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20 Hours of Flying--Doing Well in Vietnam

While you are most definitely tired, your no-jet-lag strategy worked, at least when flying west.

by Bob Kerstetter

You set a simple goal—sleep during sleeping hours in Vietnam. Stay up during waking hours. You fly for about 20 hours.

The flight to Tokyo consumes 13 hours. Part of time you chat with a newlywed couple from Japan. They took their honeymoon trip in Mexico and now head toward their home near Fuji-san, the Japanese affectionate name for Mt. Fuji. He speaks some English and likes Sakamoto Ryoma, a 19th Century patriot and reformer from Kochi City.

Japanese couple heading home at the end of their honeymoon.

Your inflight Japanese friends head home at the end of their honeymoon. They live in town near Fuji-san, the beloved Mt. Fuji.

After a two-hour layover, you leave Narita International, flying seven more hour to Ho Chi Minh City.

Landing at Tan Son Nhat International Airport at 22:00, you drop in bed at midnight, wake up at 7:30 local time with pretty much no jet lag. While you are most definitely tired, your no-jet-lag strategy—sleeping and waking according to Vietnam time—works more or less as you hoped.

You are visiting Vietnam to meet people and look around the country. As always you travel without a guide. At first impression, everyone is very friendly.

You are staying in an-of-the-way neighborhood in Ho Chi Minh City and are the only Americans in the area, as far as you can tell. There may be another American in the hotel.

You eat breakfast with some friends at a very small restaurant in the neighborhood. The stories about the food appear to be true. Yum!

A really good breakfast less than 200 feet from in-laws' residence.

You eat a really good breakfast in a quiet neighborhood. Saigon food—no says Ho Chi Mihn City food—lives up to its reputation.

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