Monday, May 6, 2013

Hanoi diary: We are not backpackers!

Coming from my last (decent) post about A Map for Saturday we started our Vietnam trip in semi-backpacker style-- which in our case meant working around a small budget and staying in a HOSTEL.

To be honest, I don't like the idea of hostels but because we're on a budget plus my last hostel experience (in Mongolia) wasn't bad, I thought maybe staying in a hostel this time around would be okay. Well... big mistake. HUGE.

Although we were welcomed warmly by the staff at Hanoi Central Backpacker's Hostel, it didn't compensate for the unbearable dirtiness of the place. It was a total nightmare! If it wasn't that late already and if there were available taxis around, we would have jumped at the first chance to get out of that place. The pictures on the internet fooled us. Yes, the private room was indeed big with hot and cold showers but they didn't tell us that they don't change the sheets!

There were body hairs everywhere! We even dared to open the closet only to find more used sheets inside. It was a total nightmare! We spent so many hours that night online trying to look for a new hotel within budget.

We were so unlucky that night but we were determined not to let that experience ruin our trip. So instead of going on a tour the next day, we decided to just look for a new hotel. Our search took us to Finnigans 2 Hotel. We walked around Ma May area for almost an hour looking for a place to stay and Finnigans was our savior. We were so tired already and so just went in and asked how much a room cost and by some miracle, it was within our budget! Hooray!

That mishap though cost us a tour to Hua Lu that day. We had to make do with whatever was left of our first day and decided to just "go local" which I will be discussing in more detail in my next post!

To sum up this experience, check out this movie clip from my "travel diary":

Chapter 1: We are Not Backpackers! from Ninin Sampiano on Vimeo

Related post: The Beauty of Vietnam


  1. I've had fair share of deceiving internet photos of small hostels/inns. There was this one in Tagaytay and it looked so pretty and vintagey online. :/ Total disappointment when we got there.

    Anyway, so glad to know that you were able to not let that mishap ruin your trip. Cant wait to read the rest of the story!

    Have a wonderful week ahead!

    1. I almost don't want to ask which inn that is in Tagaytay, but I must! Which one?? Haha. That's why it's really important to read up on blogs and others' experiences because that's the only way to verify the pictures. Still, you have to scrutinize who is giving the review because in our case Central Backpackers had good reviews but we realized that it was because it was also backpackers who reviewed it and we all know how they're not really keen on cleanliness anyway.

      Have a good week ahead too Ishna! :)


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