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Review: Boutique Hotel, Hanoi

This is a good one. I stayed here for two nights by myself and then once J-e came we stayed for a couple more nights. We had a room with no balcony, overlooking the back and that was $20 a night as a single, or $25 a night with two people. The room was of an okay size, had good air-conditioning and the water probably would’ve ran hot if I’d waited a bit longer. We were on the 5th floor so it may take a while to get up there, plus in August, there’s really no need for hot water.

There was a whopping huge flat screen tv in the room with cable channels. The breakfast included was kind of small but quite good. The room was cleaned well and it was surprisingly quiet. Hanoi’s a noisy city, what with all the beeping. There was wireless internet that worked pretty well most of the time. I had a little trouble with reception via the iPod on the 5th floor sometimes, but mostly okay. There’s a couple of PCs in the lobby available to use all the time.

The big thing about this hotel, and this really is a big thing, is that all the staff were friendly and honest. They helped us organize air tickets to Hoi an and a taxi to the airport. There were no hidden extras thrown onto the bill, in fact maybe because we stayed for 4 nights, but they didn’t charge for 3 or 4 drinks we got out of the fridge, and a bunch of calls I made to the g-f. I think I spoke to her on her mobile for an hour one night.

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The Short: Highly recommended!

Ps. Make sure you’re getting the right ‘Boutique Hotel’ because apparently a couple of others in the old quarter have painted the same phrase over their entrance. The real on is on Bat Su street.

, , , , , — YS @ 9:26 pm, September 2, 2009

Air force museum, Hanoi

2nd part of holiday snaps. I took a taxi out to the air force museum that’s a fair way out of the center of the city. In a taxi it cost about 70thousand dongs. I was lucky to get an honest taxi. It was a really hot day. I got there around lunchtime: 11:30. There was no one at the gate selling tickets so I just wandered in and expected to pay later.

The highlight was this fucking huge helicopter, a Mi-6.

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(more…)

, , , , , , — YS @ 8:52 pm,

Vietnam holiday in fotos part 1

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Uncle Ho says, “Reach out and touch someone”.

This could be long an painful like some relative’s slide show so I’ll spread it out over several days.

I was nastily surprised when the plane landed at Hong kong, since I thought it was going straight to bangkok and that I’d be transferring only once. I had to transfer twice for a flight that going direct only takes four hours. Thanks for letting me know, shoestring travel of Seoul, hongdae. Good job.

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A lot of Korean girls got off for Honkers. A good shopping destination. I wouldn’t mind checking it out sometime.

Bangkok airport. Airports are big places that are sometimes busy but most of the time not.

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MILITARY HISTORY MUSEUM, HANOI

This was the first time I travelled without taking a Lonely Planet book. I used the info from the wikitravel website, which was occasionally useful but basically just as inaccurate as the perpetually out-of-date Lonely Planet books.

Wikitravel said it was 20thou dongs to go to the Mil.Hist museum, correct – but it costs another 20 if you want to use a camera, not 5 as they say.

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They made a monument out of shit they’d blown out of the sky. The photo used as the centrepiece seems to be an iconic favourite. It’s of a girl dragging a peice of US jet home along the beach.

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The overt militarism would be out of place and easy to criticise in most other places but in Vietnam it’s just part of the scene. For some reason it reminded me of how its okay for black people to call eachother nigger, but not okay for anyone else to call them that.

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Lots of propaganda posters. I liked the colours in this one.

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Was it worth going to the the military history museum? Yeah. It was okay. As they say, the victors write the history and the message from the place is very much that the Vietnamese people have kicked out anyone who’s attempted to take over the joint.

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The only American chain restaurant I saw in the whole of Hanoi was one low-profile looking KFC. Maybe this one got the nod because Col. Sanders bears something of a resemblance to Uncle Ho.

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Also see Vietnam holiday fotos part 2.

, , , , , — YS @ 12:16 am, August 29, 2009

When situations never change,
Tomorrow looks unsure,
don’t leave your destiny to chance,
What are you waiting for?
The time has come to make your break:
Sunny Breaks.


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