Friday, September 14, 2012

Vietnam Tour: Day 1 (21st Aug) Singapore flight to HCMC flight to Hue into Town

I got to the budget terminal, Dad left and I felt quite alone. Excited but alone, wondering if anything might stop me, maybe the air ticket I bought was for the wrong day or something... Okay... Just take it as it comes!

Interestingly, odd-sized baggage is checked in via a different way, at the end of the counters via a conveyer belt...

The flight there was roughly 2 hours, and once there, I had 1hour 40mins to make my way to the next flight... A domestic flight to Hue, roughly the midpoint of North and South Vietnam. Well the reason for not going all the way to Hanoi was that my parents were a little worried about the recent unrests in Hanoi on the government acquiring land from farmers for use... (And when I came back, my parents forgotten about the unrests... Should have just went to Hanoi !!!)

Anyway, touchdown and a few uneasy questions for the Vietnam Airlines staff... They told me I had to go through immigration, collect my luggage and proceed to turn right once cleared... Hmm... Shouldn't be too difficult..

So once cleared immigration with the huge box, I walked out. Instantly attracting stares at the giant box... I turned right and saw signs to a Domestic Terminal... Oh man, a separate building eh? Okay, keep calm and carry on.

Once there I move to a Vietnam Airlines counter, told to move to another queue for odd-sized baggage and once it was my turn. I was told I had to get a new ticket! Oh my god... Turned out, I had to bring the credit card I used to pay for the ticket as evidence the card was mine... Gosh. Some 20 mins later, I get my new ticket (paid with cash, oh man, less cash to use.) I am back at the same counter with a new ticket and told to hurry and get to the gate... (Last call!) I panic a little and rush to the gate, only to be early...

On the plane, I was near the windows and just kept seeing rice fields upon rice fields... Wow...

Down to Hue, right after the collecting my bike, it was out the door, no more immigration (Domestic flight noob). Lots of people asking me to take their taxi while I just proceeded to a corner of the airport and started assembling my bike.

I took me about an hour, sweating and puffing, and attracting some attention as the only Vietnamese I know is "Chao" (Hello). While they throw questions to me, and the only way I respond is Hello!

My 15L bag strapped on to the seatpost rack and my backpack down, I get on the bike. Nervous as to whether all is working well... 50 metres down.... Seem alright.. Some whizzing going on though... Where is it coming from?

Whiizzzzzzz. Oh crap, the front hydraulic brake cable is rubbing against the tires. I quickly grab the cable away from the tires and stop in the shade to rectify the cabling... And off to Hue!

It was hottt! After what seemed like an hour, I had no water on me so I passed stall after stall of sugarcane vendors looking for one that had people seating, so I could point at whatever they were having!

It was soooo goood (5k/30 cents)! I got into town (Only about 15km from the airport), found a place to stay (Hue Backpackers Hostel, please stay someone else...), uploaded my stuff... Was told my bike would be safe at their carpark opposite the Hostel and went off for lunch and to visit the Forbidden City!

 iced coffee (heard fantastic things about this, but like nothing special...)

 banana pancake with honey (die die must try!)
 fried noodles (total about $6, which i later found out is expensive!)

really big flag pole!

 souvenir! looks like a real chain too!

After a rather long walk inside, I tried to look for a place to have dinner... According to the maps... It was not there... After struggling with the "Vietnam app", I looked at the address and found the road! The pin was in the wrong place! Oh well, "Hot Tuna" was the name of the restaurant. It was near my hostel! Cool!

 Hot Tuna (I was really hot after the long walk!, so settled for coke and beer! Great!)
Butter chicken! (Very good sauce, $8 dinner)

What could I ask for? It was an easy riding day, long walking day, not too sure about local food yet. I bought a bottle of big water, a small packet of what I thought to be orange yogurt juice thingy which turned out to taste like yakult (pleasant surprise!) and returned to have an early night...

End of day 1! Too many pictures? Let me know...

Distance today: 26km
Distance for Vietnam: 26km 


  1. you went alone to central Vietnam with just 2 bags and a bike? that is just so cool. did you book the hostel in advance?

    1. Well, indeed... Sounds really bare when you put it like that.
      It was really an epic experience.
      I didn't, I just went around looking for hotels/hostels. Whenever I could I would search for reviews on cheap places to stay the day before though.

    2. i wish i could have the luxury of time off to go on tour too. first, i need a folding touring bike. next, is time off :)
      good stuffs here. hope to hear more about your tours.