No matter how much room we had on the plane, it had been hard to sleep at all. Arrived in Bangkok in early morning smog and to long slow security queues for transfer flight to Ho Chi Minh City (old Saigon) – people grumpy from tiredness and some tense from missing the tight connection on previous trips
By HCMC, tropical heat hit us & rooms not yet ready – had to do impromptu shedding of UK layers + leave cluster of cases & bags in 5 star hotel lobby … To keep us awake a short orientation walk, but it proved hard to focus.
Glorious interlude when could absorb quiet swimming pool atmosphere surrounded by old balconies festooned with greenery.
Final test for this long day came – having evening meal cooked and eaten around different stalls on street markets by jam-packed roads – the real deal for many Vietnamese, & what a contrast with the hotel!
After dinner, we were taken on an unusual non-tourist route: down the second-hand street!