Well, after a day and a half of traveling our group has finally arrived in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam! We all arrived at O’Hare nervous and ready to board our 12:20 flight to Hong Kong. After sitting on the plane for two hours, however, we were informed that not only was a tire broken, the wing of the plane had a crack in it. Needless to say the plane was not able to take off. We all filed off of the plane and had to wait for a 7:30 plane that would take us to our destination. This would have been fine, if it wasn’t for the fact that we were supposed to have a connecting plant in Hong Kong, where only one flight a day went to Vietnam. Although many seemed a little upset at the idea of spending a night in Hong Kong, I (and a few others) was pretty excited about it! During our 5-hours of down time at O’Hare we read some of our required readings, ate lunch, and talked about what we would do if stranded in Hong Kong for the night. Unfortunately, our plans were a waste of time because United ended up holding plane for us that took us to Vietnam an hour after arriving in China. After a 15.5 hour flight from Chicago to Hong Kong, and a 2 hour flight from Hong Kong to Vietnam, we finally arrived at HCMC at 4AM Vietnam (3PM in the US).
Our first day here will be a relaxing one. We got to our hotel and the first thing I noticed was a giant banner on the front of the hotel that welcomes the Augustana students to Vietnam! We ate breakfast on the 6th floor hotel restaurant. This restaurant has a ton of windows that gave a great view of the city. The juice and food was also amazing!
After our breakfast we walked around the city–attempting to take in as much as possible. There is an interesting assortment of stores and cafes. While you will have Gucci on one side of the street, there will be a little mom and pop convenience store right next to it. I resisted temptation and have not bought anything other than water, but I am sure that after a few more days of window-shopping I will not be as strong–there are so many cute and unique things to buy!
In a few hours our group will be grabbing lunch, going on a bus tour, and then walking around the city some more followed by dinner at Pizza Hut (Yes–we’re eating at Pizza Hut! I’m interested to compare it to the chain we see in the US).
I am already in love with this city and cannot wait to post some pictures that I will be taking. Stay tuned!