Asia,  Blog,  Money,  Travel,  Vietnam

Series of unfortunate events in Vietnam

Our trip to Vietnam didn’t start well. We were so excited to go there we couldn’t sleep the night before. We arrived very sleep deprived and extremely tired. When we got to our Airbnb location, we couldn’t find the place because the building was brand new and there were no numbers or whatsoever there. What was even more frustrating nobody around could speak English. There was a very helpful man that we didn’t understand, but he took us to the building management office and there they called the owner of our Airbnb. He gave some instructions over the phone to the management person and he sent two guys to take us to the apartment. Everything there looked really nice and brand new. When we saw everything we were to see there, the guy called the owner again and passed the phone to me. The host asked me if I liked the place and told me the price I need to pay for it. That was very surprising as I’ve already paid the fee on Airbnb like a month earlier, so I told him it is already paid and I am not going to pay again now. He said he didn’t get any money from Airbnb and in this case, we can’t stay there. Well, nice. So we are in a country we have never been to before, people around don’t speak English, we paid for an apartment that we can’t stay in for some reason.

Pho Soup

The first thing I did obviously was contacting Airbnb Customer Support. I explained the situation as much as I could and started to look for a temporary place to stay at least over the weekend so we can look for a better place for a longer-term stay when we get some rest. We were way too tired and frustrated to take care of it at that moment. We have found a quite nice hotel room with a huge balcony, close to the town centre. After a few hours of sleep there we went for a small exploring in search of some food and coffee. We have found some really nice restaurants and shops nearby. Our first “taste” of Vietnam was Pho Soup. This taste will stay with us forever. One of the best soups we’ve ever had. Satisfied and a bit more relaxed, we get back to looking for a new place to stay in.

Actually, that hotel we stopped for a weekend wouldn’t be so bad. It was in a nice quiet location, with a range of shops and restaurants nearby, really cool balcony and not bad internet. Unfortunately, the room was way too small for us to do our work. There was a really tiny table that we could maybe fit one laptop on it, but that’s definitely not a comfortable place to spend 6 or more hours a day.

The next place we decided to stay in couldn’t be any closer to the centre! Famous Bui Vien backpacker street was just around the corner. At first, we didn’t even know where to go because the GPS was showing a place that was obviously a restaurant. We didn’t realize at first that the apartment is above it and we actually need to go through the restaurant to get there.

There was a keypad lock which was very convenient for self-check-in. The place itself wasn’t huge, but we didn’t need much more really. Everything that we could need was there. Unfortunately quite fast we realized that the AC is not working so we contacted the host and asked what to do. She came with her partner and they tried to fix the AC. In the meantime she said we can sleep in the room next door that she also owns. The following day we asked if we can simply stay in that apartment so they can take their time to fix AC. She said it is slightly bigger therefore the price is different but we didn’t mind to pay the difference. It was in fact slightly larger place with two beds and a much bigger balcony where was also situated a small kitchenette and a washing machine. The street that the apartment is located is full of restaurants that are open 24/7 and some night clubs. At the end of the street is a very nice park where people go to take some rest, play games and exercise. The biggest downside of the central location is noise even late at night. The street went quiet around 3am but on weekends even later. It’s a fun place to stay for a short time but for a longer stay, it was a bit tiring. During our stay there someone moved to the room next door and the next day we overheard they want to cancel the rest of the booking because of the noise. We normally go to bed very late anyway so we didn’t have problems with sleeping there, but it wasn’t easy to concentrate on the work.

Most of the meals we had in the restaurant below and we tried nearly everything on the menu. All was really good. The thing that we enjoyed the most in Vietnam was coffee. There is a lot of different types of coffee in Vietnam and we absolutely loved every single one we tried. When there you also need to try their Bahn Mi. You can get it nearly everywhere and it’s the best baguette we’ve had.

We only stayed in Ho Chi Minh for a whole month, but we loved everything about it despite initial problems. It’s a very lively city. A lot is happening here. I’ve never seen so many bikes on the streets… and everywhere else really! They drive on the sidewalk when the road is too busy, so you need to be extra careful even walking there. Markets are extra busy and bikes are going there too between people walking, buying and selling stuff. It’s one big mess. But I liked it anyway. This was our first visit to Vietnam and we weren’t sure what we can expect here. We are definitely going to come back and try to see a bit more of this amazing country next time.


Oh, if you’re interested – Airbnb Customer Support called us a few times during our stay in Vietnam and in the end, they solved the problem and refunded the first place in full. It took some time but we were happy we didn’t loose money because of some misunderstanding.


Our Expenses

CategoryLocal currencyUSD
Transportation (Plane/Bus/Ferry)121.09
Accommodation539.81
Visa60
Groceries1,325,00056.90
Restaurant1,766,00075.84
Souvenirs2,190,00094.06
Sim/internet100,0004.30
Cigarettes710,00030.40
Other405,00017.35
Total (28 days)999.75
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Michaela & Phil

Bad luck about the accommodation problem., but at least you had some good food. We only managed 1 week in Hanoi before Covid forced us to escape and we must say we very disappointed with the food there. We also met with hostility. But we plan to go back and continue our journey there as soon as the Covid situation allows as we know it is a fabulous county

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