Vietnam 2014 – Day 1 Saigon

My flight was one of the good ones – uneventful!

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My flight from KL to Saigon

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Flying over Vietnam

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Landing in Saigon

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Fuel trucks – Vietnamese style (They don’t have underground tanks like most modern airports)

My first experience with Vietnam was in the customs hall. My old passport photo is me with brunette hair however I have dyed it now and it’s blonde. I guess the Vietnamese customs people haven’t seen blonde hair dye because he was unsure that it was me in the photo. It took me a while to convince him that the passport was mine, but it didn’t help that he didn’t speak English and I don’t speak Vietnamese.

My next experience was my missing luggage, as it hadn’t made the flight from KL to Saigon. I had to report it missing to the lost luggage counter, where I had to fill in some forms and describe my bag and then hope that it would make it to my hotel. They gave me a reference number and I went to find my driver.

The transfer to my hotel was easy as a driver was included in my package.

I stayed at the Saigon Signature hotel and would stay there again because they gave me an upgrade, even if the bed was as hard as a rock!

The hotel staff would keep an eye out for my luggage whilst I walked around the city for the afternoon.

Some of the places I visited were:

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Reunification Palace

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Notre Dame Cathedral

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Notre Dame Cathedral and the Old Post Office

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Inside the Central Post Office – note the Ho Chi Minh portrait on the back wall

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Telephone Booths inside the Central Post Office

By this time it was mid afternoon and stinking hot. I had forgotten to put a change of clothes in my carry-on (never do that again) so I was in clothing suitable for a cold plane, not a humid tropical city! I headed back to my hotel to see if my bag had arrived and to have a bit of a siesta. Unfortunately when I got to the hotel, by bag still wasn’t there.

After my sleep and still missing a bag, I decided I should probably at least buy some clothes for the following day, in case my bag didn’t arrive that night. I headed off to the Ben Thanh Markets to see what I could find. Personally I hate haggling in markets (because I’m no good at it), so I shopped around the outsides where everything has a price tag. I probably paid too much, but that would have happened anyway. I also had my dinner at the markets and it was some Vietnamese soup of some kind that I hadn’t seen before. I also dropped into Saigon Centre to get some more emergency clothing and toiletries.

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Old and New Saigon

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A Huey helicopter I found during my travels

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Typical Saigon Street Scene

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Typical Saigon Street Scene

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Typical Saigon Street Scene

I headed back to my hotel and had a shower. Just as I got out of the shower, there was a knock at the door – it was one of the hotel staff with my bag! Yay! I did sleep well that night.

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