After our unplanned detour to England this past month we have finally restarted our travel adventure!
On Thursday afternoon we left the UK on a 15 hour flight to Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam.
The visa that we’d bought for Vietnam at the start of our travels expired a few days ago but we thought that it would be easy enough to get a new visa on arrival in Vietnam. However, reading through our Vietnamese travel guide the day before our flight we realised that this wasn’t the case. We’d planned on travelling around Vietnam for just under a month so we would need to reapply for a month long visa, rather than being given the 15day travel visa on arrival.
We paid for an online service to fast track our visas so that we would be able to print off the relevant documents before we left for the airport… the documents never came.
We kept checkimg our emails all Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning but there wasn’t any information. Our only option was to leave for the airport and hope that we could print our visa approval from somewhere in Heathrow….
After almost getting refused checkin at the Qatar airlines desk at Heathrow (due to our lack of validified visa) we were notified that our visa was approved and that the original email had been lost.
The good news was that our approved visa would now be free because they didn’t provide it within the scheduled time slot, the bad news was that we now had to find a printer in the terminal!
After trying to use the currency converters printer we were directed to Dixons by the airport help desk. Dixons luckily came to our rescue and let us use their printer (after paying £1.50 and having to set up a gmail account – the only email site compatible with their programs).
The service we received from Qatar airlines was very similar to flying with Emirates at the beginning of the summer. We chose the Qatar flights because they were much cheaper (only £305) and the total journey time was the shortest. The plane aesthetics were a little more basic than Emirates but the film and food selection was pretty good.
They catered for my vegan diet pretty well however on our first flight I was given a vegetarian wrap (with cheese in) with no vegan option so missed out that meal. I was pleasantly surprised by the vegetable curry with rice for the dinner option!
After a very quick stop over in Doha where we had to sprint to the opposite end of the airport to catch our flight – a scene similar to our last visit to Doha on the way home from Beijing- we landed at HCMC around lunch time. At least I’m putting my running training to practical use!
Next post: Ho Chi Minh City