Stangers in the night

Moving goods in the Mekong

Well…. Here is an update!! Last night I returned to the hotel to find that my former night receptionist was lack in his duties and let the brand new night receptionist look after everything by himself….. Well guess what happened?? A short termer showed up with his girl for an hour of entertainment. My new receptionist, not knowing any better rented a room for an hour. I returned to find two motorcycles parked in the lot. Oh…. More customers I thought. Well….I was surprised to find out what was going on. I have to say the girl was a bit shocked to see me standing here when she came down, but nothing like the man who came to pay. He was so hurried to get out that he overpaid. Oh…. I feel so bad about that. The next fifteen minutes or so was  trying to make clear the importance of keeping this a clean place in the eyes of all. If a person books a room for the night and has daytime or early evening

Boats in the floating market

 guests…… no problem. But the by the hour stuff…… sorry. Just when I thought the episode was all over and we had shut off all the hotel lights, there was a sudden bing bonging of our front door bell. Another short termer was here to rent a room. Sorry….. Damn!!…. We could use the money. At 10 or 12 dollars a night, we need to have guests to pay for the staff. I can see that renting hourly could bring some good profit, but that is not what this project is about. I truly want people who stay here to experience the pleasure of being in a real part of Vietnam, not just the stuck to the touristy things that many do. There is so much here to enjoy.

I am encountering another growing pain. I am getting bookings out of Saigon for the hotel, and that is great. What I am running into is taxi drivers and the like that get paid commissions to take customers to certain hotels. Their tactics are working….. A person gets off a long bus trip to Nha Trang and a taxi driver says oh why go there???? I have a much nicer or closer place in mind. The tourist has no idea that the taxi driver is making money by bringing customers and goes along with the so called expert recommendations. It has happened 4 times now that

Still on the Mekong

 a customer that has booked has not shown up. I have come in on the night bus myself and have seen the practices of those who are there to fish for the tourists. So be it… If a booked guest gets lured into another place instead of mine, it is OK. Hopefully and probably they will have a good time. They will just miss the experience that they originally booked us for.

A Mai story….

One day I was watching Braddock Missing in action part 2…. There was a scene where two people were walking through he jungle after some sort of adventure, when I was bolted upright by a yell “exactly”…. Huh??? As it turns out, the scene in the movie exactly depicted one of Mai’s escape attempts. The police had appeared from an ambush as the groups were trying to launch the little basket boats out to sea. Those who were already launched

A floating 7-11

were caught, however, those who were still preparing to go scattered in all directions. Outnumbering the police, some get clear. Mai and her cousin were to of the lucky ones. It was a remote area and bare footed, they became lost in the jungle. They wandered for the day with no food and water until finally they ran into a boy tending a cow. The boy was a smart cookie and knew why they were there. It took all of the money they had left ( a gold ring worth 1/10 of a tiel ) to convince the boy to give them water and lead them safely to a town. At least this attempt never ended her in jail, however, it did use up all of her saved money. Maybe the next attempt will be luckier.

View from a restaurant along the river

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Tour designer and Guide specializing in off the beaten track tours of Vietnam

3 thoughts on “Stangers in the night

  1. I had the bus driver from the airport “recommend” a hotel for me and even delivered me to it just down the street from the access road to the old city airport. It was a nice place by the way and relatively inexpensive. He dropped me and “my friend” and another couple there so he made a tidy profit along with the extra dollar for the ride to the place…..I wouldn’t say the Vietnamese don’t know how to turn a profit!

    1. My problem with this practice is that I have had to turn away customers because I was fully booked expecting late arrivals from Saigon sent to me from another hotel. They make one dollar, and i lose many

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