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Vietnam: Very Favourable First Impressions!

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Touched down in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, just after midnight, (0010h) with the wife and kids and strolled through immigration and customs without any queuing. Wife, a Filipino, went through the ASEAN lane and given 21 day visa exempt entry; me and kids, Brits, granted 14 day visa exempt entry. Perfect for our seven day stay. We were asked one question: how long are you staying in Vietnam? So in we walked and our driver was waiting for us with a name board outside - all very simple and smooth. Outside airport was remarkably calm, only half-hearted attempts at touting. Driven straight to our hotel with a minimum of fuss. No queuing on check in and genuinely helpful staff. From touch down to check in took one hour all in. All of this is a far cry from arrivals at Suvarnabhumi and recent experiences of staying in hotels in Thailand. While sheer volume of numbers means Suvarnabhumi immigration was, is and will always be busy, I couldn't help feel there was something reminiscent in this first experience of Vietnam of how Thailand used to be. 



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