Before I start divulging the many and different tales from our recent trip to Vietnam, I thought it might help to post the itinerary we followed.
Day 1 Evening flight from London Heathrow to Bangkok.
Day 2 Arrive Bangkok. Transfer to Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
Day 3 Explore Bangkok with Driver Daeng.
Day 4 Fly from Bangkok to Hanoi. Stay at Sofitel Metropole Hotel.
Day 5 Day trip to Ha Long Bay.
Day 6 Hanoi.
Day 7 Fly from Hanoi to Hoi An. Stay at Ha An Hotel.
Day 8 Hoi An.
Day 9 Fly from Hoi An to Nha Trang. Stay at Evason Mandara Six Senses Resort.
Day 10 Chill out in Nha Trang.
Day 11 Day trip to Dalat.
Day 12 National Holiday in Vietnam. More chilling out.
Day 13 Fly from Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh City. Stay at the Majestic Hotel.
Day 14 Day trip to the Cu Chi Tunnels and the Mekong River.
Day 15 Last day in HCMC. Fly back to Bangkok. Stay at the Peninsula Hotel.
Day 16 Leave Bangkok. Time to fly back to England.
That’s quite a few flights; seven in sixteen days, to be precise. We did the Heathrow-Bangkok legs with EVA Air, Taiwan’s national airline. Their colour scheme is really quite green, as in seventies lime, they have Eva- branded Hello Kitty merchandise in the in-flight shopping magazine and everything, yes everything is too much trouble for the flight attendants. Still, their direct flights to Bangkok were the most competitive for us at the time and the film selection was so good that I managed to squeeze in 5 on the way back. That’s a lot of film watching I’ve managed to catch up on in one 12 hour flight.
Air Asia took us from Thailand to Vietnam and back. Monsieur and I like the flights we’ve taken with this low cost airline; they’re cheap, efficient and the fleet is shiny new. What we hate about Air Asia is being stung on the excess baggage. We paid $125.00 US excess baggage on our way out of Vietnam. Suddenly those tickets don’t look so cheap, but it’s the way they make their money, I guess.
Vietnam Airlines was our choice for internal travelling in Vietnam. We weren’t delayed once, although the flight from Nha Trang to HCMC terrified me. One of the engines made a straining whine for the duration of the flight, the plane dropped suddenly on a number of occasions and the turbulence was relentless all the way. I admit being white-knuckled with fast-filling eyes threatening to spill over and I prayed most of the way. When we arrived miraculously in one piece we went to church to light candles in thanks. I’ve seldom been so scared or so grateful to step off a plane alive.
When we met up with Adam of Vietnam Travel Notes he told us we’d been very lucky with our on-time departures with Vietnam Airlines. Apparently, their reputation for being delayed is so severe that they’re the butt of many airline jokes. Well, we were impressed and we always seemed to land BEFORE the scheduled arrival time. I don’t know how they do it. The runways could do with some work at some point. Lots of bumps and potholes.
If you want to know anything about our trip or experiences of Vietnam, leave a comment and I’ll get an answer posted for you as quickly as possible.