Tan Son Nhat, Viet Jet and Noi Bai

I’ll tell you about 8 hours of exploring Ho Chi Minh sometime. City with 4 million motorcycles and hot weather, also keeps many histories of Vietcong soldiers battle with their underground tunnels.

But for a moment I will tell you how my heart was pounding before flying with Viet Jet. Why?

Yes … At that time, Viet Jet became famous because often demonstrate flight safety procedure by flight attendant in bikini (unusual thing for Indonesian like me). But evidently when I waited for it after all passengers on board, the show didn’t happen that night … Passengers were disappointed …hahaha

Several hours before…..

Came back from Cu Chi Tunnel … At 6:27 a.m, I started to bargain a taxi to Tan Son Nhat Airport … For your information, Vietnam’s taxis prefer to price bargaining  than using a taximeter. Therefore, if you don’t want to over budget when you travel there, You must dare to bargain for taxi price there.

Finally, I got deal for 30,000 Vietnam Dong (VND), Taxi drove me and friends to airport in 25 minutes. We were dropped off in front of departure hall.

Tan Son Nhat Entrance Gate

Departure gate

I arrived in18:48 and my boarding time was 22:00. It was better to got out from airport for looked for cheap dinner outside.

I crossed the Truong Son Road quickly because the “red sign” on traffic light was briefly lit. I thought everything was OK, but actually my friend “The Fat” was defending his sling bag form 2 motorized pickpockets about 15 metres behind me … I knew that his sling bag contained a passport and VND. Luckily two pickpockets gave up and released the bag.

Restaurant near Tan Son Nhat

Restaurant owner

Back to airport and waiting for checked-in. I saw some passengers was arguing loudly with ground staff … either of missed or delayed ….

Departure Hall Tan Son Nhat

Departure Hall and crowded passengers in front of me.

After checked-in, I stepped to ticket inspection section. Local passengers showed ticket and ID card while tourists show ticket and passport. The inspector closely looked my face when matching my face to my photo in passport. Worried … but just relax, most importantly I followed the procedure.

Entering Gate 16, I waited for Viet Jet plane arrived. Nothing to did, I just idly counted local passengers and observed Vietnamese behavior. Even my friends talked about beautiful Vietnamese who was sitting in front of us…She seemed to understood what we talked about until She smiled at us …

Anggi and Boarding Gate

Anggi in Gate..sstt…She is still single !!!

Backpack and Ticket

Travel around Singapore, Cambodia and Vietnam with such small bags

Exactly I started to boarding at 22:00. I saw some unusual behavior. Rear passenger legs appear between my seats, some of them still using WhatsApp when air crew gave order to turn off all electronic device, and also some legs got up on the seat when take-off … Funny

I thought the pilot was europeans like I saw on airline website but actually they were both local pilots.

Grateful, my 2 hour flight was smooth without turbulence and landed well at Noi Bai

 

Viet Jet at Noi Bai

Drizzle and felt cold when got off the plane

I chose night flight so I could sleep at Noi Bai International Airport until morning … I could save lodging budget. My experience of sleeping there, I will tell you later … The fact, Noi Bai was the best protection that night from outside temperature about 8 degrees Celsius.

Thanks Viet Jet and Noi Bai …

 

Tan Son Nhat, Viet Jet dan Noi Bai

Akan kuceritakan bagaimana 8 jam menjelajah Ho Chi Minh. Kota dengan 4 juta kendaraan bermotor dan cuaca panas serta menyimpan sejarah perjuangan gerilyawan Vietkong dengan terowongan bawah tanahnya.

Sejenak Aku akan bercerita bagaimana berdebarnya hati menjelang mengudara bersama Viet Jet. Kenapa ya kira-kira?

Ya….Saat itu Viet Jet lagi heboh-hebohnya memperagakan demo keselamatan penerbangan oleh para pamugari berbikininya. Tapi ternyata peragaan itu tidak terjadi malam itu….Penumpang kecewa….hahaha.

Sepulang dari Cu Chi Tunnel….Jam 18:27 di sebuah jalan, aku mulai menawar harga taxi menuju Tan Son Nhat Airport….Ya, taxi di sana lebih suka tawar menawar daripada memakai argometer. Karenanya bagi yang ga tega menawar bakalan over budget ya kalau berwisata kesana.

Deal 30.000 Dong Vietnam (VND), Taxi mengantarkanku dan teman-teman ke airport dalam 25 menit. Diturunkan di depan departure hall.

Tan Son Nhat Entrance Gate

departure gate

Masih jam 18:48, sedangkan boarding timeku jam 22:00. Lebih baik keluar dari bandara untuk mencari yang murah daripada kemahalan dinner di bandara.

Menyeberang jalan Truong Son dengan cepat karena lampu merah menyala singkat. Kupikir semuanya OK, ternyata temanku “si Gendut” tarik-tarikan tas selempang dengan 2 pencopet bermotor….Aku tahu tas itu berisi paspor dan sejumlah VND. Beruntung kedua pencopet menyerah dan melepaskannya.

Restaurant near Tan Son Nhat

pemilik warung makan

Kembali ke bandara dan duduk lesehan menunggu check-in. Aku melihat beberapa calon penumpang berdebat kencang dengan ground staff….entah ketinggalan atau delay….

Departure Hall Tan Son Nhat

Departure Hall berjubel penumpang didepan mataku.

Selesai check-in masuklah ke bagian pemeriksaan. Penumpang lokal menunjukkan tiket dan ID card sedangkan turis menunjukkan tiket dan paspor. Tentara pemeriksa melihat lekat wajahku sambil mencocokkan dengan foto di paspor. Deg-degan sih….tapi santai saja, terpenting Aku mengikuti prosedur.

Setelahnya masuk Gate 16 menunggu Viet Jet datang. Sambil menunggu, aktivitas yang bisa kulakukan adalah iseng ngitungin penumpang lokal sembari nglihatin tingkah laku para Vietnamese. Bahkan temanku bicarain si Vietnam cantik yang diduduk didepan bangku….kayaknya dia ngerti sedang dibicarakan, senyam-senyum manis menatap kita….wkwkwk

Anggi and Boarding Gate

Si Anggi di Gate..sstt masih single tuh!!!

Backpack and Ticket

Keliling Singapore, Kamboja dan Vietnam dengan tas sekecil itu

Tepat jam 22:00 mulai boarding. Mulailah terlihat sifat asli mereka. Kaki penumpang belakang nongol di sela sela kursiku, pada asik wa-an ketika ada perintah mematikan alat elektronik, dan juga kaki naik ke atas kursi ketika take-off…..asiikkkk, hebat-hebat nih orang….hihihi

Kukira pilotnya bule seperti yang terpampang di web maskapai tapi ternyata keduanya pilot lokal….agak khawatir….berdoá ajalah.

Bersyukur, penerbangan 2 jam itu mulus tanpa turbulensi dan mendarat baik di Noi Bai.

Viet Jet at Noi Bai

Gerimis dan senyum kedinginan saat turun pesawat

Aku sengaja terbang malam supaya bisa tidur di Noi Bai International Airport sampai pagi….Biasa hemat budget penginapan. Pengalaman tidur disana kuceritakan nanti saja ya…..Yang jelas Noi Bai lah perlindungan terbaik malam itu dari suhu 8 derajat Celcius di luar.

Thanks Viet Jet dan Noi Bai…..