While picking up a part for my computer, I was hit with a bit of an emergency and had to use the toilet. This is one of my biggest concerns about travelling in Vietnam. You never know what kind of facility our how clean it might be. Luckily this happened in a modern building. You may have noticed that some of the photo’s I have posted had a toilet with a hose attached. Well, in most of Vietnam there is no paper in the toilets, but rather use a spray gun to wash themselves. I have never tried to use the spray gun, but yesterday was forced to use something along the same line. I was so intrigued by the device that was attached to the toilet that I had to take a picture of it. After doing your business, the idea is to just turn the handle conveniently mounted on the side of the bowl. I have to say, it was not as nearly uncomfortable as I thought it would be, but please…. I would rather use good old paper.
Another problem with the hotel fell into my lap last night. A person in the guise of being
referred by a friend booked 4 rooms during a busy time… No problem there, but then it grew suspicious when the person wanted receipts drawn up for double the price of what we charge…. What!! I only found this out after the person left, leaving his deposit on the rooms. Here is the thing…. There is another scam here where people will book rooms from a hotel and then resell it to another person at a higher cost. Well no way!! I keep control over my rooms…. Not a 3rd party. I had my night guy call and tell them that their reservation is cancelled and we would be happy to give a full refund. They have now threatened my staff and I will not tolerate that. I am waiting to see what happens and how they will react. I have instructed my staff to have police standing by due to the threat. I have set up my web cam as a security cam and will record the whole affair. If it turns out interesting, perhaps I will share it with all of you also. Sometimes the adventure is not always a good one.
Well well well!!…. Here I was ready quarters drawn tight and ready to pounce when the person I had suspected was abusing us returned, and by himself. With him, he brought a binder stuffed with material. I was ready for the fight, camera set up in a key location in case it got ugly. Well, he sat down and opened what was to be information about the travel company he worked for as a guide. Well!! Why did he not say so, and negotiate some kind of deal with the Manager? Instead he tried to take advantage of a young and new employee who as of yet is not familiar with all of the rules I have put in place to ensure your comfort! As it turned out, he was very apologetic at the way he handled things and after hearing of my anger, his boss had sent him back to smooth things over. Things have now been worked out and he has put his company’s reputation on the line. He has told us that he considers this hotel to be a Gem in this area, being the cleanest and neatest he has seen for this style of establishment, and wants very much to use us exclusively for his
tour guests from Saigon in the future. He is also paying us a bit more. I know we are not making as much for the peak as we could for those rooms, but if everything is legit, and we get the return business in off peak times, I will be satisfied. Hopefully he is sincere, he probably does not realize of my involvement with Travel forums and the blog. His companies reputation IS on the line. I have many people asking me about travel companies, and he works for one that I have been asked about many times in the past
When you travel to Vietnam, there are a few things that you are best to bring with you. Many of the day to day things we take for granted can be found in Hanoi and Saigon, but sometimes with great difficulty. In the smaller cities some Items can be hard to find indeed.
The first thing and most important is earplugs. Vietnam can be louder than you can imagine. Have you ever been to a rock concert where the music was so loud, it was almost hart to make it out? Well there are coffee shop disco’s here that put a rock concert to shame. Not only are they cranked loud, but in a large concrete structure, you have the noise bouncing at you. No need of a defibulator in one of these places… your heart will never stop beating. Next is the non ending traffic noise, along with yelling people, and loud animals.
Secondly, bring your own mosquito repellent. The stuff they sell here is only 15 percent or lower deet. Some repellents contain other ingredients other than deet and I have to tell you that in my opinion, the repellent here does not work. I was plagued my mosquito bites until a friend brought a couple of cans that contained 40% deet. Now, one spray is good for the day.
Even though Vietnamese coffee is excellent, if you like a western style of hot coffee, bring a small drip coffee maker. You will not be sorry.
For money bring 100 dollar bills. US, Canadian, or Australian does not matter. All nice and crisp with no tears or writing on them. If the bill is not in almost new condition, it will not be accepted in many places. Do not bring travelers checks… They are clumsy and hard to change here.
Throw a church key in your luggage. If you take some bottles from the hotel lobby up to your room, you will have a heck of a time getting the non twist off cap off. I do not know how many times I have been snagged by that one.
Oops, I have gone way over my word count.