Episode 1: Flying to Vietnam

Seattle, Washington is a great location to fly to and from Asia because the airport is the perfect size for navigating, the distance to northern Asia is a bit shorter than if you were going from LA and the customs lines are easier because it’s all automated for U.S. passports.

We decided to fly Eva Air direct to Taipei, Taiwan and then connect to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.  There’s one direct flight out of Seattle to Taipei which leaves the city at 1:05AM and you fly through the night to arrive at about 530AM the next day.  My friend took a sleeping pill and slept for 10 of the 12 hours without moving.  I struggled on the other hand to stay consistently asleep or awake.  I watched a lot of the beginning of movies but never got to finish them because I would pass out.  I’m not sure if this is a sign that the movies were terrible or I just couldn’t hang.  I’m not sure but regardless, the flight moved fairly quickly.  You’d think that 12 hours would be a rough experience but it actually wasn’t too bad.  The food on Eva Air wasn’t terrible, not my favorite but not something that I hated.  We arrived in Taipei and found ourselves at almost a completely empty terminal.  We found ourselves outside of our gate and just ready for the last leg of our flight. On thing to note is that from what I have seen, the actual gates that you board at are the next level down and there are couches and stuff that you can hang out at on the second story.  The gate that we were at had electrical outlets which meant that we had the chance to charge everything before we flew out to Ho Chi Minh.

I was very pleased with our decision to fly Eva Air because I have always wanted to fly on the Hello Kitty airplanes. If you don’t know what these are, they are amazing.  Essentially they are airplanes that are painted in Hello Kitty and her friends.  The long haul flights have Hello Kitty themed interiors which is awesome.  Unfortunately our plane was only painted Hello Kitty on the outside but the inside was the regular Eva Air green.

We boarded our plane and made our way to Ho Chi Minh.  When we arrived, we got our luggage and then began our journey to the arrival gate.  One thing to note is that the arrival gate of the airport is essentially a set of sliding glass doors and when you walk out, everyone stares at you.  I’ve seen this more often with London Heathrow than anywhere else but it is definitely an experience.  We found our friend and began to make our way into the city.

One thing that is really interesting about the Ho Chi Minh airport is that the airport is literally right at the edge of the city.  Typically you see some level of separation between the airport and the city but Ho Chi Minh was built right up to the edge of the airport.  It’s a strange experience walking out and seeing sky scrapers the instant you set foot in the outside world.

And that began our Asian adventure.

Until next time…

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