I am sitting in my luxurious hotel bed furiously documenting my trip thus far....lest I forget. After being let through check in at HK airport we high tailed it to the hallowed Koru lounge only to be rebuffed rudely and informed that we needed a forward Air NZ ticket to be allowed entry. Our hopes and dreams quashed with our Vietnam airlines ticket we walked back the seven hundred miles to Gate 5 to prepare for departure to Vietnam. With an hour now to find food we trailed the expansive post boarding pass area and purchased 2xnoodles and a cheeky Chilean Sav Blanc for 2. Sated, we met our Gate 5 departure on time and boarded our Vietnam airlines 2 ½ hour flight.
On the shuttle bus to the aircraft we literally rubbed shoulders with our pilot for the flight. Veronica Foy resplendent in her epaulettes was a dead giveaway. Karen engaged her and we ended up getting her card and her offer of assistance in Saigon (where she had lived for 8 years).
The international flight was surprisingly outstanding. Air NZ could learn a thing or two about space. We had lots of it and excellent food. The pre-flight noodles we enjoyed were superfluous. Not one to waste a good feed, we gorged happily. The staff was efficient but wasted no effort on being amiable.
Upon arrival we were met by the heat and Ken our local tour guide who brought us safely (no mean featin the horrific traffic) to our majestic (no actual) Majestic Hotel where we were immediately reminded of our entry to Paris with the Ritz-like flavour of its presence. French inspired history permeated through this 1925 built hotel with first class service, the icing on the cake. After dropping our bags and refreshing in the extremely well appointed room we rushed the sea breeze bar for a cocktail and snacks overlooking the Saigon River and commenced high fiving ourselves for making it unscathed to the Asian paradise that we be held.
PS. Before rushing the bar we performed a quick ‘reccy’trip to acclimatise ourselves with the locale and two pairs of cheap sunglasses were bought in the process. Spent financially and physically we retired to our room to get some winks after over 30 hours on the trot. We set the alarm on our phones and hoped to wake for the 8am start of the next day’s tour.