2nd GLOBAL TENTMAKERS CONFERENCE in VIETNAM . May I have more info, please…?
Dear ITP Eagles and Friends,
In a month’s time, we will see each other in the beautiful bustling city of SAIGON. We are so excited for this gathering and we look forward to walking the streets of Saigon with you. Here are additional information to add to the first two info packs …
A. DOWNTOWN/ CITY CENTER TRAVEL
There are free maps of the city of Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) … on the airport or in the hotels. We advise that you get one and carry it with you always to provide you with a good view of the various locations where you plan to go and visit. We also have a map printed in the conference manual.
Google map and Waze works also in Vietnam. There is no separate apps to download. What you are using in your country will work automatically there.
GOING AROUND HO CHI MINH CITY (Public Transport in the City)
1. TAXIS: Taxi services in Saigon are reasonable and plentiful. It would not be difficult to get one at any anytime of the day.. If you are traveling as a group or are just under time pressure, taxi is a good option to use in going around Saigon.
The basic fee or flag down rate for a Ho Chi Minh taxi is 12,000.00 VND (Pesos 28.50) while the kilometer price is 13,000.00 VND (Pesos 31 ). For standing and waiting time, an extra 30,000.00 VND (Pesos 71) is charged per hour.
WARNING: Unless you have a Vietnamese speaker present or on the phone, never get into a taxi without the address you want to go to written in Vietnamese, or on a tablet or smartphone. Ask the assistance of a Vietnamese to write it down for you. Here’s why: Few taxi drivers in Vietnam speak English, and because Vietnamese is a tonal language, a non-Vietnamese speaker attempting to read Vietnamese words phonetically won’t make any sense to anyone, and a taxi driver probably won’t even realize the person is trying to speak Vietnamese. Most Vietnamese will also not recognize street names or addresses written in English. If you try to pronounce the place or street to your driver and he brings you to a different location, most likely it is your fault for not having the complete address written down in Vietnamese for him. If you are staying in a hotel, make sure to get a hotel card and bring it with you always. So when you need to use a taxi, you could just show the card to the driver and he’ll bring you to your hotel directly.
2. GRAB CAR: The Grab App that you use in your country will work here automatically. There is no need to do anything with your app. Just open it and the phone will display the same service that you get from your own place. The rates will be displayed in Vietnamese Dong though. One of the challenge in hailing a Grab car is in determining the right address where you plan to go to. Most address that appear in the Grab Car has a mix of the Vietnamese characters. It would be advisable to ask the assistance of a Vietnamese who understands English to confirm whether the address you choose to go to is the right one.
3. MOTORBIKE TAXIS: We call them in the Philippines as “Angkas” “Joy Ride” or “Habal Habal” . Motorbike Taxis are by far the cheapest and most efficient way to get around the city. They can easily be found in the city, with drivers lining up the streets waiting for customers. You should make sure to agree on a price before starting the journey. This is important in order to not be overcharged at the ned of the journey. Again, just like the warning on the taxi section, be sure to have the address written down in Vietnamese. They enforce a heavy fine on those who don’t wear helmets, so the drivers will make sure that you put on one that will be provided to you.
4. BUSES: Ho Ci MInh City has a comprehensive network of bus routes. The bright green buses are cheap , safe and comfortable mode of transportation. The Ben Thanh bus station, which lies across the Ben Thanh Market , acts as the transport hub for city buses. From there, buses serve the majority of the suburbs in Saigon, as well some outlying areas. Buses will be a bit challenging for those who are new in the city. You will discover that locating the right line or station will be really difficult if you don’t speak in Vietnamese. My advice when traveling around the city is to take the 3 options above.
B. WEATHER SITUATION
Our conference dates (July) is right in the middle of Summer season in Vietnam when it’s hot and humid yet it records the highest rainfall for the year. You may want to bring a small folding umbrella, in case it rain, but please be sure to put it inside your check in baggage. The airport authorities may confiscate it if found in your hand carry bag.
Or you may just buy one when you are already in Vietnam for they are sold pretty cheap.
C. ACCOMMODATIONS ( CONFERENCE PARTICIPANTS)
Please refer to our previous Info Pack (Info Pack # 2) for a thorough presentation on the conference accommodation arrangements.
D. ACCOMMODATIONS (ACCESS 2 TRAINEES):
ACCESS 2 TRAINING which will run from July 23 to 27 will be held in a different location. We have chosen for our ACCESS training venue a beautiful hotel, the RAMAN SAIGON HOTEL, which offers training venue with hotel accommodations at a very reasonable price.. We are finalizing the bookings so as to accommodate as many trainees as possible. The ACCESS 2 team of evaluators have required that all trainees be housed in the hotel so as to ensure that everyone will be present and on time during the daily meetings.
Details on the accommodation will be discussed during your pre-departure meetings for Access 2 participants.
We believe that the serenity and comfort of the place will help heighten everyone’s experience of God’s presence with the hope that heavenly blessings and revelations will flow abundantly for all.
E. INVITATION LETTERS AND OTHER DOCUMENTS
Those who are joining the conference coming from countries that are required to secure an entry visa to visit Vietnam may request for an official letter of invitation from our office. The document will be sent online. We just need to get the email address of the person requesting the document. Kathy Merencillo will assist you on the matter.
A set of travel documents, certifications, documentary proof of the conference in Vietnam, etc. will be sent to all conference participants. We advise that each document be printed out or saved on your mobile phone folders to ensure that you have them in your possession at all times. You must have it ready when demanded by the immigration officers and use it as a reference guide on your stay in Vietnam. . Each set of document will be explained during your Pre departure briefings.
F. HO CHI MINH CITY TOUR OPTIONS
Information on the tour options after the conference will be provided by our friends and co-missionaries from Vietnam at the conference site. Several groups have already made their own arrangements and those who would like to join them must talk to them directly. It is easy to move around to different “go-to places” in the city by just simply understanding their locations form the map. Your conference manual has. Simple map that highlights the 5 most visited locations in the city. Most of them are simply walking distance away from each other. You’ll be surprised at the many things that you could visit and enjoy in the city of Saigon.
The recommended tour options available are as follows :
1. BEN THANH MARKET - Ben Thanh Market is one of the most well-known and popular markets in Ho Chi Minh City. The market is one of the earliest surviving structures in Saigon and an important landmark of the city. Ben Thanh showcases an array of stalls selling a wide range of goods, including clothing, souvenirs, local delicacies, and fresh produce. The market opens at 6am and closes at 6pm . After all the stalls have closed inside the market and the gates are shut at 6pm, the vibrant NIGHT MARKET will start in the streets surrounding Ben Thanh
2. WAR REMNANTS MUSEUM - The War Remnants Museum is currently one of the most popular museums in Vietnam, It contains exhibits relating to the Vietnam War. The exhibit showcases military hardware used during the war such as helicopters, fighter jets, tanks, explosive devices (defused), documents etc … which are so informative and will give you a better view of the destructive nature of war. The museum is open on all days, including public holidays. Ticket price: 40,000 VND (Pesos 95.) for adults and 20,000 VND (Pesos 48 ) for children ages 6-15. Children under six years old can visit for free.
3. PEOPLE’S COMMITTEE HALL – One of our favorite photo shoot locations. The Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee Building is, in essence, City Hall. It is home to the administration in charge of the city. Nothing to do inside for us visitors. But the outside is just a magnificent French structure built in early 1900’s.and is now converted into a government office. Surrounding the building landmark are commercial stores mostly high end branded names. The historically famous REX HOTEL is on the side and is also a must visit. This place is walking distance from Ben Thanh Market.
4. NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL – Another famous landmark at the heart of Saigon and another favorite photo shoot location due to the magnificent 1800’s structure . The Cathedral together with another go to place beside it is the SAIGON CENTRAL POST OFFICE.
5. INDEPENDENCE PALACE – This is one of the go to places in Saigon. The Independence Palace served as the residence and office of South Vietnamese President during the Vietnam war. It was now designated as a historical monument and was made open to the public. You may explore the main palace as well as the exhibition hall. Then go for lunch at the restaurant right on the site. The palace is open every day, except public holidays, from 7:30am till 4pm.,and the entrance fee is 20,000 VND (Pesos 48).
6. OTHER GO TO PLACES IN HO CHI MINH CITY …. So many places to go to and so many things to do. Our Vietnamese missionaries will be at the conference to guide us and present to us the beauty of their country. There are many more marvels outside the city of Saigon.
F. ONE MONTH TO GO FOR YOUR BLESSINGS
1. “BY FAITH, I WILL BE HERE” FAITH EXERCISE
Those who participated in our Facebook Faith exercise “BY FAITH, I WILL BE HERE!” are encouraged to work some more on your posting by encouraging friends to give you their LIKES. There are already a lot of posts that have reached the Winners Circle (Level 1) and two have already reached the Top Prizes. We would like to see more TOP PRIZE awardees who will claim their gifts at the conference.
Prizes are as follows:
100 Likes = Gift (Vietnam Treat or Souvenir Item)
250 Likes = ITeams Baseball Cap + Gift (Vietnam Treat or Souvenir Item)
500 Likes = ITeams T shirt + ITeams Baseball Cap + Gift (Vietnam Treat or Souvenir Item)
750 Likes = KIPLING or NORTH FACE sling bag+ ITeams T shirt + ITeams Baseball Cap + Gift (Vietnam Treat or Souvenir Item)
1000 Likes = Entrance to Cu Chi Tunnel + KIPLING or NORTH FACE sling bag + ITeams T shirt + ITeams Baseball Cap + Gift (Vietnam Treat or Souvenir Item)
1500 Likes = IT Cutting-Edge or Global Tentmakers Webinar Package Tickets (P2,000) + Entrance to Cu Chi Tunnel + KIPLING or NORTH FACE sling bag + ITeams T-shirt + ITeams Baseball Cap + Gift (Vietnam Treat or Souvenir Item)
2,000 Likes = IT Revitalized Mission or Access Mission Webinar Tickets (P4,000) + Entrance to Cu Chi Tunnel + KIPLING or NORTH FACE sling bag + ITeams T-shirt + ITeams Baseball Cap + Gift (Vietnam Treat or Souvenir Item)
We will request screenshots of your posting that shows the number of Likes (including hearts) to claim the gifts. The number of Likes to win start from as small as 100 likes to 1K – 2K. There could be over a hundred winners, so we will be requesting the screenshots to be submitted early so we’ll have time to prepare all the gifts. Gifts and blessings will only be handed over at the conference venue. We will just raffle of the gifts if the winner won’t be present at the conference to claim the gifts.
2. FREE PLANE TICKETS & FREE CONFERENCE REGISTRATION
Last year, 11 IT missionaries were given FREE PLANE TICKETS to SINGAPORE and FREE REGISTRATION to our 5th CUTTING EDGE LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE. This year, there were also 11 missionaries who got the FREE ROUND TRIP PLANE TICKETS and FREE REGISTRATION to our 13th EAST ASIA REGIONAL CONFERENCE in TAIWAN..
For this upcoming GLOBAL TENTMAKERS in VIETNAM Conference, we have budgeted for 25 free 2 way plane tickets. As of June 26,2023 there were already 16 IT Missionaries who will receive their FREE 2 WAY PLANE TICKETS. There is still less than month left to win the remaining 9 tickets and the Free Conference Registration. We have received word from several GMC’s that they are near to reaching their target numbers to claim their tickets. That is wonderful! We really would like those who have served well to receive their share of blessings.
This is an incentive program for IT Missionaries involved in missions’ mobilization under our Global Mission Center and Ignite Missions initiative. We also choose IT Missionaries who passionately and generously contributes their time and resources in helping our organization advance the global missions’ agenda.
All awardees will be recognized during our Vietnam conference and additional tokens of recognition will be handed to each one.
This is it for now! There’s probably two or three more Info Packs to go before we all fly out to Vietnam.
Please pray for the success of our Vietnam conference. Let’s believe that GOD will do something amazing and unforgettable at our conference. Let’s all join hands in our commitment to bring honor and glory to the LORD to all the nations of the world.
May there be nothing but praises and thanksgiving to our Master and King all throughout the conference.
Ptr. Gani Sison & IT Office Organizing Team