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Feb 9th, 2011
Posted by Darren Weir
this is the first of a series of posts on a recent visit to saigon and siem reap. we were actually supposed to go over the november 1 holiday, but due to personal matters, we moved the trip to dec 26-30. some of our friends pushed through in november and warned us not to stay at their hotel in saigon – the duc vuong. according to them, the staff was rather rude. so taking their advice, i hit the internet and looked for another hotel. i found the thien thao which came in well-reviewed and with a very nice price tag of $30 a night with breakfast. early on i knew i made a good choice because the manager was very diligent in emailing me back re my arrangements. even called me a couple of times. this i really appreciated since we would be arriving at 1am in a new city – i appreciated the easy communication and pick up arrangements. the staff was more than accommodating while we were there – responding to our little requests and even settling a cab dispute (more on that in another post). the hotel itself is what you’d expect for $30 a night. but it was clean and comfortable. fully equipped actually with a mini bar, tv, hot and cold shower, etc. the location wasn’t in the more popular district 1, but in district 3. this was no problem as it was easy to get a cab – or even a good hearty 20 minute walk would get you to the center of things. the cab ride to the hotel to the center would be around vnd 50,000, a little over P100. the breakfast was very unimpressive and on our second day there we just decided to skip it. it was a sit-down menu with choices of 2 eggs with bread, or some cold cuts with bread, or chicken noodle soup. not bad actually considering that it was free with the $30 rate. it’s just that we aren’t breakfast people to begin with and only a big hotel buffet spread can get entice us out of bed. what we really liked was the free wifi – pretty good connection too. one other thing that makes this boutique hotel worth it. yes, the location was a bit noisy – but after a while i realized pretty much everywhere in saigon is noisy. so i do recommend this place – rather highly – if you’re looking for a budget hotel in saigon. likely one of the better choices out there. oh, and if you ask the manager how he’s doing, he’ll tell you: “ayos lang.”
 
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