Strolling through HCMC and moving on to Hoi An

On our second, and last, day in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), we were on our own for further exploring. We decided to just stroll around the city and take in as much of it as we could before we would have to catch our flight to Hoi An in the evening. First we just randomly walked through the area where our hotel was located, watching people live their everyday lives. Or sleep on their motorbikes. And watched the crazy traffic. There's just so much to take in.

We came by some builds we had noticed but not really visited the days before. Then we started making our way to the Cathedral again to see if it was open for visitors this time - it wasn’t. But interestingly we were the only tourists there at that time there and we got to take pictures without a single tourist on it - well besides ourselves of course.

Then we continued strolling around. We checked if the street food market at Rubik's would be there again but it wasn’t - that only seems to be in the weekends. So instead we had a coffee (or ca phe, as it is in vietnamese) at a local coffee shop and then continued to walk back to our hotel to pick up our things and get to the airport.

The ultimate Jetstar experience - or rebooking galore.

The flight and the times that it was supposed to leave - that will add a whole chapter to this post. We had initially booked a flight with “Jetstar” Airways at 19:10, but a week before our holiday we had received an email that our flight was rescheduled, and we were now booked on a flight at 17:30. Now when we got back to our hotel and wanted to get our things we received yet another email about our flight being rescheduled - to 19:10 which had been our original departure time.

So we waited for another hour and took the time to get a SIM card for his phone. More on the comparison between the SIMCards we bought here might follow in a later post.After that we finally made our way to the airport - this time taking the local bus for 10000 VND p.P. - it’s normally 5000 VND but we were overcharged (the ‘official’ reason is the luggage taking up space, but we managed to sit on just two seats complete with all our bags).

When arrived at the airport at around 18:00 we went to the check-in to get our boarding passes, the nice young woman told us that we were early enough to catch an earlier flight and she rebooked us on the flight at 17:30, that was now delayed and expected to leave around 18:30.

So after four reschedulings and rebookings we finally had our boarding passes and hurried through security only to find Terminal 1 for domestic flights in total chaos. Ordered chaos, it seems now looking back, but crazy. When we got there, pretty much all flights on the screens were supposed to board from gate 1 and 2, even though there were definitely more than that. At 10 minute intervals. And they didn’t come up in the order set on the schedule board. So we just waited up and got a bit nervous, thinking that we might just have missed the earlier-but-delayed flight, but finally our destination Da Nang came up on the infoscreen and about half an hour later we were in the air, looking down on the brightly illuminated Ho Chi Minh City (Sai Gon).

Less that two our laters we landed in Da Nang, where we were picked up by a private car that would bring us to our next Hotel 'Lama Homestay’ in Hoi An. Our homestay, located out of the city in the rural area, was in the middle of rice fields and a beautiful garden with banana trees and all sorts of other plants. The room was very spacious, nicely decorated and clean, and it had huge windows and a portio so you could enjoy the nature around you.

After check in we took a short walk through the dark around the village. A far away thunderstorm lit up the sky every few minutes and made everything look very dramatic.

What a way to end the day, in a place that seemed to be the complete opposite from what we had seen in HCMC.