10.26.2009 - 11.19.2009 90 °F
Han and Vi at the Taipei Airport
Tan Son Nhat Airport, Saigon (the green, EVA A332, would later take us to Taipei as BR392, and the Transaero B767 was departing to Moscow Domodedovo)
Aboard BR392, EVA Air, bound for Taipei
Ma Maison Hotel with the hotel's proprietress, Natasha Long
My final night in Vietnam was spent at the brand new, Ma Maison Hotel in Saigon, where I was met with a tall glass of passion fruit juice by Natasha. I only had a few hours between the inbound flight from Dalat and my outbound flights to Taiwan and the USA, so I needed a little luxury to send me on my way - it was a treat to be pampered by Ms. Long and her wonderful staff.
I was early to check in at Tan Son Nhat the next morning, so I settled down for my final ca fe sua da and headed for the economy line at EVA Air check-in. Immediately, Han put out his hand in greeting, and I had a new friend to accompany me on the Taipei bound flight. Han was a Vietnamese/American homebound to Atlantic City. Later, at gate 17, we met up with Vi (another Vietnamese/American from NJ), and later Vi and myself were seated together in the rear of the A332 bound for Taipei.
It was really wonderful to meet these two, and we continued to pal around between flights in the transit area at Taipei, where we browsed the duty free shops and sampled exotic Taiwanese fruits and candies for sale. Soon it was time for my new friends to leave for Newark, and I still had another hour to kill before BR18 left for San Francisco. BR18 (brand new B777-300) turned out to be a great trip of only 10 hours with excellent food and service. It was not full, so we all had a little extra room, and I actually got in a few winks on the long trip home.