Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Saigon - eeewwww roaches ….

Oh my … a new guide picked me up from the airport … unfortunately I did not get his card …  I am dropped at Kimdo Hotel and checked in … it is still Tet and the hotel is in an amazing location, the street is closed and there is the most wonderful flower display, processions filling the streets … I check in and my guide leaves .. I am shown to my room which looks nice and tip the gent handsomely as I have no small change… I throw my bag down and open the little book that shows what is available at the hotel and local area, (I knew nothing about hotel location so was mainly looking for a map) … out ran roaches ….  OMG … I freak out … grab phone ring reception … plonk on bed .. and from under the cover …. out run roaches ….  (click here for pics related to this blog)

I ring reception, who seem to think this is no big deal .. and cannot understand why I want to move rooms, they tell me no rooms available, there are now roaches running about my feet …  I tell them if there are no rooms then I will leave as I am not staying here, and can they find the number of the company I booked with and my guide.
They then offer me a new room, across the hall … I argue and refuse saying roaches can move across the hall and I want a room on a different floor or tower ..  they say none available and they cannot get hold of my tour company … so I look at room … and guess what … cockroach invasion number two behind the curtains … now I also have two bell boys in my room fighting over my bag …(guessing this is because I tipped okay) … so I ask for another room, and I am told I have to pay for upgrade, I argue about this … saying the only reason I am upgrading is due to roaches … they don’t care .. I say I am checking out …  they offer the upgraded room and say I do not have to pay the upgrade for one night but will for the rest …  I say that is ridiculous and I am leaving .. the hotel states wifi access free lobby … nope does not work .. it also says internet access business centre .. nope does not work ..  while I am trying this .. the manager is standing over me screaming I will never find a hotel in Vietnam, everything is booked because of Tet, I have to stay with them …  I left and went to Rex hotel who had no rooms, but offered me wifi .. where I logged on and booked at additional expense Majestic hotel .. I went back to Kimdo who said that given the circumstance they would arrange a taxi at their expense … guess what … I got a taxi … and had to pay …
Now at Majestic … and if it was not such a comedy of errors I would be in tears … I am so tired and so annoyed … I have no way of contacting my guide as he never left number … Majestic say … leave it to us …  they ask for my guides number in Hanoi …  and sort everything ….. all hail Majestic !
Next morning .. had planned to see the Reunification Palace but it is not open so skipped this and went to visit the Notre Dame Cathedral (modelled on Paris) and the central Post Office.
a trip to Cu Chi Tunnels….which was amazing…. The chu chi tunnels were never discovered by American forces … they were hugely important to the Vietcong during the American war … they stretch over 200km …. Completely underground … and completely dug out by hand … and include command posts … kitchens, hospitals … and even weapons factories … this place is really eerie … you get to experience it first hand … including walking the tunnels for over 100 metres, so small a lot of the time … on your belly …  sounds easy … trust me I reckon only 2% of tourists do the full walk … and to think people lived in these for years … you also get to see the traps and torture chambers that the americans and allies including a tonne of Australians endured … not nice … at all …
remember your history ..  stay safe - CBT

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