Hello from Ho Chi Minh... (and a taxi tale too)
Ho Chi Minh City Travel Blog› entry 1 of 24 › view all entries
November 22nd, 2008 – by: jaeWALK
My very first time in vietnam... alone. yikes!
Anyway, I spent the night at the airport. My flight to Hoi An via Danang was 6 in the morning. For several weeks, I've wanted to research about how to get from the International airport to the domestic in HCM City. Of course, I didn't even had the time to do that. Before leaving home I told myself that when i'd get there, "what goes around comes around" or something to that effect.
after clearing customs, I was supposed to ask an airport staff regarding how far the domestic terminal is, but before i can even do that here came the taxi drivers hounding me.
So I asked him how far and how much it is to the domestic. He told me the same thing as 3 other taxi drivers have told me earlier - "200,000 VND. But i thought that's the standard from the airport to the city. I told him it was expensive to just get to the other airport. But he wouldn't quit. The price went down to 150,000VND. Still too expensive I told him.
Then I saw the vicinity map. The freakin' domestic terminal was quite near. I pointed those two parallel lines leading to where I am supposed to go: "150,000VND to get to here? It looks like I could walk that," I told him.
"OK, how much you want?" he said.
Now thinking about how much i have fallen victim to the "walking distance" syndrome in my past travels - like when you look at the map it's so near, but when you get to your destination you wished you could have just died halfway. Because of that, I thought I should just get the ride. I kept repeating to myself "yeah, It might be walking distance... but 10 blocks is walking distance too"
So I got in the taxi. It went around. Then he dropped me off. Now keep repeating this line 5 times and thats how long the taxi ride was.
GEESH! I could have just asked him to walk me to the domestic and payed him 1000 VND!
... and I thought I had him at 100,000 VND.
Anyway, I am already in Hoi An and I am enjoying it immensely. I like this place. It's beautiful here! I've been walking around all day despite not getting any sleep last night.
I arrived via Danang. This is the first vietnamese city I actually got to see up close. On the way to Hoi An, the taxi driver voluntarily showed me the city - got to see China Beach and the Marble Mountain. Along that stretch of road, I noticed a lot of development. There were a lot of international 5 star hotels and resorts being built!
Arriving in Hoi An, I didn't waste much time. I dropped off my stuff at the hotel (more about the hotel later), and headed on for a walk in the old town. One thing I observed - It's amazing how They got to preserve this ancient town. This place reminds me so much of Vigan in the Philippines and Melaka in Malaysia. I love those places, and I love Hoi An already!
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