Friday, January 18, 2008


I had pre booked all hotels, except for one night in Ho Chi Minh, before we left. The absolute best site for travellers is called trip advisor, which has written reviews by travellers. All the hotels we stayed at were clean and they made up our rooms everyday (love that).
We managed to get their top hotel rated in Hanoi (the Rising dragon) , absolutely loved it. Right in the heart of the city, step out of the door and you could start shopping. Staff were great, booked a couple of side trips from there as well as flights. When we returned from one trip at 5:30am (!!!), the staff were asleep on two mattresses near the front desk (how I envied those mattresses). Don't see that here.
Views from our Sapa (near China) hotel were jaw dropping (as above).
places). Kids walked under the bungalow on there way to where ever very We had a bungalow out of town in Cambodia, All in one large room and lots of wood and mosquito nets. Like sleeping in a shearing shed. No where to sit though and must be deadly hot in summer as they only had one fan which we left on all night (middle of 'winter' there). Nice pool but of the 5 or six meals we had there they only got one order right (despite us ticking an official menu in the appropriate boxes). When the dogs around the countryside finally stopped barking , the roosters started - very, very predawn. Lots of frogs and lizards around which the kids loved.
Our first night in HCM meant booking a room at the airport, looked great in the brochure but in reality was nothing like the photos. lots of tour buses here (another reason I couldn't do tours if that was the best they could come up with) and we were overcharged, not to mention the karaoke like concert they had blaring across the road (must be getting old!).
My favourite hotel was in Hoi An, the Long Life Hotel, the picture with Meaghan and the swans is what we were greeted with after a very long night (our first in Ho chi Mihn), a great place to relax for a few days.
Also managed to crack a cheapish without being backpacker cheap hotel for our last stay in Ho Chi Minh (Indochine). Would absolutely stay there again. We could walk to all the major attractions (and there was a KFC a block away, a blessing by the end of the trip). All for less than $40 a room (and henry got his very own proper bed, a rarity).

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