Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Vietnam 2014 – Day 1 – Off I go!

Annie and I woke up super early, and after taking Phoebe for a walk Annie delivered me at the bust station in Modesto at 5:55 am. At 6 am the bus to the Pleasanton metro station (BART) took off. We got to BART by 7:30, and by 10 am I was in San Francisco airport, ready for my noon flight. It was a perfect symphony of public transportation!

The flight was uneventful but long. Eleven hours to Seoul, where I had a 2 hour lay over in Incheon International airport, and then another 5 hours to Hanoi International airport, where I landed at 10 pm. Immigration was painless, and since I only had a small backpack I didn’t need to wait for baggage. Fortunately the Youth Hostel had the good grace to arrange for transportation, so as soon as I walked out I saw a young man with my name on a sign. There are ATM’s at the airport, but they only give large denomination bills. Currency is US$ 1 = V$ 20,000. The Vietnamese currency is called the “dong”, but I will call it V$ for ease. The ride from the airport was US$20, or V$400,000. It is going to take a while to get used to the staggering large numbers!

My room is super comfortable (with AC, TV, and a small refrigerator) and I thankfully drifted to sleep at round midnight.

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