2014 - Day 4
March 01, 2014: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 95 - Sunny
Journey Day 01 02 03 04 05 06 07
08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 HOME
Sai Gon Transit Day. Flight day started with hotel breakfast –
Chinese breakfast at the hotel restaurant.
American, Japanese, or English, too). However, none could match the tray of Chinese
epicurean delights –
from a push
pot of special blend tea, stacks of dim sum,
fried noodles, very fresh fruit, and almond milk chicken
soup (with a
tray of extra ingredients). All was
finished with a deep fried rolled donut.
Next, down the
steps to the metro system – reverse
engineered the inbound route with multi exchange points
timed with the train awaiting passengers.)
Interestingly, while standing, could see all the way
to the rear and
front of the train in a very full train.
You figure it out.
Once at the
airport, you realize that you’re not in Kansas anymore. The cross section of humanity was simply
amazing. More amazing was the empty line
at Vietnam Airlines check in. Our
trainee agent assigned us the “last
two seats on
the bus”; which, on an Air Bus
320 is just two seats – aisle and window.
And since a bus is used to
transport to a remote parking area and the
rear door is used, it was like backwards bulkhead to quick entry and exit.
the States means real meals are served on all
flights – so, the 2 hour flight included a full meal and
no charge wine
beer. Now, the beer was really domestic
since absolutely no other language, including
English was used on the can.
One of the
formal dress for women, including Vietnamese
flight attendents, is the long tunic with pants. For most,
there is a
small “trianble” of skin
on the sides were the tunic slit ended.
This could be the ultimate “field day” for
massive tickling challenges.
at the ex-military American base now fully
commercialized airport – ad space with “if interested”
everything. Most all of the airport was
new and very open. Passport control took
time; however, all passport and visa prep work was correctly done.
Millionaires now! The exchange rate is 2,100
Vietnamese Dong currencty to 1 U.S.
Dollar. So, at the ATM
6,000,000 Dong was a little intimidating.
Applied the “measure twice and cut once” model with one
recalculation and requested the six million Dong.
Next to the
ATM is the Taxi booth – paid 220,000 Dong for a
coupon that includes the destitination.
worked extremely well – walked outside to taxi stand, handed
coupon to attendant, and off to the hotel.
“organized chaos” has a new meaning – Vietnamese
roads! It you have have an aversion to
streets when you want, and generally like to ‘tail
gate’ on all sides, this is the place for you.
cannot describe this orchestrated
event of 80% motorcycles, large buses,
and upscale cars all vieing for the small
space on the
road. Honking was not a warning – more of a “hi,
how are you doing?, just letting you know I’m
just 2 inches from you”.
circles with motorcycles not becoming hood ornaments
or sidecars may demonstrate the “big bang theory”.
of all this syncranzied flow is
none of the new, clean, mostly upscale cars had no scratches or dings
kind. Watching a Bentley “go upstream”
against a tidal wave of motorcycles is ‘reality TV’ is action.
Arrived at the
Renaissance Riverside (next to the Saigon river) intact and ready to breathe again. Followed a
group check in
and was checked in
with upgrade to Club Floor (18th floor) with view of atrium and all
to Club room (evenings included full buffet of dinner, drinks, and
Time for a
quick night walk around the heart of the city in
District 1 – main sights with a very alive and colorful
backdrop. If you need to use the phrase “The town that
never sleeps”, forget New York,
it’s Sai Gon! We can
were outside enjoying the cool breezes. “That was the ticket” to finish the day.
Country Travel Map
Return to www.ellerbroad.com (All Rights Reserved 2014)