2nd GLOBAL TENTMAKERS CONFERENCE 2023 in VIETNAM .... may I have more info , pls! (Letters & Info Packs)
Dear IT Phils Eagles, Partners and Friends,
GREETINGS !!! Two months from now, we will be seeing each other in the beautiful city of HO CHI MINH (famously known as SAIGON) for our 2nd GLOBAL TENTMAKERS CONFERENCE 2023. We are so excited for this gathering. We look forward to an amazing time of fellowship with all of you again!
Additional conference info and instructions:
A. IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS for both PHILIPPINES & VIETNAM
1. Please check regularly the announcements on our Facebook. We will have a pre-departure briefing for all registered conference participants to best prepare you on your immigration encounters – both in the Philippines and in Vietnam. The dates and time will be communicated to all via announcements on our Facebook page.
2. All documents that may be asked from you by immigration officers will be provided by our office. Please show the documents only when asked by the immigration officer!
3. There is NO VISA requirement for Filipinos to enter Vietnam. All you need to show is your Philippine passport. You are allowed to stay for a maximum of twenty one (21) days. A requirement for entry is that your Philippine Passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the exit date. You may be barred from entering and will be sent back to Manila if the date falls below the specified period.
B. AIRPORT IN VIETNAM
Our conference venue is in Ho Chi Minh City. All arrivals must be in TAN SON NHAT INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (or HO CHI MINH CITY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT). This airport is the largest airport in Vietnam. It is located 6kms north of the center (District 1) of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). Cebu Pacific arrives and departs from Terminal 2. There are bus and taxi services from the airport to downtown Saigon. Transportation from airport to the city center will be discussed in the section below.
C. AIRPORT DEPARTURE & ARRIVAL / CURRENT VACCINATION REQUIREMENTS
a. DEPARTURE from MANILA … the airline check in personnel may still ask you about the status of your vaccination and may ask to see the following …
1. FOR VACCINATED INDIVIDUALS: a) Certificates (Vax Cert or Bureau of Quarantine Yellow Passport) in case you are asked to present it at check in.
- Vax Certificates are retrieved ONLINE (Free)
- Yellow Passports are secured from Bureau of Quarantine office or from its satellite centers in malls.
2. FOR UNVACCINATED INDIVIDUALS
We will inform those who are unvaccinated of the latest travel advisory on the matter, if they come out. Our most recent experience indicates that our airport authorities don’t require anything anymore from the unvaccinated. If any of you have read a circular or announcement stating new requirements for the unvaccinated, please make us know right away so we could inform our unvaccinated participants on the steps they must take prior to departure. Travel for the unvaccinated is a lot freer now with countries allowing entry without any requirements.
b. ARRIVAL in VIETNAM… There are no quarantine requirements anymore in Vietnam. There are also no checks on vaccination certificates. Immigration officers will just ask the standard questions such as reasons for visit and how long do you plan to stay in Vietnam. Please be ready with the immigration documents supplied by our office and present the documents if… and only of it was asked. If not, then you may just keep those documents with you.
c. DEPARTURE/ARRIVAL in NAIA (Manila) …Paper-based departure will no longer be supplied. All departure and arrival forms are now on digital format, meaning all travelers must fill the forms ONLINE. You must accomplish an eTravel online form by downloading the application from etravel.gov.ph and fill it up completely. Once completed , you will receive a QR code (take a screenshot right away). You will be asked to present it upon departure or arrival before you will be allowed to proceed to the immigration counter.
D. TRAVEL FROM HCMC AIRPORT TO THE CITY CENTER
1. PUBLIC TRANSPORT OPTIONS : You have several transport options to go to the city center: Airport Taxi , Bus or Grab Car service .
A. BY PUBLIC BUS: To go from Tan Son Nhat International Airport to the City Center by bus, you can take public bus # 152. This is the bus route that brings you to the famous Ben Thanh Market. The bus stop is located outside the airport terminal and the bus runs every 20 minutes. The fare is around 6,000VND or around Pesos 15. The travel time takes around 45-60 minutes depending on the traffic. Operating time for this bus is from 5:45am to 6:15pm.
Another bus option is Bus # 49 that goes directly to the City Center (Dist 1 and 3). The fare price is at around 40,000 VND per person (Pesos 95) and operates from 5:30am to 1:30am the next day.
A more favored bus option of tourists is Bus # 109. The fare costs run at around 12,000VND (Pesos 29) per person (for less than 5km) or 20,000VND (Pesos 48) per person (for over 5km). Operating time is from 5:30am to 1:30am the next day.
You can purchase your tickets at the airport’s ticket booths or directly on board the bus. Please note that payment on the bus can only be in the local currency (VND).
B. BY TAXI : Various taxi companies service the Tan Son Nhat Airport. You can easily find them lined up outside the arrival station of the International arrival terminal . All taxis calculate their fares using a taximeter The average taxi fare from the airport to the City Center costs around 131,500 VND or Pesos 310. Please note that an airport toll fee of 10,000 VND (Pesos 24) will be added to the end fare bringing the total Pesos 334. (++ These prices are cost estimates and prices will vary depending on the traffic condition and drop off location) There are no price differences between night, day and weekend trips.
C. BY GRAB CAR: You may use your Grab Car app in Vietnam. There is no Uber service available. if you choose Grab Car the driver will drive to the outside of the station waiting for you. However, waiting time is not more than 3 minutes, so before you book your car, you should wait outside the station to not miss the car. Average prices range from VND 200,000 VND – 300,000 VND for car from Tan Son Nhat – City Center, depending on the type of Grab car you avail of and the distance you travel. You won’t need to download another Grab app if you are already using one in your country. Your existing app will recognize your new location and will automatically transform to a local Grab app. Prices will be in local currency already.
2. HOTEL AIRPORT TRANSFER SERVICE
If you availed of the Ramana Saigon Hotel package, you will be provided with an airport transfer (pick-up) service. Upon arrival you, proceed to a column outside the arrival section designated by the hotel. You will be met there by their representative who will guide you to their service vehicle and bring you directly to the hotel.
The airport transfer service is to and from the hotel. You don’t need to pay anything. The fares are covered already in your accommodation package
E. CHANGE CURRENCY
Exchange your US$ or whatever currency to the local VND or Vietnamese Dong at any Currency Exchange Counter that you’ll see at the airport
The exchange rate as of May 24 is USD 1 = VND 23, 426.50 = Phil Pesos 55.72. Yes, your Pesos 2,500 will put VND 1,049,897 in your hands, making you a millionaire right away !!!
Some Currency Exchange Counters accept Phil Pesos and the rates are normally posted on a board or screen. You will have to pay your bus or taxi in VND so please remember to have your money changed to the local currency before heading towards your preferred mode of travel.
F. CONFERENCE VENUE
Please take note that our original venue choice, The Golden Palace, was changed to a better location and convention facilities. We will finally be doing the conference in :
THE CAPELLA GALLERY HALL
Convention Center in Ho Chi Minh City
No. 24, 3/2 Street , Ward 12, District 10
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Address to present to taxi driver:
24 Đ. 3 Tháng 2, Phường 12, Quận 10,
Thành phố, Hồ Chí Minh 700000, Vietnam
Option 1: RAMANA SAIGON HOTEL:
The hotel is a 3 star rated hotel which means cost of rooms are no longer on the budget rate. We have received though a very good offer from a Vietnamese Travel Service who is willing to accommodate the first 200 individuals on or before June 15, 2023 for the total amount of Php10, 000 inclusive of the following :
- 4Days/4 Nights’ accommodation (July 20-24) in a 3-4 star hotel with ..
- Buffet breakfast
- Airport Transfer
- Use of Amenities - gym & swimming pool
- Mekong Delta Tour
- Half day Ho Chi Minh City Tour
- Bus Transfer from Hotel to the Conference Venue
This offer is a winner. They provide airport run service. The hotel is close to the venue and transportation to and from conference will be provided. The rooms are clean and spacious. The breakfast choices are 5star level. Use of hotel amenities are free. On top of all these, they will provide free whole day tour to the Mekong Delta and the city of Saigon. Ptr Gani Stayed here for several days and gives the thumbs up for the accommodation package.
Option 2: Backpackers, dormitory type or capsule type accommodation.. These types of accommodations are widely available in Saigon. The City Center has hundreds of low budget accommodations catering mainly to backpackers and tourists on a tight budget. When using booking sites like Agoda or Booking.com, use District 10 as the specific location choice. The site will show you all the available hotels and their rates for the day.
Option 3: Residential or Church Facilities . We are still on the lookout for churches who would be willing to offer their doors to accommodate our missionaries. In our past conferences, churches graciously allowed us the use of their guest rooms and even their sanctuary for free to our financially challenged missionaries. We will announce right away if we find a church who will respond positively. We also requested our missionaries based in Saigon to help us in this search. Most of our good options are located in the Filipino Community where the generosity of our kababayans are wonderfully experienced. Some of our teams have their homes readied for missionaries who talked to them already.
We will provide a more detailed accommodation info options which include costs of rooms etc... in our next Conference Info pack.
G. COVID PROTOCOL AT THE CONFERENCE
1. There will still be a regular random temperature check on everyone who will participate in the conference. We will bar from participating anyone who show symptoms of covid in order to prevent the possibility of spreading the virus.
2. Anyone who gets feverish,37.5C and above, must undergo RT PCR test., If found positive for Covid , you will be placed in an isolation room and separate you from the rest. If the person with fever happens to share a room, all the individuals in the room must also undertake RT PCR tests. Those tested positive may be quarantined /isolated for several days before they are allowed to leave.
3. Our office will be bringing several RT PCR or Antigen tests and should the need arise, please don’t hesitate to ask for one. The test kits could also be purchased on local pharmacies or convenience stores.
4. We will try our very best to help the government of Vietnam n in their fight against Covid. More will be discussed at our PRE-DEPARTURE BRIEFING.
H. VIETNAM POST-CONFERENCE TOUR
We will be discussing at the next Info Pack the Pre and Post Conference activities – optional tours to special sites. Missionaries in Training who signed up for ACCESS 2 will follow an itinerary set by our ACCESS 2 Evaluators Team.. The rest will have their options open to any trips or activities in and out of the city or even to bordering nations, such as Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. .. We will be presenting suggestions on good places to go to and activities to do while in Vietnam on our next posting.
1. ALWAYS …. Be extra vigilant and be super attentive to motorcycle traffic while crossing the streets of Saigon. So many accidents occur mostly to people who took lightly the dangers of crossing the streets in Vietnam. We will feature in the next info pack a section on safely crossing the streets of Saigon.
2. SMARTPHONE … everyone must bring their own smartphones. We would like everyone to be accessible in case of emergencies.
3. ROAMING SERVICE: Please ask your service provider (Globe, Smart etc...) if they could activate your phone for International Roaming. When you are on roaming, your friends and loved ones can call you or text message wherever you are. Warning the cost of roaming services is high. When activated your mobile phone will be able to receive text messages and calls from the Philippines, for free. However, once you start to answer the call or send a reply text, the cost to you is extremely high. Better purchase a local SIM card that you can use to respond to text messages.
J. PRAYERS and INTERCESSION: Please always include the conference and the organizing staffs in your prayers. Pray also for GOD’s provision for all those who will be attending the conference.
We’ll this is it for now! I’m excited and looking forward to another great Global Tentmakers conference. More conference info and updates in our next INFO PACK
See you soon in the beautiful city of Saigon … much blessings!
Ptr. Gani Sison