A Travellerspoint blog

Australia - Home

Day 38

sunny 25 °C

The flight back from Bangkok was pretty uneventful. After an hour of flying we were served dinner again at 1:30am – it was a really good Thai red chicken curry. I then fell asleep although the man in front of me had his chair all the way back –ouch! I woke up with three hours of flying still left. I rested for a while and then a movie finally began with less than 2 hours of flying left. They served us breakfast – asparagus crepes – and not long after we began to land at Melbourne airport.

I was first from my group off the plane and I had to pick up some duty-free shopping. I went through immigration in like 10 seconds but we had to wait fifteen minutes for our luggage to come through. I lined up at customs and was through in no time – the only thing they took was some pencils but all my other wooden items were allowed which was strange. I then exited those silver doors and saw Mum who was already crying. Some man from the paper took our picture and we made the nightly news as this was the first flight back with Tsunami survivors even though we weren’t there at the time. We got in the car for the hour drive home and at last I was home

Posted by jess_capri 14:00 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Vietnam/Thailand - Last Day

Day 37

sunny 30 °C

Woke up this morning at 6am after finally falling asleep at 4am. I was to excited/nervous about going home to actually fall asleep. Got up and finished packing. Checked our flight times while the others got ready.

We caught a taxi in Ho Chi Minh City to Ben Thanh Market to do some last minute shopping even though my bag is heavy enough as it is. We shopped there for a while then headed of to MaxiMark where we had lunch. We went to the department store where we go some more money out (again!) and looked around for a while.

We walked back towards the market and stopped on the way to get some ‘Miss Saigon’ perfume and soft drink can cyclos. We got back to the market and shopped for a bit longer but it was too hot in the market so we had to leave. We went to Pho 2000, a café across the road and had a cool drink and a rest.

We caught a taxi back to the house but the driver got lost on the way back making it cost even more. We went inside our room for the last time and packed up our last minute purchases. Brenda got back from visiting her grandparents at 6pm. We said goodbye to her family and hopped into a taxi to the airport. After a ½ hour ride we finally got there.

First we had to check in our baggage and then we had to go through customs. We then had to line up to pay our departure tax before lining up again to go through immigration. We finally made it through and had an hour to fill in before finally getting on the plane – there wasn’t much to do at the airport so we sat there til we were allowed to board the plane. We boarded at 8:45pm and the plane left at 9:00pm. We were served dinner straightaway – chicken and potatoes – best airplane food so far. The flight was only and hour and a half so in no time we were back on a bus taking us to Bangkok Airport terminal. We were told to go to gate 12 – the completely opposite side of the terminal only to find that it was going to London, not Melbourne. Thus began the hike back across the airport to find our real gate. I had to ask about six different people before being sent to the right gate. We walked all the way back to gate 25 and by this time it was 11:05. Our plane began boarding at 11:35 and it was just after midnight that we took off for Melbourne - Home

Posted by jess_capri 23:30 Archived in Vietnam Comments (0)

Vietnam - Hanoi /Ho Chi Minh - Last Night

Day 36

sunny 30 °C

Woke up this morning at 6am - it was so noisy outside. Got dressed and went downstairs for breakfast and went to an internet cafe to confirm this afternoons flight. I went back to the hotel to meet the others and we went out shopping for one last time but couldn't find what we wanted.

We went back to the hotel and checked out. We asked the receptionist to get us a taxi - she said it would cost US$10 so we said we would find our own. She told all the locals not to take us in vietnamese. We then asked her to get us a taxi but she said there was none left for us. I went back outside and finally maganged to hail a taxi.

It was a 45 minute drive to the airport. we spent 15 minutes in line to get out boarding passes and to check in our luggage. We were then sent to another line before realising, ten minutes later, that we were at the wrong spot. After a race across the terminal and a quickline through security we finally got to our gate and boarded our plane.

The flight was just under 2 hours and we got lunch which was a bonus. There was no inflight entertainment so we had to amuse ourselves. We got back to Ho Chi Minh Airport at 1:50pm. We collected our luggage and went back to brenda's aunties house. We then headed off for a late lunch at 'Frankenstein's' - sooo good! We walked around for a while before catching a taxi back home stopping breifly at an internet cafe to confirm tommorrow's flights. We got back and packed our bags - mine was so heavy! We didn't have dinner and instead stayed back and went to bed

Posted by jess_capri 22:00 Archived in Vietnam Comments (0)

Vietnam - Hanoi - Boxing Day

Day 35

overcast 22 °C

Woke up this morning to the sound of our wake up call - it was 6:45 am. Got up and had a shower before getting ready for our day trip to Halong Bay. Went downstairs and had breakfast and ordered a roll for lunch as i knew i probably would like lunch today. At 7:30 we headed downstairs where we waited til 8:00am for our bus. When it did not turn up we walked to our travel agent who told us to wait and then put us on another companies bus at 8:20am.

We drove for an hour and half to our first stop. It was a toilet stop but also a chance to shop from a workshop for handicapped children. No one bought anything as it was ten times the price as back in Hanoi. It was then back on the bus for nearly 2 hours until we reached Halong City.

We left the first bus and were made to join another tour company - still not the one we booked with. We had to wait til 1pm to finally get on our boat. It was nice but nothing to fancy. We sailed for an hour before finally stopping for lunch. Even though we pre-ordered veggie meals the only veggie option was one plate of plane tofu and some steamed rice. I was left hungry and a bit sick. We sailed around the bay for another 1/2 hour before stopping at the Grotto at 3pm. We walked through the caves for an hour- by this time the sea sickness was catching up with me. I went back to the boat and was sick in the toilet the whole way back to the bus.

We got on the bus at 5pm. We drove for 2 and a half hours with me sick in the front before finally arriving back in Hanoi. We were dropped off at our hotel and i went straight up to bed. I turned on the news and heard about the Tsunami - it shocked me to the core - it hit the exact places we had been staying a few weeks earlier. We had originally planned to do Vietnam first then Thailand which would have meant we would have been there but thank god or fate or whatever but thankfully we weren't there although we did still know people there so that was a big worry.

After processing that information i finally headed off to sleep still feeling sick and in shock from todays events.

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Posted by jess_capri 23:00 Archived in Vietnam Comments (0)

Vietnam - Hanoi - Christmas

Day 34

overcast 22 °C

Today is Christmas! Woke up this morning and relaxed for a while. Then we had our own christmas. We exchanged gifts and had bon-bons and party hats. We then got ready to go out for our Christmas lunch - really cold outside today so we had to put on long sleeves for the first time in ages.

We headed off to our Christmas Lunch at the Pub. When we turned up we were the only ones there. Eventually more people came and lunch was served. It was a plate of turkey with gravy and cranberry sauce, roast pumpkin, potatoe, carrots, peas and fruitcake. It was really nice to be able to have a traditional christmas lunch even when we were so far away from home.

We got our christmas gifts from the restaurant - incence burners. From there we went shopping for a while. However after a while lunch started to come back up on me so i went back to the hotel. After a while we went over to Tommy's ice-cream, i sat there while the others ate really good looking ice-cream. We then went to the post office so we could call our families for christmas.

From there we went out to dinner, back to the Lay Bac cafe - i ordered vegetarian spring rolls and noodles but there were terrible. We then went back to the hotel were we watched Christmas movies then headed off to bed

Posted by jess_capri 22:00 Archived in Vietnam Comments (0)

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