Howard A. Daniel III filed this report from Viet Nam. Thanks!
My wife and I flew out of Dulles International Airport at 8AM on Wednesday on United Airlines with Economy Plus tickets. It was a smooth flight to San Francisco International Airport and it was a nice surprise that we did not have to go through TSA again when walking from the Domestic to the International Terminal. We found out we had been upgraded to First Class and our new ticket gave us access to the First Class Lounge. It pays to be a very loyal customer of one airline! I caught up with all of my emails and also made some telephone calls. The First Class on the Boeing 747 was VERY nice, and I got a lot of work done on my computer with the 110V outlet to keep me powered up.
I have learned to put everything in my computer bag when going through Hong Kong security. That includes my belt, coins, watch, ring and wallet. It really confused the poor lady with the wand trying to find something on me and to give me derogatory comments about forgetting something. I could see the man on the x-ray machine looking at my computer bag and commenting to someone next to him. I do not like Hong Kong security and have had several problems with them.
Phung and I found a young American man waiting for our flight to Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) who teaches English and how to take a SAT for Vietnamese high school students wanting to go to colleges and universities in the USA. I gave him my card and he will contact me to teach one of our nieces who my wife wants to attend George Mason University in Virginia. He is also a writer for a magazine in Viet Nam and will interview me about my numismatic adventures. I will definitely put in a plug for Viet Nam to have a national numismatic society.
We arrived at midnight to a crowd of relatives and we talked in our house until 3AM. I pushed myself out of bed at around 7AM to force myself into the new time zone. There was a small stack of Viet Nam News newspapers waiting for me in my home office. One item had a new import/export circular about to be implemented. Everyone carrying gold bullion bars in and out of the country will need a permit from the local branch of the State Bank. I collect the gold bullion bars of Viet Nam so I will see if I can acquire a permit. This will likely drive up the price for collectors because fewer will be outside of Viet Nam for them.
A second item was about counterfeit 200,000 Dong polymer notes being found in circulation. The counterfeits can be easily torn while the authentic are almost impossible to tear. They are also not printed with Optically Variable Ink (OVI) which displays two distinct colors when looked at from different angles. The transparent window also does not have the almost hidden image in it, and the block letters and serial number ink does not have a luminescence appearance. The State Bank also announced that the old 10,000 and 20,000 Dong paper (not polymer) notes will no longer be legal tender on January 1, 2013.
I will send in more numismatic information as I find it here in Viet Nam and Southeast Asia.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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