Until we meet again, Vietnam!

On my last day in HCM, I chose to sleep overnight at the airport instead of staying in the hostel for a night and then cabbing to the airport. This was because I had a morning flight at 7am. The alternative would be to wake up at 3.30am, cab to airport at 4am and to reach at 5am for check-in. Me being me, I chose to sleep over because, well, if you remember, I am quite intrigued by airport-overnightings. http://www.sleepinginairports.net/ – The Guide to Sleeping in Airports – a website I first snorted aloud when I chanced upon the existence of it (people actually review sleeping in airports??) has become an eager site I scroll through when I have an early flight.
In any case, I feel some sort of regret not reviewing the other airports I’ve slept in (!! i can hardly remember the experiences) so I’ll note this one down.

Tan Son Nhat International Airport

I can only comment on 1. Wifi 2. Plugs 3. Temperature 4. Seats
Here, I slept at domestic airport terminal. I couldn’t enter the departure hall – it would only be open at 4am, the security guard said, so I had to choose a seat at the outer areas. There was an automatic door about 500m away, occasional traffic honkings can be heard, so the earplugs came in handy.

1. Wifi! – works! Connect to the airport wifi, just have to click some agreement button and it worked. Not sure if there’s a time limit but it was pretty fast and was working well during the time I had my laptop.

2. Plugs – Some 300m away I spotted a plug. When my laptop was dying I excitedly sat myself on the floor and plugged in, turned on the switch but it didnt work. Sadly watched my laptop switch off at 0% – in good time anyway, it was midnight by then and I should sleep. So plugs – NOPE, DIDNT WORK. On a brighter note, people-watch and sleep, you.

3. Temperature – not freezing, no particular blasts of cold air. Normal, night-time temperature. Neither exceedingly cold nor warm. GREAT.

4. Seats – No ‘sofa seats’ – i took the red ones at the back, if you can see. I stretched my legs on the whole row, feet dangling out a little bit (but I took off my shoes and curled in), hugging my valuables (day pack) close to me, covered with my outerwear, while sleeping on my backpack. Is it comfy? Well, depends on your personal expectations and definition of comfy. As an experienced sofa sleeper that prefers the sofa to my bed, I found it pretty decent and caught some reasonable sleep, only waking up 10 minutes to 5am. No pokey bits, just a row of chairs that were ‘flat’ enough to lie upon. Decent.

Oh, around that time I woke up because I could hear some buzz around me. There were many Viets sitting around me at 4+++ near 5am (there’s a clock on the right, big red numbers that allows you to know the time) and they were chatting. That woke me up. Just as well. Earplugs or opt for a quieter seat elsewhere.

Additional note: WOKE UP WITH MOSQUITO BITES. Ugh, they would try biting every bit of exposed skin – even up to my feet. Covered my feet with some clothes in my bag and covered other parts of my skin. Also wore my insect repellant band. Because this annoyed me the most, I would advice others to avoid this seat. Mosquitoes were present probably because it was accessible from the open-air exit.

I realise the next morning that I was in the domestic terminal, and that I have to go to the international one. I guess my future self (ever? when im older and richer, probably not) would opt for an area away from an open-air exit, and be less lazy in my search.

Still, it was an experience. Another airport to my collection (?) !

Bye bye Vietnam, this must have been one of my favourite trips. A mixture of gorgeous sceneries, nature, culture, good deep long conversations, heightened awareness of thought-provoking global issues, favourite exhilarating moment(s), KNOWLEDGE AND HISTORY, couchsurfing, local ways of life, introspective time and GOOD COMPANY. Sigh, the ideal mix indeed. If I could choose, I’d love to have all my trips like this.

Then again, such chanced encounters and complementary events are what makes this one special and memorable. Thank you!


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