It’s simply amazing how much lodging you get for your money in Vietnam.
The first place I stayed – Hotel Especen – costs less than $17 a day, yet it offers private, centrally located, brightly lit rooms with everything you could need. By stepping up to $25 or $30 you can easily find a spot in a high-class hotel with elevators, bellboys, a concierge, and free breakfast buffet. I’m no stranger to great-deal lodgings…but even I think this is ridiculous.
(Not to mention that the sheer number of options is almost overwhelming – it seems like every other building in Old Town is a hotel or guesthouse. Kind of ironic that one of the first cities where I actually prebooked a room has perhaps the biggest selection I’ve ever seen!)
So although I was reasonably satisfied with Especen, I decided to keep my eyes peeled for better options – especially because of my dad’s impending arrival. The main problem with Especen was constant construction next door – to me a mild nuisance, but to my dad, an incredibly light sleeper, I knew it’d be awful.
(Also, the receptionist spoke pretty bad English and it would’ve been nice to stay somewhere I could actually communicate with the staff ;))
So while doing my rounds of the city over the last week, I also spent a bit of time popping into various hotels. I eventually decided to move to Hanoi Lucky Hotel #2; the room costs only $3 more but is way, way nicer. It’s easily triple the size with a soft queen-sized bed, huge bathroom, HUGE balcony, in-room PC and breakfast included. Now that’s what I call a deal!
Before I got to Hanoi I’d been thinking about hanging out after my dad heads back home. I even bought myself a 3-month visa, unsure of just how much work I’d need to get done. But in light of some later realizations (like the fact that nothing is opened after 11pm when I do a lot of my work) I was starting to think it isn’t the place for me. This room changes everything. With a comfortable place like this, maybe Hanoi would be a good spot to set myself for some (relatively) distraction-free coding before heading back towards the amazingly distracting (but amazingly fun) Thailand.
Anyway, we’ll see how it goes. He arrives in just a few hours, so for now it’s all responsibilities aside. Time for two weeks of pure, uninterrupted fun! 🙂