Thursday, March 9, 2023

Homeward Bound from Bali

We enjoyed our final Conrad Bali dinner at Rin, the Japanese restaurant, Japanese Wagyu Beef. Yum!

The following day Suka drove us to the airport.

We learned our Garuda flight to Jakarta was late, but we’d built in a lot of layover time, given that this was a separate ticket. We found Garuda a bit odd for a “5-star” airline, but they got us to CGK, albeit about an hour late, after we remained in our seats for 20 minutes after arriving at the gate, presumably awaiting a jet bridge operator.

It was at least 90 minutes too early to collect boarding passes, so we killed time by ordering one dish at a time at a surprisingly good restaurant outside security at the international terminal.

We picked our boarding passes all the way to Tokyo as soon as Cathay Pacific opened up its counter for our flight.

We spent some time in the quite new Plaza Premium Lounge. All we ordered was coffee before our late flight, but the facility is impressive.

Our first three flights were anywhere from two to five hours in length, departing and landing at awkward hours. Still, our CX flatbeds helped and we caught some sleep.

Landing and transiting at Hong Kong was a breeze. We mistakenly passed by The Wing Lounge near Gate 1, but enjoyed a bite to eat and some coffee at the thoroughly adequate The Pier Lounge near Gate 60.

Our flight to Ho Chi Minh City left from Gate 30, and we rested on the two-hour flight.

SGN featured a huge and chaotic immigration line, but we knew where we were going and politely waded through it to reach the deserted transit line.

We’re now in the midst of a 13-hour (!) layover at SGN. What to do? It’s not a large or particularly well equipped airport.

We used up an hour with a pretty good lunch at one of the airport’s better looking restaurant up on the third floor.

We then walked to the other side of the terminal, where we got access to the “sleep capsules” we’d already
reserved for eight hours @ $7 an hour.

It’s too hot, and sometimes too noisy, but it gives us the opportunity chance to lie down, to snooze, and to store up energy for our next flight.

We’ll plan on the maximum three hours in Le Saigonnais Lounge, and we’re hoping to take showers there before we depart to Tokyo Haneda on Japan 11:45 PM, landing at HND at 6:50 AM the following morning.Tokyo is one hour ahead of Ho Chi Minh City, so this JL flight is again not all that long.

In the meantime we’re relaxing in our sleep pods, and being mindful to obey the no-no sign attached to the wastebaskets.

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