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We made it to Vietnam

It has been another long day. The day started at 7 AM with breakfast in Tokyo. The buffet was really good and was complimentary thanks to Scott. We headed for the airport at 7:15 AM for a 10 AM flight. We tried to upgrade, but it seemed as if our tickets were not upgradable and we would have had to buy new tickets. So, we sat in coach and we were in the very last row, which wasn't too great. The seats barely reclined and we were right next to the bathroom.

We had one meal service on the 6 hr flight and I had a seafood entree which was quite good. I was able to sleep for about 1 1/2 hrs and I read my guidebook on Vietnam. I bought Fodor's Vietnam and it recommend a walking tour if you only have 1-2 days, so I think that's going to be our plan.

We arrived in Ho Chi Minh City about 30 minutes early. They had us walk down stairs to a bus that took us to the terminal. It took about an hour to get through immigration and customs; no problems, just long lines. Dang, our PM in Vietnam, was waiting for us to take us to the airport. It is so nice of our host to meet us at the airport and make sure we get to the hotel.

The cab ride from the airport to the hotel was interesting. There are motorbikes everywhere and they dart in and out of traffic. The traffic signals are pretty much ignored. It seems like the horn is used every 5-10 seconds, but that is their way of letting someone know that you are nearby. All you hear outside the hotel is honking horns. It really makes it feel like the bustling city that it is. I'm not sure how we're going to cross the street without getting run over.

We're staying at the Sheraton Saigon Hotel & Towers. It's a very, very nice hotel and was voted the #1 hotel in Vietnam in 2004. It's not expensive at all compared to a hotel of the same quality in the US. Of course, all of the hotel staff is very cordial. Here is the view from my hotel room.

You can see that the buildings in the city are quite compressed. There are little shops lining every street. We hope to start experiencing some of the city life tomorrow.

I have a few pictures from the trip today. They can be found here. I'm headed to dinner with Scott soon, then we're meeting Dang at 8:45 AM tomorrow to head to the office. I'm anxious to meet my team.

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