A few odd jobs

Lich our night man in uniform

Sadly I have had my first bad internet review on the hotel. I have learned a bit of a lesson from it. The City was full because of a Vietnamese holiday and I had a last minute cancellation, so I offered a room to a nice young couple from the US working in Hanoi. I told them I was out of the backpacker area and that it was not convenient for late night bars and the like. They stayed the one night and checked out the next morning. Surprisingly they complained about the street noise (the beach road?? Of course there is street noise) and how dirty the beach is. (During a Vietnamese national holiday??? Of course it was, but it has since been cleaned up). But what really hurts a bit is that the cleanliness and staff were only given an OK. I guess once a person finds fault, it can wear at them and more faults can be found. This couple

Odd Job

 obviously belonged in the backpacker area and not in ours. I will not make an offer to help people from that area again. Some people fit better in the backpack areas than over here.

 I knew that eventually a bad review would happen, but it surprises me that it came from those two. Everyday at lunch time a get a light hearted moment.


My night guy Lich is a university student and he is at the point where he has to receive his mandatory military training. My own little soldier returning home every day.

 Some of the oddest jobs you will ever see are in Vietnam. The Vietnamese are an incredibly imaginative and resourceful people. Whey will work hard to do whatever they can to help support their families. The result can be some of the oddest jobs being done by the unlikeliest of people. There are of course the typical jobs that every society has such as fishermen, Taxi drivers and

A parking attendent

 even sidewalk sales. Vietnam takes sidewalk vendors to a new level. Age does not matter. A person can be 8 or 80 and have some kind of business to try to make a buck. There are a few of them right out my front door, and an odd one. There is a man that pushes what looks like a weight and height scale from some unknown location onto the sidewalk right across the street from the hotel every day. The scale pumps out an electronic theme from Titanic. I have never seen anybody using it for anything, so your guess is as good as mine if he makes any profit. A single tire sits on a sidewalk seemingly lost by some poor person driving by but wait!! If you look sitting a little off the sidewalk you will se a person with a small box of wrenches, and a tire pump. This is a local service station that can be relocated at any moment. There are many

A traffic circle sign

others the same. Small gas suppliers, street foods such as BBQ corn or yams, booths with a wok that offer the only dim-sum items I have seen in Vietnam. Some of my favorite street jobs only happen after dark. A person can be enjoying a great seafood meal in a local restaurant when up on a bicycle will ride a young man or woman with a large speaker box and karaoke machine strapped to the back. They will stop in front of the unsuspecting audience and belt out a tune sometimes good, and sometimes bad. They will accept any tips you give and then head off for another captive audience. Another favorite is a 10 year old who will perform a fire show and finish with swallowing a live snake. I had to give that kid a tip. I will try to remember to get photos of some of these odd jobs and post them to the net.


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

6 thoughts on “A few odd jobs

  1. My mistake…. Sorry Ben and Jeri
    You two are very nice people and hope one day to enjoy a Bia Hoi with Jeni also

  2. By western standards many urban environments in other countries are incredibly noisy. The clips you’ve shown of Vietnam seem to be no exception – sheer numbers of people, the volume of traffic and the use of horns (and lack of mufflers) makes it almost inevitable. You can get relatively quiet spots – in places like Athens, London, Rome, Vancouver etc I try for rooms facing the back of the building (away from the street) or into courtyards. If you don’t have any “quiet” rooms like this, maybe a vending machine that sells earplugs as well as aspirin, toothbrushes and the like 🙂

  3. Owen,

    Just checked out your blog for the first time after staying at your hotel. I wanted to clarify that the couple you found while biking around the backpacker area, that stayed at your hotel on the night of the 1st and the next morning checked out and went scuba diving, is not the couple from Hanoi that left you a bad review. I don’t want to be pinned with giving you your first bad review, I am not even a member of tripadvisor. We thought you were most hospitable, inviting us for dinner, bia hoi, offering us medicine for Jeni, recommending good places to eat… We would have stayed longer but decided to go down to Mui Ne that afternoon. By the way, scuba diving was great, very enjoyable. Though we did end up on the same boat with a big group from the first scuba dive shop we went to that was actually ten dollars cheaper. Oh well, we are quite used to it, after all, This Is Vietnam. It was good all the same. Thanks!

    Ben and Jeni

  4. Welcome back Maz….. we missed you.

    I will not let it get me down. All of the other people staying here seem to enjoy it, and me them.

  5. I iwsh I was there when Lich had to go to training…..I’d tighten up his sh*t real quick! Hehehe…don’t worry about the 1 bad review, all hotels get them.

  6. hi owee- i’m back.

    your post today just proves the old saying…”you can’t please all the people” some people are just mean and always look for something negative…try not to let it get you down.

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