Sunday, February 15, 2009

Hello Saigon...Again

Our Cambodian tour guide and the border patrol guys were kind enough to help us arrange transportation back to Saigon in the form of another private car. Since we were paying a flat rate, what normally would have taken 8 hours took only 5, the driver serious hauled ass and we were thankful. We were now heading back to Saigon to figure how we would get Mike’s visa extended just so we could leave the country. It took nearly three days to figure out what to do with Mike’s visa. We visited the consulate, the immigration department, got a strict lecture on why we didn’t look at the dates more carefully and finally back to the hotel where we stayed at when the visa expired. We were told the hotel we stayed at when the visa expired would have to sponsor Mike in order to extend his visa just so he could leave the country. We were also told that if we had an airline ticket to leave the country it would expedite the paperwork and we wouldn’t have to wait the normal 7 days. That is where Mr. Dino came in. We think Mr. Dino was the son of the man who owned the Lien An Saigon Hotel. He made one phone call and all the arrangements for Mike’s visa were made and we could leave the country in less than 24 hours. But now the question was could we risk buying a ticket to Cambodia and possible be denied entry once we get there? After much debate we decided to purchase a ticket to Bangkok, Thailand instead because Thailand does not require a visa from US citizens to enter the country. And now it was a matter of just waiting for Mike’s passport to return with an extended date just so we could leave for Thailand. What an ordeal! But in the meantime that just meant we got an opportunity to see family we didn’t get a chance to see before.
And eat some more food.
And finalize paperwork for Mike’s scooter.
First up was a restaurant called Quan An Ngon (Street of Good Eats).
A great concept – take all the best street vendors and food from all over the city and place in one open air restaurant with the vendors and kitchen out in open food court-style for you to walk around and select from.Unfortunately the food looked much better than it tasted. This Mi Quang was bland and watered-down.Fortunately we were soon rewarded with good eats with one phone call to Anne’s Aunt & Uncle from France, wintering in Vietnam.
It was a 7 course beef dinner the first night and then dim sum the next morning.
And a bowl of Mi Vit (duck and egg-noodle soup) to make up for the poor rendition we had gotten at the Good Eats restaurant.
We even got to ride around in style to the restaurant.
Last, but not least we got to eat one last Donner kebab baguette.
Even though we weren’t going to make it to Cambodia and the temples at Angkor Wat we did get a chance to take in the sights of Saigon one last time, a city we have truly fallen in love with.

1 comment:

christineburgess said...

HI ANNE AND MIKE- YOUR PICTURES AND DESCRIPTIONS ALWAYS MAKE ME HUNGRY- IT'S RAINY AND COLD HERE. YOUR AUNT AND UNCLE ARE ADORABLE AND MIKE LOOKS GREAT IN HIS COOL SUNGLASSES BEHIND UNCLE ON THE SCOOTER. i MET A GREAT WOMAN AT MY POOL WHO OWNS AND RUNS VIVI'S VIETNAMESE NOODLE HOUSE IN HILLSBORO. YOU'LL HAVE TO CHECK IT OUT WHEN YOU COME HOME. CHRISTINE