My day on Thursday 1st July started with me asking if I should bring my passport over to Victory Road Villas tonight so that it could be submitted for another visa extension. There was lots of information on various Facebook groups retracting the information that said all tourist visa extensions had been stopped and that they were definitely being extended now, so I was pretty confident all would go ahead once the authorities in Dong Hoi ‘read their memos’. At 09:13 I got a reply to say we were still waiting for immigration to reply and we just had to wait. Having wasted too much time faffing about already this morning, I decided to make several pancakes at once and as they were turning out on the crispy side I popped a few in a tuppaware box for later – the walnut milk was not as good as the almond milk but it didn’t taste as sweet so it was a tough one which to use for the best results. When Captain Caveman returned he had picked up 2kg of mangosteen from Mina and we had a quick check on if we still had enough cash to go to Fish and Chips night at The Villas later. We had 832,000vnd (£25.80) left until pay day and the special tonight was 175,000vnd (£5.42) each and a glass of wine is 110,000vnd (£3.41) but we were going for it! For lunch we had Baba Ganoush on what I thought might still be crispy pancakes but they had gone to the consistency of proper pancakes again and were delicious. We shared some mangosteens and discussed our plans for the rest of the weekend, which kind of depended on me staying in Vietnam and me getting the answer we wanted from immigration. I would be sad to leave Phong Nha and Vietnam but of course I had already started to try to keep positive and remind myself of everything I could look forward to if I was to go back to Turkey next week.
We got picked up at 6pm and headed over to meet Tatas and Craig Davis with Veronika and the Farmstay guests. At 18.27, as we were at the dinner table, I got a message which said that immigration could not do an extension this month. It was suggested that I try asking elsewhere, maybe an agent in Hanoi or Hoi An. I asked about an overstay or exit visa but I was told that I must leave before the 9th July, they did not know how much overstay fees were – that was whatever the airport staff wanted to charge. I legally had only 8 days left in Vietnam and the airline which I preferred to use only had flights once per week. It didn’t seem real until, as we were leaving, one of the lovely Phong Nha Farmstay guests gave me a massive hug and wished me well for leaving Vietnam.

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