Friday, December 28, 2007
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
To be continued.
Monday, December 17, 2007
1 Tang Bac Ho
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
They killed a pig, a small dear, ducks and chickens and they made some special cakes for the wedding. It was a real community effort. So much food, though, but thank god there was no cat meat, dog meat or buffalo meat this time. The food was really good even though there was so much MSG, which I could taste very clearly. Even though it was quite early, the rice wine was always filled up after each toast and my friends were drunk after a few glasses because this homemade wine was much stronger than the stuff they normally drink in the city.
Monday, December 10, 2007
That’s an experience I learned very early after coming to Hanoi to live five years ago.
Booking a hotel in Hanoi also presents the same problems. If a guest is willing to pay a few more dollars for the room then they will give a previously booked room to them. I've had this happen to me many times while trying to book hotel rooms for friends from overseas. The last time was two weeks ago when two of my readers from the USA came to Hanoi for their vacation. I booked them in at the Prince Hotel in To Tich Street a month before they arrived and re-confirmed a few times in between then a final confirmation one day before they arrived. The hotel receptionist said everything was fine but the next morning they called me and told me that they didn't have any rooms for my friends.
Even though the flooding in central Vietnam had caused travellers to change their plans to come to Hanoi earlier, I was still very angry that my booking was taken. In the past there has been no reason at all. In the process of trying to find rooms in other hotels, I also realised that the hotels in the old quarter had all raised their prices by 30%-50% to make more money from the sudden crowd of people.
Finally, I found two rooms at the Trang An Hotel but I had to be sure that I really had them. I went to a tour agency and asked them to book me those rooms to be double sure. When the tour company picked up my friends from the airport (they arrived at midnight)and took them to the hotel, their rooms had been given away to other people! I called the hotel many times between 11.50 Pm to 1am to confirm that everything was okay and they kept repeating that my friends hadn't arrived yet. I couldn't believe it the next morning when my friend said that the taxi driver had driven around for an hour trying to find another room. The hotel staff called and found them a room in a guesthouse in the middle of nowhere and forced them pay to $40 in advance before giving my friends the address. Later they found that the guesthouse rooms were only $25!
I couldn't stand to hear anymore and called to give the hotel staff a charge. This was after my friend had returned to the hotel the next morning and was told that the new charge on the room would be $55, $25 more than the price I had been told when I booked. They also cheated her by giving her fake money and old money that isn't used anymore and also put the price up for their airline tickets from 665,000Vnd to 880,000Vnd for Hanoi to Hue. The hotel owner had a really bad attitude as well and she didn't believe that her staff had behaved in such a way.
What can I say? These people are ruining tourism in Vietnam and I hate this kind of cheating. They shouldn't be allowed to operate with such bad service and bad behavior? What I am going to do is name all of these hotels and warn people to avoid them! Be careful with any transactions with hotels in Hanoi!
- Prince Hotels- To Tich street
- Trang An hotel - Hang Gai street
- Lucky Star Hotels
- Morning Star Hotel - Hang Hanh street
- Golden Sun Hotel - Hang Hanh street
- Heart Hotel - Hang Hanh street
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Check them out at Mua Rung restaurant
4 Su Thien Chieu
Ward 7 District 3
Tel: (84-8) 9307064 - 9307036
Ho Chi Minh city
Friday, November 30, 2007
old flowers and plastic flowers for the outer rounds and they use good flowers for the big centre piece to attract the customer's attention.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Ethnology museum. I was really nicely surprised, and it brought back a lot of fond memories from my school days. Because I took quite a few photos, I bought several toys from the seller above but I didn't eat them like I used to do when I was a little boy. I remembered when we finished our classes, we usually bought at least one everyday and asked our mothers to put them on the top of the cooked rice for about 15 minutes then we used to eat them. They didn't have much flavour but that's the way we did at that time.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Street vendors are a part of our culture and, even though they are a nuisance sometimes, they should be allowed to remain trading in the streets. Maybe the government should introduce a license to restrict their numbers though?