Jan 5th – Day Two
Still travelling...still cramped up...still wondering why they try and make aeroplane food fancy and don’t just give everyone a couple of slices of pizza.
Eventually we land in Hong Kong and switch to our plane to Ho Chi Minh City (aka Saigon) – Vietnam. Catching our first glimpse of the streets as we come in to land gives me a buzz that totally wipes out the last 18 hours of boredom and discomfort. It’s late and as we get lower we can see the streets crawling with people, glowing red from the restaurant light shades and the thousands of scooters chaotically buzzing along the roads. All the excitement has to have a damn good wait though as when we land we have our first taste of chaos as we try to get our visas in the airport. No signs, no system, no information, just a scrum of people at a desk shoving to get to the front of the queue that when they reach they discover they have no clue what to do. We lay down on the floor of the airport and wait it out at which point one of the security guards excitedly gives Si a packet that says “cleansing wipe”. Once opened it contains a load of dirty fluff, nothing else. However being the polite man he is Si thanks him and eventually we head out the airport to meet Ly, our contact who has waited patiently for us outside.
Ly drives us to our hotel through streets that we can only describe as like Bladerunner but crazier and we marvel at the scooter driving abilities of the Vietnamese. 4 people on a scooter? No problem. A tree on a scooter AND a baby? Nothing could be more common place.
The hotel is like a paradise and after a brief walk round the town we crash out for the night. As usual i am partnered off with Si for the night...