I’m typing this section up during my 3-hour layover in Singapore airport. I did attempt to check my email at one of the 200 free internet terminals, but the session crashed as soon as Gmail loaded. At least I noticed I only had the one email (I’ll get back to you tomorrow, Chunky!) so that wasn’t a great problem.
I’ve heard great things about this airport and it doesn’t disappoint, except that they give you 200 free stand-up terminals and then attempt to charge you for wi-fi. No careless IT staff have left any routers switched on as in Phuket, either, so I’ll have to wait till I get to Auckland before I can do any surfing.
The rain had stopped by the time I got to Hanoi airport, which figures. Mind, I checked in quickly and my flight was confirmed all the way to Auckland.
My only problem with the flight was the food. The menu showed the option for Hanoi to Singapore and also Singapore to Hanoi. I would have preferred the food going in the opposite direction! When I booked the flights, Singapore Airlines give you a vast array of dietary options. Sadly, “no seafood” isn’t amongst them. Every single meal had fish in either the starter, the main course, or both. I went for the pork main course which was OK, though I was hungry enough to have wanted a starter. Someone also needs to sit them down and explain that cold corn in jelly is not a dessert. Or certainly shouldn’t be.
This is something I’ve noticed a lot in Vietnam, and to a smaller extent in Thailand. The inclusion of corn and other vegetables in ice creams and ice lollies is astounding – though mainly as it’s unheard-of back in the UK. I suppose it’s one way of getting kids to eat healthily, but give me a Strawberry Mivvi any day.
Having walked between areas F and E in terminal 2, I’ve already gone past two impressive Koi Carp “lakes”. OK, they’re quite small, but the fish are impressively sized. According to the leaflet I picked up in Hanoi, there are a number of things to do at the airport depending on the length of your layover. More then 5 hours and they’ll even take you on a bus trip round the city for free! There’s a gym, pool, showers and do on that can all be used for a vastly reduced price (literally a couple of pounds) with a Singapore Airlines boarding pass. I’m toying with doing this on the way back through to Hanoi in 6 weeks – all of a sudden the long layover doesn’t seem so bad.
Well, my second flight boards in 90 minutes or so, so I’m off for more of a wander around to see what else I can scrounge. One stand was selling a 17″ portable DVD player for S$190, which I reckon’s around £80. Eek. Nothing else is that much cheaper though! Duty Free prices worldwide are all inflated to the point where they’re rarely worth taking advantage of.