It was supposedly a Vietnam-Cambodia-Vietnam trip. But since I can only get a day (only ONE day) off, I only booked a round trip ticket to Vietnam forgoing the side trip to Cambodia to see the Angkor Wat. Thinking that maybe I can go there next time, this time I would be coming from Bangkok. Hmmm, tempting. And because I am subscribed to the Seat Sale Alert of Cebu Pacific, last May 27, I booked myself (and my officemates) a flight to Vietnam from August 19 to August 22. With much enthusiasm, I announced to them and to the world that “We’re going to Vietnam, for two AND A HALF days, for only 3.5k.”
And so, we all thought that we were leaving in the afternoon of the 22nd for Manila. Although this isn’t my first time to fly nor my first time to fly in the wee hours of the morning, it really didn’t cross my mind that they use MILITARY TIME (as if I haven’t been in ROTC for two years as an officer! Boo me). Of course, I know they use military time, but somehow, it was ingrained in me that I’m spending two and a half days on vacation (partly maybe because I WANT it to be that LONG) and that somehow, for me, it would be unwise to go overseas for only two freakin days. Do I make sense?
So to cut the long story short, instead of leaving for the airport for our flight home Friday night, we had last minute shopping at Bhen Than Market and had last minute “night life” at Go Go Bar (located in the Pham Ngu Lao district where all the backpackers converge. It’s like the Malate of Philippines actually). We went back to our hostel at 2am. Saturday morning is full of last-minute stuff too. Ahbee, Nee (real name: Arbee and Nix, just pronounced that way by the receptionist of our hostel) and I went around Ho Chi Minh to see the sights of the city. We tried to go to all the tourist spots found in the guide but we only went to Notre Dame, War Museum and People’s Palace. Another last minute pasalubong shopping at Bhen Than, quick breakfast in the Pham Ngu Lao area and by 11am, we’re all set to go to the airport and say good bye to Vietnam…
Little did we know that it isn’t time for us to say good bye… yet. Upon arriving at the airport, we saw that there’s no CEBU PACIFIC leaving at 1pm on the flight board. Arbee asked the airport personnel why only to be told: IT ALREADY LEFYT AT ONE THIS MORNING. We double checked our tickets (too late) and saw-no, REALIZED-that our flight really was at 1AM and NOT PM…
Anyhoot, to be honest, I didn’t panicked. Am not proud of saying this but am used to being left behind by my plane! It happened to me twice already (which I think is also worth blogging so am not gonna tell that story here). The only thing am worried about is money to rebook my flight or to get to another flight. We called and even checked online for options to go home. We ended up with these:
- Cebu Pacific – Tuesday, 1am for ONLY Php4,000++
- PAL – Monday, 4pm for Php12,000++
- PAL – Sunday, 4pm for USD 502 (really, really not an option for us)
- Tiger/Airasia/Etc. whichever is cheaper – Connecting flights Vietnam-KL/Sing/Bangkok/Philippines
We ended up booking these flights (why? Because apparently there’s this NEED of going back asap because of I-don’t-know-what):
- Tiger – Sunday, 8am for Php 4,310 from Vietnam to Singapore
- Cebu Pacific – Monday, 0040H for Php 5,700 from Singapore to Manila
So that’s a whopping Php10k. But we get to spend 12 hours in Singapore. Why not, right? 🙂
We left Vietnam at 8am and arrived in Singapore at 12nn. We had time to go around the city and took pictures… and lots and lots of it. I had fun while I there mainly because I had great company. 🙂
However, thoughts came in AFTER that side trip to Singapura. Another honest opinion, which am starting to regret why I haven’t fought for it, is that our best option was to stay in Vietnam and get that CebPac flight on Tuesday morning for ONLY Php4,000! That way, we could have saved A LOT of money. Another thing is, if I were to go to Singapore, surely I can buy a plane ticket that’s less than 10k! One last thing, if one the main reason why we need to go home ASAP is work, then it’s ok to miss one day of work! My world won’t stop if I miss work for ONE FREAKIN DAY (sounds like ranting, eh?).
There, I’ve had my say. But, I know it sounds cliche, I charged everything to experience (and someone else’s CC. lo kidding ;)).
Wait! There’s part two: How I Find Singapore. 🙂