Let me tell you a little tale about a sort of feud that has happened in the last couple of months. I have never thought this worthy of the blog before, but recent events have changed my opinion.
Some of you….. Maybe many of you know that I offer travel advice to people on a site called Trip Advisor. I do this because in the past I had some very useful information given to me by a person who was living in Vietnam and had answers to some questions I had even though I already knew a lot about this country. (Don’t blush too much Viet1) My blog originally started with the sole intention of just keeping my friends and Co-workers advised as the how the big life changing move was all about. Somehow to my total amazement, others followed my posts and the blog changed. I tried to sort of put an end to the blog, but the reaction was overwhelming. It seemed there were a lot of people that were interested in what goes on in Vietnam and life here. After that realization, I started to write some pages that informed tourists about the way it really is in Vietnam. I understand the culture shock a person can have here and how people can totally mis-understand the society, so I thought writing of my experience and offering my opinions and observations would help people to understand a little more about the Vietnamese people and their lifestyles. I do know from what travelers that I have spoken with that they appreciated the advice I gave them and many have even dropped by to visit me in person to just sit and have coffee. I am flattered that many would do so, and that is part of what keeps the blog rolling. I was forced to slow down as life is much busier now and a lot of subject matter has already been written about.
When I post advice on the Trip Advisor website, I never make reference that I have a hotel. Doing so would be self promotion and that is not my intention, but I do however, post links to relevant pages in my blog, or always sign with my blog address. I get hundreds of thank you’s for the information they can find for their holiday in my blog site, and some of them are able to associate me with the hotel, but most of them not. I get a chuckle when sometimes I have people booked in my hotel that start to discuss the information Owee has given them. I was even writing advice on my computer one day, when a young group of backpackers sitting in the lobby were talking about putting in a post to see what Owee would advise. Imagine their shock when I answered them in person. (I got a free beer out of that one)
Then one day a message was posted that was obviously a direct and personal attack against my hotel. This attack was from a person who never has been here and commented without even noticing that we were a newly renovated building. The comment was shortly followed by a series of posts that became personal and linked my travel advice with the hotel. The comments came that I was boring and that my comments and blog were some king of diabolical plot to suck innocent backpackers from the tourist areas to here. He started writing comments that not only were not factual, but bitter notes on Nha Trang, Vietnam, and the Vietnamese people. During this time I received many emails and personal messages of support from people that were mystified as to what this was all about. I just carried on what I was doing and the attacks got worse. Many of them used my Alias and accused me as being a self promoter for the Tide Hotel. He may have ceased if he new how much business he sent me. For the two months he followed my posts being sure to try to make me look bad, and for those two months, I did not have a single vacant room. The business he sent me may by why I did not get overly angry even as others around me including some former guests were fuming! In the end all of his anti Owee posts were deleted (probably because of the support of the others and the Trip Advisor moderators.) I have since then shared a few emails with this person and it seems the harassment may be over. Sadly, with his silence, the hotel slowed down a bit…… but maybe it is because of slow season also 😉 I am still somewhat baffled as to why out of the thousands of people who read my advice and go to my blog for information. He found what I do so offensive….. I guess there really is ONE in every crowd.