It was Monday. We had a good rest and it was time to pack our things to get ready for our travel to Vietnam. Eden took us to this really small place located near his home. He said it was an old school Tea House. How things use to be before HK got so developed. It was like a small cafe like place that served food and drinks.
We had Ramen, spam and eggs. A perfect breakfast on a Monday morning.
Eden was going to join us for part of our trip in Vietnam. His flight was 4 hours before ours. So we pretty much just stayed at his apartment until it was our time to fly out. He had already arranged for a taxi to pick us up and to take us to the airport. I took some pictures of the HK airport. I didn't realize how big the place was.
When I was flying into HK I made sure to bring a sweater with me. I wasn't sure how HK or Vietnam would react to my tattoos. I didn't want to be hassled when I went through immigration and customs. Since it was my first time traveling internationally I was a bit paranoid, but I guess it was for good reason. I flew with United Airlines. So after I got pass immigration/customs I would take my sweater off. We boarded the plane and I was already in my assigned seat. My friend Son was sitting next to me and a nice lady was sitting the aisle seat. I had the window seat. The steward literally leaned over Son and lady and asked if I had my ticket. I was thinking am in the wrong seat and someone is complaining? So I said yes and I had to take it out to show him. After that he left me alone. There was nobody around him. I wonder why he had to ask just me? I assumed I was profiled by an Asian. That's a first. LOL
Anyway. This was our snack during our flight. A Tuna Sandwich, chips, and cookie. I was playing Robotek on my phone. It's an awesome and addicting game. You can get it for Android or Iphone. Keeps my busy for hours.
Our choice of drink for Son and I was the "Doris Mok" That's what Son and I are calling Chivas and Club Soda now. LOL in remembrance of Nelson's Wife Doris :)
It was a short flight from HK to Saigon. About 2 1/2 hours. This is a picture of the baggage claim area. Our friend Alvin was also joining us for the Vietnam portion of the trip. He was flying in from L.A and landed 15 minutes behind us.
Brandon had bought the Lonely Planet book for Vietnam. It recommended that "Beautiful Saigon Hotel" as one of their picks for location in Saigon under moderate hotels. It was a really small place. The staff is friendly, but not my preferred choice of hotels. We were only staying for a night. I booked this room online so that we wouldn't have any trouble on our first day there. I wanted it to be a smooth and easy experience for our first time in Vietnam. I also arranged for the hotel to pick us up from the airport. They charged us $19 for the pickup. You can easily take a taxi to the hotel for around $6 US, but I didn't want to have the chance of us getting the run around since we didn't know the area. Yes that's me being paranoid again. None of us had ever been there so it was all new to us, but we had family friends that were meeting up with us to show us around. In my opinion I would not recommend "Beautiful Saigon Hotel" I think you can get a better hotel with a better location for about the same price or maybe a little bit more. We paid about $30 for a two person occupancy and $45-49 for the three person room. The place was cramped. You'll see the other rooms that we stayed at while on our trip. They were a lot better than this place.
The one thing that trips me out is how the toilet is also the shower. They don' really separate two. It's different from the states. I guess it's a nice thing if you all of a sudden need to poop when you're showering, but totally sucks if you need to poop after someone has showered cause the toilet is going to be all wet.
You can pee in the shower without getting in trouble. Yay!
After we settled my good friend back in the states had arranged for us to meet with his Aunt and family friend. They lived in Saigon and were going to show us around. So they met us at our hotel and took us out to eat. We went to a place that has really good hu tieu nam vang (pictured below) it was really good.
Here's my friend's Aunt and family friend Binh.
We arrived around 10pm so after dinner we just went to a local bar and drank a bit. Almost everything is really cheap in Vietnam when it comes to the US dollar. When we were there the exchange rate was about 20,000 dong for every $1 US dollar. Beers were about $1-$3 dollars. Shots of Goose was about $4-6. We had rented a driver for 4 days and he was picking us up in the morning to take us to Nha Trang. We were done by around 2am. We had a long drive ahead of us.