Well, it’s nice to know that some things are consistent. Upon arrival back in Sai Gon last night I was pushed out of the way by the baggage handlers at the carousel, queue jumped at the luggage x-ray, fought to get a taxi at the now badly disorganised taxi rank, had an argument with the taxi driver when he got underway and tried to charge 200,000 VND for an 80,000 VND fare, witnessed a 3 m’bike accident with one guy lying unconscious on the road, and began sweating within 1 second of leaving the terminal. All things you don’t really need after 24 hours of travel, but at least it makes you realise, “Hey, I’m back in Viet Nam!”
When the new International Terminal opened last year the taxi rank was one road over from the exit which was a great idea because it gave passengers a bit of breathing space from the over eager drivers trying to solicit a fare. The old terminal was a nightmare with drivers or their touts physically trying to take your luggage from you and on many occasions I have had stand up arguments with people who were trying to walk off with my suitcase. Unfortunately the taxi rank at the new terminal has now been moved to the road directly outside the exit and last night the chaos was evident. Not a good impression if people are arriving in VN for the first time and even less so if the driver tries to rip them off, as this guy did. I have become very selective with which taxi company I use and the solicitations of most drivers full on deaf ears. But this taxi was with the new fleet belonging to SG Airport Taxis and I have found previously that their meters are not overclocked. Disappointing to find the drivers behaving like this, even more so when last nights driver became sulky and wouldn’t help lift the luggage out of the back. He only shifted himself when I walked off leaving all the back doors open, ah – welcome home royby!