me about this account, and, DANG, the minimum interest rate I could get was at least a 2% VS OCBC's 1.7% with salary crediting and bills payment.

What's making it more attractive is that, since I'm now able to spend $500/mth for my bro's expenses, the interest rate I could receive every month has now reached to the eye-popping 3.55% interest p.a!

Why didn't I think of opening this account soon ah? 

The following day after I did my sums, I headed down to the BOC branch and opened my account. I was lucky to be the first to enter at the off-peak hours. Btw, thumbs up to the friendly staff at the Westgate outlet. My account was set up on the spot.

It helps that my HR has also been very efficient. Immediately upon my request, they registered my BOC Smartsaver account as my salary crediting account. I'm waiting for my Aug's pay to be credited here, earning myself a 1% interest. While this is lower than the 1.2% which OCBC offers, BOC offers a base interest of 0.4% if you have $50k and above balance vs the 0.05% base which OCBC gives. Effectively, I'm earning 1.4% if I only do salary crediting while maintaining $60k in BOC VS 1.25% in OCBC.

Next, I'll also be using BOC to pay for my CC bills to earn me 0.6% or to get the 1.55% for card spend.

It's now sayonara to OCBC 360 as my main account, although I will try to maintain $3k there to avoid fall-below fees.

However, having the BOC Smartsaver account is not without its cons. Their ibanking portal is dated and I do hope they review their ibanking system to keep up with the times. Next, there is a problem withdrawing cash as there are not many BOC ATMs around. The BOC staff did said that I could withdraw my money from any ATM5 machines. The list is reflected here

Regardless, BOC's interest is too attractive for me to say NO. I talked about jumping the ship if a better savings account comes along, and here it is! Just praying that BOC won't review their interest rates downwards!


  1. interesting, i did hear some chatter about this. but never really delve too much into it..

    quick one, does the $500 on the credit card (first pt) include the 3x payment (2nd pt)

    -Earn 1.55% p.a. when you spend at least S$500 across your BOC Credit Cards and/or Debit Cards.
    -Earn 0.60% p.a. when you transact 3 bill payments or 1 BOC Mortgage Repayment from your BOC MCS Account.

  2. hello,

    can I check with you, for this account, is there cheque book issued?

    if no cheque book, how are you going to transfer $60k should there is a new better ship that needs to be jumped? I thought I can easily issue cheque from ocbc 360 account to BOC smartsaver. But the thought of BOC smartsaver to the next new ship seems to be a problem?

    How about the BOC credit card? Did you take any credit card from BOC? Just wondering if they have any waiver of credit card fee? Cos I saw it is only free for the first year.

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Kevil, no, I did not receive a cheque book. You can easily transfer your money via ibanking, that's what I did. No need to use cheque la :)

      As for the BOC credit card, I signed up for a BOC family rebate card. Not sure if there will be a waiver since I've not reached the 1 year. But if they charge despite my request to waive it, then I'll just cancel it.

      Hope this helps!

  3. Hi Cherry,

    Since it has been sometime may I know how is your user experience so far? I am using OCBC and UOB One and OCBC is much better in terms of user friendliness. Is it worth the switch for the slight inconvenience?

    Thanks :)

    1. Hi Ken, OCBC is way better in terms of their ibanking portal. If you want more bangs for your bucks, go ahead with BOC!


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