Day One

I decided that it was time for a holiday and have a trip booked to DaNang! (The one I paid large amouns of money for… ooops.) It had better be worth it!


I’d been warned that the airport would be heaving with holiday-making Vietnamese people, and sure enough, the usual quiet airport was absolutely rammed with people making the most of the limited national holidays in Vietnam.


The traffic lights were out, and you know what it’s like in England where you have to just crawl forward over the junction and hope for the best?! This was like a game of chicken as everyone just dived across, it was a bit scary!! I mean, even more scary than usual, which is saying something.


The traffic out of town was awful, for about ten minutes we just didn’t move, however I still made it to the airport in half an hour, the joys of riding motorbikes not driving cars!


While sat waiting for my flight I realised I hadn’t checked in (when I fly budget with Ryanair at home I do it online…) so after much confusion about where I was supposed to go, including leaving the queue to head for the “no baggage” desk, only to be told that this was not right, and politely smiling and nudging my way up the queue, because I got sick of everyone pushing in, I made it to the desk. (The Vietnamese do not do queuing, it’s infuriating).


My bag was 2kg over, so I had to leave the desk, pay 250,000 vnd to check it in, and then come back with my ticket, but I did not re-queue, I decided to push my way to the front like a true Vietnamese!


So, I ended up walking round the airport holding my two purses, phone, ipod, passport and flight ticket in my hand because I had to check my bag in- as it was over weight. I also missed the exit for security and ended up on the wrong side of the airport, very stressed, thinking that I was not sure if I really wanted to travel South East Asia on my own, as I intended!


The flight was delayed by 30 minutes (which is typical of Vietnam) but instead of announcing this they just changed the time on the board, so the time didn’t match my flight number, which was very worrying!


We were then called over to the gate and two minutes later made to sit down, then called over to the gate about five more times, as the flight was now delayed by an hour and a half. Again, this is totally normal for Vietnam.


I went to the toilet and there were no further announcements, but my gut made me check one more time whether my flight had boarded, and apparently it had, so it’s a good job I asked!


I found a collection of about 5 people waiting for the shuttle bus to the plane and had no idea where the rest of the passengers were, but I befriended a guy and we began complaining about how badly organised it was, and I asked where about in Vietnam he was from… he told me he was Japanese…Awkward!


I was told I could get to the hotel for 50 vnd but when I arrived at 10pm funnily enough there were no xe oms in sight, so I had to pay 250,000 vnd for a taxi. Great, I hadn’t even got to my hotel and I’d spent nearly 1 millon dong!!!


The hotel however was amazing, to the point where I did a little dance to celebrate. There was a bed that could fit me in 5 times over, a huge en-suite and I got a free massage and breakfast. I went to reception and ordered some food, and then went back down to ask for toothpaste which I’d forgotten. The man kindly pointed out to me that I could ring from my room and that there was toothpaste in my room… I do not understand how posh hotels work! I was bought up by my family living in youth hostels and camp sites…