Destination TBD


Dates of travel :
July 5 - August 5, 2005

Lessons learned:
There IS toilet paper in Vietnam; The bigger car always wins; get it in writing – prices tend to change; always ask for double stitching

Best food-related dicovery :
White Coffee
(strong Vietnamese coffee with sweet condensed milk)

Horror stories:
Hot pot on the sidewalk for $40 U.S. (beware men named Ha -- the joke is on you); the overnight 'luxury' bus; The Full Moon Bar in Hoi An

Blog Posts:
July 2005
August 2005

Go to Photo Albums

Where we stayed | Rates are for a double room with private bath


Anh Sinh Hotel | #7 Dong Thai Street
Located in Hanoi's Old Quarter, this place was a great location. Our room was huge, with a balcony that looked out onto the street, a great way to see local life as the neighbors were within arm's reach across the street. Tuan, the manager, picked us up from the train station and proved to be a good resource for local information. It may not be the best place in town, but it's family run and in the heart of the action.
Rate: $9.00 U.S.


Halong Bay Tour

Kangaroo Cafe | #18 Pho Bao Khanh
There are a million tour companies offering tours to Halong Bay in Hanoi. We went with Kangaroo on a recommendation from a friend. The tour, unlike many, was true to its word: a small group (12), great food, nice rooms on board the boat with AC and private bath. I only wish their boat had a roof deck (like the others) and enough deck chairs for the 12 of us! Listed in Lonely Planet
Rate: $55.00 U.S. per person / 2 days



Son Ha Guesthouse | next to the market
TEL: 020.871273
Clean rooms and friendly staff: you can't ask for much more with four bucks. The Son Ha Guesthouse found us: the minibus dumped us off next to the market, right down the way from Son Ha. While there are some great views from the top floor, the others lack in scenic outlooks. But it doesn't matter: Sapa is all about getting out into the scenery. Son Ha aslo arranged our trek, a good price with a great guide.
Rate: $4.00 U.S.
Trek: $8.00 U.S. per person / per day


Hoi An

Hoa Binh Peace Hotel |
#15 Nhi Trung
The Hoa Binh Peace Hotel lives up to its name: the rooms are spacious, clean, even new... with AC and satellite TV and plenty of pillows: Peaceful, yes.The hotel is on the open ticket bus circuit, the 'hop on, hop off' cheap tourist bus service in Vietnam. It's great value for the price, in a great location, with friendly and helpful staff. One of the nicest places we found in our hotel search upon arriving.
Rate: $10.00 U.S.


Central Highlands:
Ho Chi Minh Trail Ride

Xuan Mai, Kham Duc
Rate: $10.00 U.S.

Family Hotel, Kontum
Rate: $10.00 U.S.

Nha Hangthac Trinh Nu, Ea Tling
Rate: $10.00 U.S.


Nha Trang

Dong Phuong Hotel |
#103 Nguyen Thien Thuat St
This place boasts clean, quiet, comfortable rooms with air con at a reasonable price and they live up to their promise. Although this hi-rise hotel lacks character, none of the hotels in Nha Trang have much atmosphere: many are the generic sort of hotel found in a busy beach resort town full of hi-rise hotels. We moved to this hotel after one night in a different hotel with cramped rooms and lots of noise. Listed in Lonely Planet
Rate: $10.00 U.S.


Mui Ne

Hai Yen | #132 Nguyen Dinh Chieu
Sometimes it's just easier to give yourself over to the touts, and that is how we found Hai Yen. The Mui Ne beach front is literally lined with hotels (many pricey hotel), a long stretch to hike about with a backpack. The Hai Yen guesthouse is family run, a nice place, with several bungalows and hotel-style rooms in a small building. In Mui Ne, once you check in to a place, there you stay, and the restaurant at this guesthouse serves decent food, cooked by 'mom'. The ocean is literally at the doorstep. It's awesome.
Rate: $8.00 U.S.


Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Linh Linh Hotel | #175/14 Pham Ngu Lao Street, District 1
TEL: 8.373004
There are tons of hotels in District 1, and this one seems as good as any. What I can say for the place is that the rooms are large, clean, with air con and cable TV. The view of a temple across the street, which we can see from our balcony, is nice, too. The 'vibe' of the joint is a little odd, though: prostitute-looking women in the lobby, a funny giggle in our wake from the reception desk. I wouldn't give the hotel a hearty thumbs up, but it's 'good enough'.
Rate: $12.00 U.S.

© 2005, Cheryn Flanagan