We arrived in Saigon
Travel Diary in Southeast Asia
On Monday 27 March, a flight from Singapore brought us to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam. Saigon is the largest city in Vietnam, with a population approaching 9 million in 2019. It is the centre of the Vietnamese economy and still retains buildings from the French colonial period, when it was known as the 'Paris of the East' and the 'Pearl of the East’.
We arrived on a Monday afternoon and had to wait for about an hour at the immigration desk at the airport because it was so crowded. After departure procedures, we exchanged a small amount of money and took bus 109 to the city.
We had planned to go to Con Son Island in Vietnam, but we changed our plan after discussing on the plane that it would be better to cross the border into Cambodia first.
There are tourist buses from Saigon to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, which are convenient but not cheap. We are in a hurry to go to Cambodia because we want to avoid the Khmer New Year on 14 April. It seems unwise to stay around Siem Reap, at least at that time of year.
There was also a plan to go to Europe in May/June, but I think we should forget about this. I have the impression that we can go to Europe as much as we want after retirement, so we don’t need to bother going now.
Chris wants to cross the border into China, move westwards and go to Central Asia. China officially started issuing tourist visas for foreigners on 15 March. However, applying for a Chinese visa in a place where you don’t live is complicated. It seems that you have to make an appointment for an interviewe or something... So, what to do now?