[NOTE: When we traveled to Vietnam in 2009, I used Posterous for a lot of the photo hosting for this blog, because it as an easy way email photos from my phone.
With the subsequent death of Posterous, now most of my Vietnam travel posts
have broken image links... I have the photos still, but it will take
some time to recreate the visual narratives... Apologies for broken
24 or so hours after leaving, and we've made it to Vietnam without any delays or much drama, if you don't count the tense 45 minutes of our Dallas to Tokyo leg when the in-flight entertainment system fritzed out, and we thought we'd have to spend the 13.5 hour flight staring at the backs of airplane seats.
I'll admit to mocking these rocking chairs when they first went in at the San Antonio airport, but this breezeway turned out to be a quiet and relaxing place to wait for our flight to board.
The sum total of our bags. Crammed full (well, mine is--Daniel showed more restraint in his packing), but we managed to avoid checking any luggage. We'll no doubt have to check one on the way home.
Something fun -- we didn't realize in advance, but the flight plan from Dallas to Tokyo actually took us quite far north -- an arc that went up through Canada and skirted the southern coast of Alaska, before curving back down to Asia. We had some stunning, clear views in Montana/Idaho, but most of Canada was cloudy, and Alaska looked like it was going to be completely socked in. But it cleared after we passed Anchorage, and we were treated to some snowy mountain views. I'm not normally a shoot a pic out the plane window type, but our first ever view of Alaska seemed worth the effort. This phone shot sucks, but here's Alaska from 35,000 feet, through contrails and an iced up window. See the glacier? No? Right there. See it now?
Narita airport in Tokyo was kind of a blur. The layover was short, and we had just enough time to jump through their security hoops and make it to our flight to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (another 6.5 hours from Tokyo). The airpot itself is a bit of a sensory overload, packed with high end shops (Gucci, Prada, Coach, Fendi...), reeking of perfume samples. But I did take a second to shoot a photo of this informative display of counterfeit merchandise, which warns that it's illegal to import knock-offs to Japan. I've seen fake handbags before, but never fake Levi's.
No pictures of Vietnam for now, as it was midnight our time by the time we got to the hotel.
We did venture out for an hour or so and found some pho and a couple of beers at an open air street corner cafe. Now, time to crash in what's going to feel like the most comfortable bed in the world, at our budget hotel in HCMC, Vietnam.