South to Saigon

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Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City
July 28th 2018
Published: July 29th 2018
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We had an early flight out of Hanoi to Saigon and left the hotel at 6:30. Our flight was operated by Jetstar which great reviews does not have; however, our experience was okay, granted, we had low expectations for the 2-hour journey. We touched down in Saigon with mostly sunny skies. The hotel (Alagon Central Hotel ) stay was organized through Habitat for Humanity. The hotel had a driver waiting for us. The hotel was a 30-minute drive from the airport. We checked-in with the front desk but our room was not ready for us.

We needed to kill about two hours before getting into our room. We ventured out into the Saigon streets which were about as scary as Hanoi’s. We walked through a market housed under a roof. The roof trapped in the oppressive heat which forced us out before perusing much of the merchant’s inventory. We grabbed lunch at Pho 24 which seemed to be the equivalent of a McDonald’s that only serves pho. It was pretty good, but not mind-blowing.

After lunch, our room was ready for us. The hotel and rooms were quite nice. We changed and ventured up to the roof-top pool. We lounged in the sun and dipped in the cool water of the pool for about an hour. We retired to our room and napped before dinner.

At 6:00 we met our Habitat Group in the lobby for a welcome dinner. There are 24 volunteers for this build. We tried in vain to retain everybody’s name. We were escorted to dinner by a local Habitat worker. Escorting the group made the foot-travel to our restaurant was much needed. Traveling as a large group of Americans through the hectic avenues of Saigon would have been a disaster.

We had a lovely full dinner of small Vietnamese plates. The crew’s jet-lag was noticeable. Once dinner was over, everyone headed straight to bed.


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