Eden and Marion’s expatriation to Ho Chi Minh

Marion is French and she went to live in Vietnam, in Ho Chi Minh City, with all her tribe. Tribe that includes her dog Eden. Marion delivers her experience and some rather unusual anecdotes. Here is his story… 

Eden is a small dog, a 3.5kg Bichon Maltais, so she can travel with us in the cabin, which is much more reassuring! I found a backpack that meets the standards of Air France to travel with his animal cabin. For the moment, Eden has only traveled with this company: she went to Italy (one of the most Dog Friendly countries I know) with us and lately for our expatriation in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC).

The backpack is very practical, I put Eden on my back and I’m off, I can take care of my daughter of 20 months because my hands are free. During the flight, however, the crew isn’t very understanding when traveling with a dog and even Stalinist. But I only traveled with Air France, I don’t know other companies. Her head  must not leave the bag and the bag must be placed on the ground, under the front seats. Fortunately, Eden is a very calm dog who can stay long quiet hours, especially if her mistress is there. On each flight, I had a fight with a hostess because I let Eden’s head go out of the bag and I put it on the vacant seat next to me. With air conditioning and heat, I could not leave it completely locked up!! Anyway, with my dog and my daughter, I’m not the friend of hostesses and stewards!

The main concern is that the dog can do his needs during a flight of 13 hours. I had planned special rugs on which she had learned to clean (8 years ago …). Well, despite several trips to the bathroom where I put the carpet on the floor, and I waited for her to relieve herself, nothing to do, she did not want to do anything and held herself during the whole flight. It was the stress of the trip for me. Especially after the 13h flight, she still waited 2 hours before we can get out of the airport. Not something to do every day!

Finally arrived at HCMC, the other small worries begin: arrival in a tropical climate after leaving Picardie … Eden suffers a little heat outside and we are in apartment, while in France we had a house with garden … We must find a new balance, Eden spending less, she took a little weight and, fragile intestines, she had some disorders … So, investigation of HCMC veterinarians for us and discovery of local practices … Little anecdote, we traveled with about 80kg of croquettes in advance for fear of what I will find here … Well, it was pure paranoia, there is everything that we can wish here.

Otherwise, we must also inquire customs formalities for the journey of animals. Obviously vaccines must be up to date, with no period of no coverage, otherwise there is a delay before the trip and you must have an international health certificate of less than one week. But in some countries it’s also necessary to have an anti-rabies test for the return. I didn’t need it to come to Vietnam and quite foolishly I did not do it. We return to France in June for the holidays and I have to do it here at least 3 months before our return flight. It’s quite expensive (whether here or in France). But when one travels within the European Union I think that one is exempt [note: find here all the information concerning the formalities of travel]. In short, it is necessary to learn about it because the formalities are sometimes stricter for the return in the country from which one leaves than for the country in which one leaves.