Our flight wasn’t leaving until after midnight, so we had a full day and night to spend in Saigon before the long flights home. We decided the last day would be spent with a little sight seeing, some pampering, shopping, and finishing up with another motorbike tour.
We had to see if our custom stuff was done first, so we went to the tailor’s place to see if our stuff was ready. Unfortunately Sal’s wasn’t there yet so he’d have to go back later. Mine was there, so I went to try it on. I got into the little room and could barely fit the dress over my hips. I was like, “what the…how much did I actually eat at that beer tasting?!?” Then I noticed the sleeves were missing, too. Finally I figured out he had accidentally given me the sample size and not my fitted dress. We all got a good chuckle out of that one. The actual dress fit great and I loved it. Sal’s still wasn’t ready and he’d have to go back later and get his. I was slightly worried he wouldn’t get his in time, but it all worked out in the end.
We strolled a bit and checked out the Post Office.
That’s where I started to get my shopping on, as they had a nice gift shop. We then went and found the famous building from the image of people being rescued during the Vietnam War.
What we see now from another angle:
We decided since we were doing a lot of walking, it was time to get a foot massage. It was our last opportunity to get a cheap one before going back home. I was very pleasantly surprised, as this was the best one of the trip. I actually think I fell asleep! That has never happened before. The only reason I didn’t stay asleep was someone who was in the room (it was a large-ish space separated by curtains) getting a massage started watching a video without headphones and was talking loudly with his friend who was also getting a massage. It actually startled me awake. It kept going on and on. At first I couldn’t figure out what was happening because it had been so very relaxing beforehand. Nobody said anything to the man, which wasn’t surprising. I’m sure they wouldn’t have allowed someone to watch videos back home at the spa, but in Vietnam they do try to be accommodating, even though it was to the detriment of the other guests. When we were done and dressed, enjoying our tea, I told the ladies what had happened. They were very apologetic, which was nice of them. They gave us a gift as an apology, which I totally didn’t expect. I know they sincerely want all their patrons to enjoy the experience. Having said that, I’d definitely go back again. I’ve never fallen asleep from any massage before. It was my best massage of the trip, even with the inconsiderate man.
We went from there to do more shopping, then lunch, then shopping again! We saved 75% of our shopping for Vietnam so we wouldn’t have to haul too much country to country. After shopping we went back to the hotel to pack and Sal got his fitted clothes and my dress. We got everything together and took our bags downstairs for them to watch while we did our evening tour. Every day our hotel had a tasty afternoon tea with local music. Here is a video of what we saw the last day. As a reminder, we were staying at the Silverland Yen Hotel, and we highly recommend it.
Soon it was time for our last adventure in Saigon: another motorbike tour. This one included dinner and some sites. XO tours is rated #1 on TA and it was excellent. Our drivers were women, and our bikes were not Vespas. These bikes actually belonged to the drivers. This meant that there wasn’t a separate seat and you had no bar in back of you to keep your butt from slipping off the seat if you hit a bump. Men were not allowed to hold on to the drivers as that would be inappropriate. Even though I was allowed to, I didn’t as it felt weird. I just sqeeeezed my thighs pretty much the whole time; what a workout! I am shocked to say my back actually held up and didn’t go out after the three+ hour tour. At one point I think we were on the bike over 20 minutes to get to one of the first stops, so that’s saying a lot and a lot of squeezing. We couldn’t take video on that tour, unfortunately, as it was against the rules. It made sense, though, because we were in the super bad normal traffic, as opposed to just the horrible side street traffic from the day before.
I was wondering how this small (although tall) woman was going to be able to steady us on the bike. Sal’s driver was even smaller. They did fine, though. I will say, my girl was a talker. Due to the extreme noise and the accent, I understood about 25% of what was said. It was funny, though. She was really very nice, and again, young; she was in college and studying hospitality. The majority of our tours in Vietnam were by students.
We stopped in some off the beaten path spots, walked around a local market, sampled some local food, and had some dinner. When we went to the place for our dessert they surprised us with a cake. It was so incredibly nice and such a surprise! Here are some of the pics with the ladies. Again, we highly recommend this tour.
The girls were great in getting us back in time so we could run upstairs to the pool area and take a shower before heading to the airport. We got to the airport in plenty of time and boarded our first Asiana flight, which was about six or seven hours, I think. Before we boarded we had one last coconut.
We took a pic on the first flight, sad to be saying goodbye to Vietnam, but it was time to go home.
The goal was to stay awake, and we did. We had a four hour layover in Seoul, and the highlights were a fancy toilet and Diet Coke.
Next up was the long 13 hour flight to NYC. We were happy to have used our miles and be in Business Class so that we could get some sleep since we had been up probably close to 24 hours at that point. We ordered dinner – Sal got the local Korean and I got fish. That may have been my biggest mistake of the trip.
Warning TMI Alert. About two and a half hours into the flight I couldn’t sleep because I was starting to feel yucky. Sal, meanwhile, was sleeping like a big baby. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong, and then before I knew it I had to run to the bathroom. Thank goodness it was the middle of the night on the plane and there were only two of us awake and there were two bathrooms.
I took some Imodium and hoped for the best. Thirty minutes later it was still happening, so I took more meds. I didn’t take more than the directions, but it didn’t seem like it was helping. Sal woke up at one point and looked at me and asked if I was OK. I answered with a, “nooooo!” that probably sounded like a wolf howl. It was horrible. I started feeling queasy, so I tried to find a barf bag and couldn’t. Then Sal tried to find one and couldn’t. We couldn’t figure out why the airline wouldn’t have air sickness bags. Where do the Koreans puke?
I asked the FA for an air sickness bag. Now she spoke some English, but she clearly didn’t know what I meant because she came back with two white pills and a glass of water on a silver tray. I tried to mime I needed one bag. She left again and came back with just one pill. It would have been funny if I had felt better, but I was feeling so horrible by this point that I started crying a little bit to Sal. Being stuck on a 13 hour flight with 10 more hours to go and feeling like crap is the absolute worse. I am so glad I was in Business so I didn’t have to share a bathroom with a gazillion people, so there is that to be thankful for; it could have been a lot more embarrassing. Eventually the FA said, “Oh Vomit Bag?” and she literally went to the side of my bed and pulled one out. OOPS. So the whole time it was there. I opened it and did some deep breathing. I felt OK for a little bit, but then all of the sudden I got sick. Thank goodness most people were sleeping and hopefully didn’t hear it. Sal took care of my bag. Guys. Sal took care of my bag. That is true love.
I avoided food after that, but made sure to drink water. I started feeling better, but to be on the safe side I had another bag ready. About 30 minutes before the end of the flight I finally felt OK enough to start to sleep. So in 34 hours I got less than 30 minutes of sleep. I woke up to us starting to land. By this time everyone else was up and had eaten their breakfast. We started landing and as soon as Sal said, “Welcome home!” I grabbed the bag and puked again. I had nothing in my stomach except that water and that’s what came out. I didn’t know what to do because 1) we were early, which meant we were going to have to wait for our car service as we had pre-booked before the holiday, 2) we still had to get from NY to NJ and who knows how long that could take if the traffic was bad, and 3) I still had to get through immigration/customs without puking again! Everyone else deplaned and I went to the restroom to brush my teeth and dispose of the second bag. Then we both stole a few other bags on the way out, and I carried one through immigration and customs. It went quickly and nobody gave us any trouble. I wonder if it was the bag.
We got to the luggage area and I sat down and immediately texted a few of you and moaned to you and shared all of this TMI. Sorry, guys. I just needed a little sympathy. That truly was the worst. Someone said it was probably better being sick on the plane than in Vietnam, but I disagree. I would have much rather been in a hotel room. In the plane you get stressed that you won’t get to the bathroom or that you will get worse, etc. While waiting for the luggage a nice man who apparently saw me in Business asked if I was OK. He also asked me what I ate. He thought maybe it was the fish that made me sick. That really is the only thing I ate that Sal didn’t. I thought it was nice of him to check on me.
We got our luggage and then had to wait for the car, which ended up being late, of course. I had a bag at the ready and was afraid of drinking anything until we got home. I really didn’t want to get sick in the car. While we were waiting, someone was filming a movie at JFK.
Sorry I wrote a novel about being sick on the plane. It was very traumatic. I’m glad we were lucky enough that at least it didn’t ruin the trip or cause any trip delay.
Final thoughts in the next post.