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Published: April 16th 2018
I survive the night. Contrary to my fears, the spider the size of a crab has not smothered me in my sleep.
Today is a long day for a number of reasons. First, we are up at 5 am so will experience more day than is ideal. Second, tho old man has set his alarm in the wrong time zone so we’re up even earlier than planned. Third, we are travelling backwards through time zones so today will be 27 hours long. And finally, we are flying to Vietnam via Singapore so we have 2 flights to endure.
Returning the hire car is complicated. It got booked out under the wrong registration so they think it was returned elsewhere a week ago. Somehow this has cost us £60 and Thrifty have no IT support at weekends so the issue can not be rectified.
Check in is complicated. We don’t have visas for Vietnam because we don’t need them but the computer won’t check us in without a visa. Fortunately this can be rectified.
Once we have taken off, through enough turbulence that the child next to us throws up, food is served. I have ticked the nut
allergy box on the booking form, so I get a ‘special’ meal. The good news is that it comes an hour before the ‘normal’ meals. The bad news is it’s not actually worth eating. For desert the old man gets a cornetto – I get 4 chunks of unripe pineapple. And I can’t for the life of me understand why he gets bread and cheese and I just get bread. I am not impressed.
We make it to Singapore and have 2 hours to wait. This gives me time to visit the orchid garden, the sunflower garden and the enchanted garden. It’s very pretty but certainly not the place to transit if you suffer from hay fever.
We reach Ho Chi Minh. Our hotel has sent a Land Cruiser to collect us. The traffic is mental; mostly motor bikes driven by suicidal maniacs. Our driver is taking no prisoners. The fact that we reach the hotel without killing anyone is genuinely a surprise.
Our hotel is a tall, narrow building. 11 storeys high, with 2 rooms on each floor. It’s quite luxurious and has two things we haven’t seen in 8 weeks; a bath and a set
of scales. Luckily the scales don’t work (well – they say ‘lo’ when I step on them and I’m guessing that’s not a reflection of my weight!)
We meet up with daughter no 1 and her friend and hit Bui Vien; a crazily busy pedestrian street lined with bars and restaurants. After plenty of catching up, beer and spring rolls, we finally make it to bed 21 hours after we got up.
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