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Saigon-S'pore On SQ (pics): Not 35K Again!  
User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4755 posts, RR: 26
Posted (7 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 12188 times:



Singapore Airlines SQ 173
Cang Hang Khong Quoc Te Tan Son Nhat (SGN) - Changi International Airport (SIN)
Boeing 777-212 (9V-SVC)
ATD: 1650H
ATA: 1950H
Duration: Approx 2 hr

Ho Chi Minh City / Saigon

You can skip this portion and go to the trip report if you only want to read about the flight.



The start of the Vietnamese Lunar New Year (Tet) begins a day earlier than the Chinese Lunar New Year. So we technically arrived on the eve of Tet on 16 February. The city was abuzz with lights and decorations and in a dwelling where the motorcycles are the vehicle of choice; they were everywhere crowding every nook and cranny imaginable.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v131/rainbow_cruiser/Saigon/100_7897.jpg

Traffic in Saigon does not seem to have any law and order. Everyone just weaves about the intersections and cross junctions - with the help of blaring horns, seamlessly without the guidance of a traffic police. Surprisingly, despite the less than ideal traffic scene, I did not witness a single road accident.

Vietnam welcomed their first tourist only in 1990. The trade embargo with the US was lifted in 1995. As such, much of the tourist infrastructure is still in its infancy. English is still very much a foreign language – very foreign, and not very widely spoken. Even at the hotels and airport, the English spoken was very basic at best and had to be repeated a few times before being transpired correctly.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v131/rainbow_cruiser/Saigon/100_8046.jpg

Somehow, I felt like those silly contestants on Amazing Race raising my voice and speaking slower “D O Y O U K N O W W H A T I A M S A Y I N G?’ like as if that would help the situation. This is probably the first time in a long time in my travels that I have had a language problem. You see other than English; my family also speaks Thai, Malay, Indonesian, Mandarin, Hokkien and Cantonese.

That being said, Saigon is seeing the first signs of the encroachment of American culture with the one and only fast food chain, KFC. There isn’t any McDonald’s or Starbucks yet so I hope it remains this way.

The city of Saigon is HUGE. It has 24 districts giving it a total of an area the size of roughly 200sqkm. However, development seemed to have stopped in the 1960s and suddenly there are these modern building sticking out in the middle of nowhere. Thus, there is this time gap that the buildings in the city are either very old, or was built only in the last decade.

Korean brands – Oh how the Vietnamese love them. Samsung and LG LCD screens all over, Kia and Daewoo taxicabs buzzing about that you would be forgiven for thinking you have stepped off into a very dirty and undeveloped Seoul.

We also ventured out into the rural provinces of Cu Chi, My Tho and Ben Tre. Not forgetting the must do cruise along the Mekong River. Vietnam as a country resonates a very over powering vibe of a glorious past, something that would never again be seen in our modern day society. It is a very sad thought.

19 February 2007 - Departure day

Despite the fact that 90% of the shops were closed for Tet, we still managed to fill our bags with bargains from the trickle of street vendors that remained open during our stay. Thus, 1 luggage suddenly became 2 for me. 2 soon became 3…

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v131/rainbow_cruiser/Saigon/100_8113.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v131/rainbow_cruiser/Saigon/100_8111.jpg

Arrival at the airport, we were greeted by the usual chaos with people shouting, car horns blaring, and crowds seemingly milling about for the sake of just being there. As we unloaded out luggage from the cab, we were being bumped about on the kerbside by the crowds spilling over from within.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v131/rainbow_cruiser/Saigon/100_8105.jpg http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v131/rainbow_cruiser/Saigon/100_8114.jpg
Chaos in the foreground, new terminal in the background.

I mentioned about how this airport was becoming very inadequate for Saigon. True enough, a new and bigger terminal was near completion nearby and I hope that would ease this crowding problem I faced.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v131/rainbow_cruiser/Saigon/100_8116.jpg

Only ticketed passengers are allowed to walk past the metal barriers and into the air conditioned terminal building to complete their check in. The serene interior is a stark contrast to what was happening outside. It was like a riot!

US$14 was my airport tax that was paid at a separate counter before heading to Row H where Singapore Airlines is situated. I explained to the lady at check in that I DO NOT WANT 35K. She managed to get me a seat at 55K and blocked out the next 2 seats for me so I though to myself, “Wow, this girl is something else!”

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v131/rainbow_cruiser/Saigon/100_8120.jpg

Boarding passes were handed back to us together with our passports and baggage tag receipts and off we went to airside. I failed to check my boarding pass for the details and in hindsight, I know I should have. More on this as we move along in this report.

Immigration was thankfully empty!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v131/rainbow_cruiser/Saigon/100_8124.jpg http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v131/rainbow_cruiser/Saigon/100_8125.jpg http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v131/rainbow_cruiser/Saigon/100_8128.jpg

Airside in Tan Son Nhat is very basic and is not exactly the most beautiful airport in the world, but it does its job. However, there isn’t an uninterrupted view of the planes outside so photography is out of the question. Gate 4 was assigned for my flight back home today.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v131/rainbow_cruiser/Saigon/100_8129.jpg http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v131/rainbow_cruiser/Saigon/100_8133.jpg

The boarding lounge was very small. It was barely enough to hold the entire load of the 777 so some waited in the main area of the departure hall.

You see, the holding room was separated into 3 by ropes. The one nearest to the gate held the Raffles Class pax, followed by pax in rows 50 and above, and finally the section furthest away were the rest of the pax. There were airport personnel stationed at these different areas to ensure that the people in the room belonged to the correct section but somehow they weren’t very strict in enforcing the rule. This caused a very messy boarding process which took a long time to complete. Maybe that was why boarding was called at 1615H.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v131/rainbow_cruiser/Saigon/100_8135.jpg

“Raffeht Khhaaat, Pee Pee Eeeht” passengers were invited to board the aircraft while the gate agents were trying to sort out the row numbers still.

Seating mess

After waiting in the boarding lounge for the crowd to ease, my parents and I stepped into the aerobridge towards 9V-SVC, also another long haul configured 777-212. A Chief Steward and a Flight Steward beamed their warmest welcome and addressed us by our name and beckoned into the now familiar cabin of SQ’s YCL.

As I headed to the inner aisle, my parents took their window seats in row 33 and I headed further aft towards a steward FS Leonard Tan…

“Welcome on board, Sir”
“Hello” and I hand him my boarding pass…
“Mr Soh, you are in 35K, over here.”

What? No, no, no, this cannot be happening. I took my boarding stub back and to my horror, the check in agent who promised me 55K made a mistake and assigned me back to my original seat I flew up on, the windowless window seat of 35K!

There was no way I was going to take this lying down. I calmly explain to FS Leonard that I specifically asked not to be out in that seat at check in and that I was claustrophobic. So he pursed his lips and told me to wait while he referred to his supervisor, which turned out to be the Chief Steward at the door.

FS Leonard returned and asked me to follow him to the galley where I met the Chief Steward (I shall leave out his name at the request of the forum members due to my last report).

“Mr Soh, would you follow me please?” And off I went behind the curtains and into the Raffles Class cabin.

My heart stopped for a moment and I thought I was in for a miracle. I thought that the aircraft was so full that they had no choice but to give me a seat in the very comfy looking Spacebed!

“Mr Soh, sorry for the trouble but if you wait here for a while; they will sort this out ok?”

So I stood outside the aft lavatory of the Raffles Class cabin while the IFS, who was standing at Door 1L, was given the low down of what was happening to me (the claustrophobic pax from 35K) by the Chief Steward.

The IFS then walks up to me holding a glass of orange juice and he gently whispers, “Mr. Soh, I am so sorry for what is happening. Sometimes there can be mix ups and I hope it will be sorted out soon. You don’t have any special dietary requirements do you, like special meals? Care to some juice?”

And voila, I was holding a Raffles Class branded glass in my hands and for that brief moment, the IFS and I stood there and chatted before the station manager came on board.

“Ok, Mr. Soh, sorry for the mix up. 55 has already been taken so I will put you in 33G.”

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v131/rainbow_cruiser/Saigon/100_8137.jpg

So much for wanting a window seat, the assigned seat given to me was across the aisle from my parents who were in 33K/J. Strangely enough, the aisle seat of 33H wasn’t occupied. So I ended up sitting together with them after the doors closed.

1645H: Despite all this, we were still very much on time and the welcome announcement came on with the sweet voice of LSS Jennifer welcoming us on board. Flying time was announced to be 1 hour 50min. Pushback was right on time 5 min later.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v131/rainbow_cruiser/Saigon/100_8141.jpg http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v131/rainbow_cruiser/Saigon/100_8143.jpg

1703H: We enter the runway and power off above the sprawling suburbs that seem to extend into the misty horizon.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v131/rainbow_cruiser/Saigon/100_8146.jpg http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v131/rainbow_cruiser/Saigon/100_8148.jpg

1712H: Seatbelt sign pinged off and FSS Choo Phui Kuan magically appears from behind the curtains, “Headsets? Sir you like a headset? Mdm, headset?”

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v131/rainbow_cruiser/Saigon/100_8150.jpg

After she disappeared behind my row, the IFS comes to 33 and asks if I am comfortable and told me not to hesitate to ask for anything else. He then sashayed behind the curtains into the yonder that I was not worthy of being, Raffles Class; and he was never seen again for the duration of the flight.

1730H: FSS Choo Phui Kuan is now pushing the carts from the front galley and soon reaches us in 33.

“Sir, Mdm, we have the pork with rice, or the fish with potatoes. What would you like?”

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v131/rainbow_cruiser/Saigon/100_8154.jpg http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v131/rainbow_cruiser/Saigon/100_8156.jpg

I had the fish while my parents decided pork would be the better choice. Mum and I asked for pineapple juice but she didn’t have it with her on the cart.

I then said,” You know what? Just give us what you have on the cart lah, like OJ or something. I don’t want to trouble you.”

However she insisted it was no trouble at all and that she would be back with the juices once she finished serving the meals. She then took down our seat number and continued her way aft. As we were about to start eating our lovely meals – both options were awesome and I finished my mum’s entrée, FSS Choo Phui Kuan popped by with our pineapple juices “Sorry to make you wait. Here you go.”

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v131/rainbow_cruiser/Saigon/100_8157.jpg

1800H: While the meal trays were still out and most of us were in the midst of chomping the chow, flight deck came on the PA and said we were arriving soon and asked the crew to prepare the cabin for arrival.

10 min later, the first signs of descend was felt. And boy, you could see the SQ girls literally running out of the galley with the meal carts trying to load the trays back. Meanwhile, FSS Choo Phui Kuan still found the time to give out coffee and tea while she was quickly clearing the remnants of the meal service.

“Sir, Mdm, coffee or tea?”
And this is what my mum said, “Dear, you still have time for coffee tea coffee tea ah? Plane is going down already! Poor thing…”

And she just laughed as she said, “What to do, short flight full meal? We are used to it. You sure you don’t want coffee or tea?”

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v131/rainbow_cruiser/Saigon/100_8166.jpg

We declined altogether and just relaxed in our seats for the remainder of the flight. The sunset outside was a beautiful one but was soon replaced by angry storm clouds as we got closer to Singapore.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v131/rainbow_cruiser/Saigon/100_8171.jpg http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v131/rainbow_cruiser/Saigon/100_8170.jpg

In the madness of clearing the trays and giving out coffee and tea, headsets were also collected quickly.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v131/rainbow_cruiser/Saigon/100_8178.jpg
Overflying Singapore with Changi Airport slightly visible at the bottom of the photo. At this point, some people were still consuming their hot beverages.

1825H: The cabin is darkened for the approach while many of us are still having the coffee and tea. The FSS’s begin to scutter about the cabin like atoms in a hot vessel trying to look out for cups to clear as the seatbelt sign comes on.

“Cabin crew to your landing stations, please”

What I saw was like a game of musical chair when the participants freeze momentarily after the music stops. After that announcement, the 2 cabin crew on both aisles stopped midway with the coffee cups in their hands for a few seconds as if to let that command sink in…. Then consciousness returned and they ran into the galley and dropped the cups before strapping themselves into their respective jumpseats.

1840H: Touchdown on runway 20L.

Ah… back on home turf. The taxi to gate E20 was about another 10 min before the plane finally stopped and the cabin lights came on.

Local time is now 1950H.

On the way out, I walked by the Raffles Class cabin and there was the IFS again.

“Mr. Soh, welcome home. Did you enjoy the flight?”

Departure: 4/10… My request not to be put in 35K again was lost in translation. But strangely enough, I was even told that 55 was available and was given that seat. Guess it was my fault for not checking my boarding pass after check in was completed.

Inflight service: 10/10… This flight won me over. It shows that the SQ staff is ever competent in dealing with a difficult situation. The Chief Steward and the IFS both showed genuine concerned about my seat mishap. FSS Choo was jovial and not at all daunted or fazed by the “short flight full meal” situation and was ever ready with a natural smile.

Meal: 9/10… If I am not wrong, this meal was catered out of Singapore by SATS. Since my mum didn’t touch her meal, I had the honor of clearing up her meal as well as mine. Both choices were great. Ingredients and flavor was all top notch and if altitude numbs my tongue, I wonder how they would have tasted at ground level?

Arrival: 10/10… It’s Changi Airport, what complains can I have? Normally after a trip like this makes me appreciate my home airport much more. I fly out of Changi so many times a year that I sometimes take their efficiency for granted. So this score is dedicated to the myriad of workers at Changi that, together, make that airport truly one of the best in the world.

Overall: 82.5%

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v131/rainbow_cruiser/Saigon/100_7786.jpg
Mum and I thought it would be fun to be dressed up as Vietnamese Flags for the day.


A Vietnamese lady in ao dai will always be a sight for sore eyes…


Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
24 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offline9MMAR From Malaysia, joined Jul 2006, 2110 posts, RR: 18
Reply 1, posted (7 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 11859 times:

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Thread starter):
Only ticketed passengers are allowed to walk past the metal barriers and into the air conditioned terminal building to complete their check in.

Just like in Indonesia and Turkey. Never was in Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Germany and the UK.

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Thread starter):
You can skip this portion and go to the trip report if you only want to read about the flight.

Is that you on the right? Yes, you are. Where did you stayed while in Ho Chi Minh City?

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Thread starter):
FSS Choo Phui Kuan

She's fabulous. She should have wore the V neck green kebaya instead of the round neck blue one. Just kidding.  tongue 

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Thread starter):
Mr. Soh, welcome home. Did you enjoy the flight?

Sorry to hear that you were not offered Raffles Class. Big grin What was your answer to the IFS's question?

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Thread starter):
Since my mum didn't touch her meal, I had the honor of clearing up her meal as well as mine.

Well exhibited by... ehem...  tongue 

Catch you soon.  wave 


User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1937 posts, RR: 24
Reply 2, posted (7 years 6 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 11501 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Good report and pictures!

767747


User currently offlineSQ772 From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 1792 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (7 years 6 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 11380 times:

another great report.... I had the pork entree as well, and the mango pudding.... You're right, SIN-SGN-SIN is catered out of SIN. SATS catering is a hit or miss thing. SOmetimes great, sometimes crap... Their fruits are always tasteless... I wonder who their supplier is.

I've never experienced such friendly crew on SQ in recent years. Maybe it's because u are chatty with them. I tend not to interact with the crew much and just watch my movie or read my notes nowadays....

erm.... I think u've put on as much weight as me!!!  Wink



There's always a better way to fly...
User currently offlinePilotfox From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 552 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (7 years 6 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 11164 times:

Another good trip report. I remember having to check in for my flight at SGN back to SFO. Check in for EVA was the most unorganized thing I have ever seen. There were 5 or 6 different lines for check in and as my luck would have it I chose the line that never moved. There was only 10 people ahead of us and we honestly waited in line for 2 hours only to see ourselves move a few feet. I think they only had checked in three people in 2 hours, every person ahead of us had 15 bags each. It seemed as if the whole flight had already checked in by the time we finally chose another line and made our way to the counter. By the time we got our boarding passes we only had 30mins or so to clear customs and catch our flight. Clearing customs took another 25mins and by the time we made it to the gate the flight was almost done boarding. In the end though it was all worth it because we were bumped up to Business Class for our flight from SGN-TPE.

User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4755 posts, RR: 26
Reply 5, posted (7 years 6 months 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 11164 times:

Quoting 9MMAR (Reply 1):
Sorry to hear that you were not offered Raffles Class. What was your answer to the IFS's question?

My answer? Next time if you want to take me to the cabin of Raffles, make sure I have a seat there! Hahahahaha, no la, I I just smiled and thanked him for everything. Plus I also apologised for the trouble.

Quoting SQ772 (Reply 3):
You're right, SIN-SGN-SIN is catered out of SIN. SATS catering is a hit or miss thing. Sometimes great, sometimes crap...

How true... I had an option on one of SIN-BKK flights that was so bland I thought I lost my sense of taste.

Quoting SQ772 (Reply 3):
I've never experienced such friendly crew on SQ in recent years. Maybe it's because u are chatty with them.

My parents and I are one of the few Singaporeans that when we fly, we go out of our way not to make things difficult for the crew. What we cannot stand are those passengers asking for the world just because they are flying SQ.

Quoting 9MMAR (Reply 1):
Well exhibited by... ehem...



Quoting SQ772 (Reply 3):
erm.... I think u've put on as much weight as me!!!

Eh thanks... Since 2004, I have put on 10 kg. Now beat that!

Quoting Pilotfox (Reply 4):
Check in for EVA was the most unorganized thing I have ever seen.

Check in at Tan Son Nhat is laid out in a T-shape. One part of the "T" houses SQ and VN, while the rest of the counters are separated perpendicularly with the entrance to the airside in between. The former section is an oasis of calm and order (very well lit too being closest to an entire rown of windows) while the latter is as messy as a Vietnamese airport can be. When I arrived at the airport, Philippine Airlines and Malaysia Airlines were in the midst of check in and their lines skewed in all directions possible, so I have a rough idea what you experience at your EVA flight as BR's counters were just one aisle down from the mess. I guess it must have been such a slow process that when i was in the holding lounge of my SQ flight, they were still paging passengers from MH and PR .



Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineThaiA345 From Indonesia, joined Oct 2006, 877 posts, RR: 16
Reply 6, posted (7 years 6 months 4 weeks ago) and read 11088 times:

Great report Ryanair!! ..........really nice to see that you have made the trip to Saigon...I am always planning to go there but have not found the time yet !!...Somehow I always give it a miss. Well nice mess, but I guess in my case after being station in indo, the nice mess at the airport in Saigon is not that bad ahahhah  Smile ...anyways...keep up the reports love seeing them.

As for me..I am just uploading my pixs from my trip 2 weeks ago to US, Mexico and will be avail soon by this weekend!!


User currently offline9MMAR From Malaysia, joined Jul 2006, 2110 posts, RR: 18
Reply 7, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 11064 times:

Quoting ThaiA345 (Reply 6):
I am always planning to go there but have not found the time yet !!...

You can go with me. I am always available. We can fly directly together from CGK.  tongue 


User currently offlineEGBJ From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2007, 498 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 11029 times:

Another great report! Thanks Big grin

User currently offlineBofredrik From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 10921 times:

Wow... I mean the Vietnamese lady. Big grin

User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4755 posts, RR: 26
Reply 10, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 10711 times:

Quoting Bofredrik (Reply 9):
Wow... I mean the Vietnamese lady

There is something about the ao dai that emphasises the feminine side of a woman like no other dress I have seen before. You should see when the entire crew of VN as they are walking through the airport in their maroon coloured ao dai... and boy are they stunning. In fact, they seem more stunning than the SQ girls.



Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineAleksandar From Serbia, joined Jul 2000, 3236 posts, RR: 32
Reply 11, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 10638 times:

Great trip report(s)! I enjoyed reading both parts.


R-E-S-P-E-C-T
User currently offlineSQ772 From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 1792 posts, RR: 5
Reply 12, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 10343 times:

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 10):
There is something about the ao dai that emphasises the feminine side of a woman like no other dress I have seen before. You should see when the entire crew of VN as they are walking through the airport in their maroon coloured ao dai... and boy are they stunning. In fact, they seem more stunning than the SQ girls.

I agree that the Ao Dai looks great on the typically slim Vietnamese girls. Then again, it takes tremendous effort to find a Vietnamese girl who is overweight... and if you do spot one in Vietnam, chances are she's a foreign tourist!

However, having flown on VN just earlier this month, I beg to differ with Ryanairs' views. They VN crew look great from a distance, but up close, you'll understand the reason for months of deportment and grooming classes the Singapore Girls go through to transform the girl next door into THE Singapore Girl exists.

VN girls look good, and I must admit that many Vietnamese girls look great even without make up. But what sets the SQ girls apart from the VN girls is how they carry themselves onboard, and how even after doing a SIN-KUL-SIN-JKT-SIN killer turnaround service, they still manage to have not a single strand of their hair out of place. This is something that VN girls (and I have noticed even MH girls - sorry Ryan, don't flame me) cannot match up. On my recent flight from HAN-SGN, the VN girls looked tired, lost their smiles, and spent as much time trying to adjust to keep their hair in place as serving the meals. That said, they did look good in the Ao Dai and were polite throughout the flight.

On a similar note, I arrived in NRT last evening, and was walking behind a group of UA crew (filipino and Korean) towards the immigration area.... there's something about the way they wore their uniform that made them look really sloppy... In contrast, the SQ girls on my flight into NRT were simply gorgeous... esp those Japanese crew!!!



There's always a better way to fly...
User currently offlineRonglimeng From Canada, joined Oct 2006, 625 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 10278 times:

I really enjoyed your report. In fact I was just planning to take a fast 5 minute look at it before I left for the dentist. But I was transported all the way to Viet Nam and was almost late for my appointment.

I particularly enjoyed the non-flight parts of your trip (including the ao dai lady!). Often we read great trip reports here that are mostly confined to the airports and the flights and they just leave you wanting to know more about the author's non-aviation experiences on the trip. I think you've covered the entire package really well.

If you don't mind, I feel moved to say something in defence of McDonald's Restaurants. I usually turn my nose up near the Golden Arches, but I got into some dodgy cucumbers in Shanghai last October. Three days later when my appetite stirred again, I was really glad for a quarter pounder. In addition, I understand that part of the novelty for "locals" in say Russia or China was to experience the friendly and efficient service aspect.

Anyway, thanks for posting the great photos and descriptions.


User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4755 posts, RR: 26
Reply 14, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 10197 times:

Quoting SQ772 (Reply 12):
Then again, it takes tremendous effort to find a Vietnamese girl who is overweight... and if you do spot one in Vietnam, chances are she's a foreign tourist!

Hahahaha... come to think of it, how true that observation seems. I did not see a single fat Vietnamese during my ENTIRE trip there. Now if the tunnels I visited were anything to go by, (they were made very small to fit a Viet Cong soldier, but to trap the big burly American soldiers), then I am sure the obese genes have yet to rear its ugly roots in modern day Viet Nam.

Quoting SQ772 (Reply 12):
On my recent flight from HAN-SGN, the VN girls looked tired, lost their smiles, and spent as much time trying to adjust to keep their hair in place as serving the meals.

I guess they have never heard of hair gel.

Quoting Ronglimeng (Reply 13):
If you don't mind, I feel moved to say something in defence of McDonald's Restaurants.

Oh please feel free to do so it you deem fit. You see, there is hardly a city nowadays that does not have something "American" and that is normally in the form of food outlets. Therefore, I really appreciated they way Saigon has remained for all these years without the intervention of fast food outlets. Although, like I mentioned, the enroachment has begun and it is inevitable from what I see. I guess this is what being global and opening up the economy is all about!



Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4755 posts, RR: 26
Reply 15, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 10197 times:

Quoting Ronglimeng (Reply 13):
But I was transported all the way to Viet Nam and was almost late for my appointment.

And you're welcome...  Smile



Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineSQ772 From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 1792 posts, RR: 5
Reply 16, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 10133 times:

Oh yes, although I knew that the Cu Chi tunnels have been cleared of any booby traps ( i hope so!!), I felt major claustrophobia and panic as I squeezed my way through the unlit sections! Btw, since sitting at a windowless window seat caused you much distress, I would thought you'd passed on the experience to crawl through the tunnels! Hmm...  Wink

Did you also try the Viet Cong cuisine of boiled tapioca and ground nuts?



There's always a better way to fly...
User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4755 posts, RR: 26
Reply 17, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 10133 times:

Quoting SQ772 (Reply 16):
Oh yes, although I knew that the Cu Chi tunnels have been cleared of any booby traps ( i hope so!!), I felt major claustrophobia and panic as I squeezed my way through the unlit sections! Btw, since sitting at a windowless window seat caused you much distress, I would thought you'd passed on the experience to crawl through the tunnels! Hmm...

Very observant indeed. I passed on crawling through the tunnels at the entrance. Many people turned around as the claustrophobia was just too much to handle. I do not handle small tight spaces very well. And yes, I did feast on the boiled tapioca (Manioc.... or something to that effect) and crush nuts with sugar. Hmm, looks like we went down the same trail in Saigon, didn't we?



Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineSIA fan From Indonesia, joined Aug 2000, 728 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 10124 times:

Another excellent trip report! Great to see you had a much better cabin crew going back!


SQ*G BD*S
User currently offlineSQ772 From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 1792 posts, RR: 5
Reply 19, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 10110 times:

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 17):
Very observant indeed. I passed on crawling through the tunnels at the entrance. Many people turned around as the claustrophobia was just too much to handle. I do not handle small tight spaces very well. And yes, I did feast on the boiled tapioca (Manioc.... or something to that effect) and crush nuts with sugar. Hmm, looks like we went down the same trail in Saigon, didn't we?

Aiyah... it's the same programme for every tour group visiting the tunnels lah... I suppose they tried to con u into buying those Viet Cong slippers as well, and try your hand at firing Viet Cong rifles??heheh I booked the tour from the hotel...cost me US$25 compared to just US$12 if I had booked it at one of the backpackers' area at Pham Ngu Lau.

The tour group that I visited the tunnels with was a very interesting one, consisting of Europeans and Americans, Asians (me) and an American guy with his transvestite asian wife... You could feel the tension when the asian wife started announcing to the group about how the "VietCongs made the Americans crawl back to the USA like dogs!!".... believe me, there was about 2 min of complete silence and shock from the Americans and the guide after the video presentation!!



There's always a better way to fly...
User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4755 posts, RR: 26
Reply 20, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 10025 times:

Quoting SQ772 (Reply 19):
cost me US$25 compared to just US$12 if I had booked it at one of the backpackers' area at Pham Ngu Lau.

My god... it seems like you got ripped off lah. If you are ever in Saigon again, head for De Tham Street where you would find Sinh Cafe. I booked ALL my tours there and my Cu Chi only cost us US$7 per head. Mekong Delta was about US$10 per head, I think.

Quoting SQ772 (Reply 19):
I suppose they tried to con u into buying those Viet Cong slippers as well, and try your hand at firing Viet Cong rifles??

Why the hell would I buy those slippers and not wear them? They look terribly uncomfortable. Anyway, I have shot enough M16s and P226s during my time in the Air Force that shooting those static rifles is of no novelty to me anymore. Not cheap you know? US$5 for only 4-5 rounds...

Quoting SQ772 (Reply 19):
how the "VietCongs made the Americans crawl back to the USA like dogs!!".... believe me, there was about 2 min of complete silence and shock from the Americans and the guide after the video presentation!!

I made a recording of the video presentation and I didn't like it one bit. It reeked of propoganda and I didn't like how they used the words "crazy devils" to descibe the Americans during the war. I thought a more benign description like "invading forces" was more appropriate. I actually walked out halfway because I disliked the slant the video presentation was taking.

Why was the tranny going on a tirade? Did something set her off?



Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineSQ772 From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 1792 posts, RR: 5
Reply 21, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 9937 times:

She sounded Singaporean actually... would have made sense for her to make that statement if she was a soldier during the war, but she probably only went through NS  Wink I didn't know what was the point she was trying to make. I actually enjoyed the video... it was fun listening to the propagandist spiel.

Yes I was ripped off, until I found Sinh Cafe. I'm wondering if you took one of those complicated packages where they cramp a few groups with different itineraries together. If you did, you'd know how hilarious it was! Instead of giving us simple group names, they actually read out the full itinerary of each group whenever they made an announcement!

"The group going to AAA and BBB with one night stay in CCC and ending in DDD, please follow Mr Nguyen", "The group going to BBB and CCC only and returning tonight to Ho Chi Minh, please follow Mr Thanh" ... imagine there having 4-5 different groups at any one time and making that announcement everytime we arrived at a new sight-seeing spot! It was anything but confusing for everyone in the group!



There's always a better way to fly...
User currently offlineLinglesou From Australia, joined Apr 2009, 123 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (5 years 4 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 8090 times:

Great report and nice pictures - they make the SQ Y cabin seem especially warm and inviting...

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Thread starter):
My heart stopped for a moment and I thought I was in for a miracle

 Smile I know the feeling, last year there was some seating confusion on an AF CDG-HKG flight and I was guided towards the front - alas, I was to be given only a bulkhead seat - which on the AF 772 is not anything to write home about!

Cheers
L'inglesou



YOU SHALL BUILD A TURTLE FENCE
User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1714 posts, RR: 18
Reply 23, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 7175 times:

Great report as usual Ryanair!!!

SQ seem to provide some really good in-flight service on those short 2h hops, though I'm not too keen on the fact that they serve hot beverages right before landing. I'm assuming that they can be quite dangerous, in case of an emergency evacuation.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v131/rainbow_cruiser/Saigon/100_8170.jpg
Clearly, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree...  wink 

Thanks for posting

//Jonas



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlineBuffypotter068 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2009, 6 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 7129 times:

hello, i was curious .. im going to indonesia with singapore airlines hopefully in october but whatever .. it will be a b777 in the way there and airbus 380 on the way back

because im a total newbie and have no real knowledge with stuff like this i was wondering what seats i should totally avoid on either of those planes because i really want a window seat. or is 35k the only one without a window?


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