Travel Day - to HCMC (Sài Gòn)
We flew from Kuching to Hồ Chí Minh City via K.L.
It wasn't a real early flight, we left the hotel around 8 am, but with a 5 hour layover it made for a long day of travel.
Enjoying the Malaysian Airlines Lounge in K.L.
Upon arrival we needed to get our visas to enter Vietnam. We went through an agency where they filled the paperwork which was needed to present to officials for them to finalize the visa. It’s fairly quick and you see many tourists doing the same thing. It works great it you don’t have the time to wait for a visa in your home country. We had printed off the paperwork back at the E&O hotel when we were staying in K.L. the week prior. The PDF copies have a red stamp on them - the official stamp - so you will want to print the copies off in color so that it shows as being official. This is a problem we learned many years ago when trying to get a Chinese visa in Hong Kong. You will also need to have nice crisp USD or Vietnamese Dong to pay for the visas. There is an ATM inside the airport before immigration so that you can pull out money if you need to.
Afterwards through immigration, customs, and then we headed to our hotel, Alcove Library which was a bit out from the major tourists area.
In reading other blogs everyone advises to ensure you either get in a white or green taxi as they run by meters and won’t scam you. While waiting in the taxi line we were approached by taxis in every other color who wanted to take us and stated they wanted about USD 15, given that the hotel stated it shouldn’t be more than USD 5 we knew they saw tourists in which to charge more. Once we told them it shouldn’t cost more than USD 5 they walked away.
We saw a green taxi, who had his meter on, and he charged the appropriate amount.
Foyer at the Alcove Library Hotel
After checking in, it was about 8:30 at night, we decided to check the area out, and went the wrong way as there wasn’t much around. Went back to the hotel, and as they had a nice roof terrace we had a glass of wine before retiring.