March 2008 Newsletter


Saigon Reunion 2009


            The date is set! March 11th – 18th, 2009. Reunion 2009 in HCMC (Saigon). A long weekend (Wednesday – Tuesday) which will include travel time, jet-lag time, and International date-line crossing. You gain a day going and lose a day coming back (from the West Coast). Most departure flights from the West Coast are overnight ones. So, the official Reunion event dates are set for Friday the 13th (OMG!) through Sunday the 15th of March 2009. If you plan your travel for the 11th – 18th, you will allow for the shortest (comfortable) travel time with one jet-lag day (Thursday the 12th). This does not preclude anyone making their own elongated plans, but for our get-togethers and events planning schedules, we are designating Friday – Sunday as the Reunion in Saigon (HCMC).


            There have been some of you lucky ones who have been there since our ACH days and know a lot more about overall travel and accommodations. I solicit your help in providing as much information as possible so that I can post it on the website The Bush sisters (Sarah and Barbara – Barbara is in Saigon now until the end of the month) have been gracious enough to provide as much insight as possible about the new HCMC. Arlene Zuker and Christy Kent recently returned from HCMC and have provided many photos and insights that I hope to post on the website soon. So, visit frequently to get the latest.


            In the coming weeks, we will have the following “committees” and point of contacts that will be coordinating the information for dissemination.


(1)   Travel Coordinator (identifies airlines, rates, routes, staging areas if any, hotels available, rates, availability, meeting room, visa/passport requirements/how-to, shots, monetary choices, etc. and makes them available to all attendees for their individual selection and reservation).

(2)   Events Coordinator (identifies group gathering/dinner function(s), tours, suggested sights/cities to visit, etc. and makes them available to all attendees for their individual selection and reservation/participation)

(3)   Information Coordinator (that’s me … help disseminate the inputs from you individually and the other coordinators through the website


      For starters, I have the following information to share with you that might help in your travel planning. I will post them on the website as well:

(1)   From Eric Harrington (Brent): A friend in the PI said that Philippine airlines is offering (at least through March 2009) a package from SFO of round-trip airfare, 2 nights deluxe hotel (with casino), and airport transfers for about 850 USD.  Add on US return-trip airfare anywhere to SFO for $225.  Sounds like a good deal or, at least a good benchmark from which to start adding Baguio Saigon etc.  Also, upgrade to business class for $750 each way. This will be more informative to the cross-overs that plan to attend the Brent, Baguio PI Reunion as well on March 6 - 9 before the Saigon one.

(2)   The Eastern Route (which includes Saigon French expatriates), has Air France direct from Paris to Saigon. Rates not current, but for those that may want to leave from NY to Paris to Saigon, Air France is an option.

(3)   Staging Area – The Brentkids have tentative plans to stage their departure from San Francisco one night prior to departure gathering. No staging area is planned for the Saigon Kids.

(4)   The following site from Barbara (Bush) Parker provides hotel information and more:

(5)   The following from Arlene (Zucker) Claiborne who recently returned from a dream vacation there:

      We used Eva Air from LA to HCMC. It is a Taiwanese airline and you can upgrade to an economy plus for $200.00 pp. We also used Lonely Planet 2007 guidebook for reliable maps and information For Visa application (required) visit and don’t forget immunization. You will need: Hepatitis A & B series, Typhoid shot and update on Tetanus. Cipro for stomach virus and Augmentin as general antibiotic.

      Please visit the website and under the <Reunion> tab click on <Reunion 2009 (Saigon)> you will find the latest roster of folks with varying plan commitments to attend and other information mentioned in this e-mail.

      Stay tuned!