The bonus about traveling to Asia on a weak currency is that you can actually stay in a hotel or some version of it. You don’t have to hit up a colleague’s sister’s friend who knows an expat in the area for a bed, only to land up on their couch and paying your dues as their personal psychologist. (Clearly they should be on someone’s couch).

So maybe I do get a little excited over the prospect of a hotel that gives you your own room key and a daily supply of fluffy towels and bath products. (Although why never toothpaste?). But the term “hotel” is often as loose and prevalent as fisherman pants in Asia, and the stars that follow this word are not always hard won or approved by a health inspector that doesn’t double as a relative.

In my view, there are hotels that offer “modern conveniences” and then there are the cheaper sh***otel that offer mod cons, with great emphasis placed on the latter word.

It’s like visiting a movie set. That road winding into the desert looks impressive, until someone picks it up and takes your fantasy along with it.

All the boxes have been checked, but nothing else.

1.You get shower shoes, not bedroom slippers. The difference being that the hard plastic shoes protect you from a bathroom mould situation, the slippers don’t need to.

2. You get bath products, but no bath. Said products are branded and correctly labelled but then so are most harmful chemicals that cause your skin to dry out and itch.

3. Air con. No better description could be had. The bigger the noisier and the least effective in my view. Some are so old and cumbersome, they look like an modern art installation – a workable idea, in theory.


4.Curtains. Yes that piece of draped fabric that keeps the light and the neighbours guessing. It’s not so much that they are missing; more that they miss the point of what they are actually supposed to do.

5. Luckily if you take the cheaper back rooms, the lack of light or a view solves your problems. Towels. Mostly present in form but often a few thread counts short of making good on their intended function.


Bonus ball: You know you’ve hit the lottery if, instead of a welcome letter, you get a the hotel rules/regulations stuck to your door stipulating some rules around prostitution and the prohibition of parties and subletting any corners of your hotel room.   



Categories: TravelVietnam

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