Author Topic: SE Asian hotels  (Read 3417 times)

chouchouu

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SE Asian hotels
« on: April 18, 2015, 02:44:57 AM »
So I booked our flights to Europe with a four night stopover in Hanoi. I was super excited to tell my brother as I have never been to Vietnam before. He then warned me that I should book international hotel chains in Vietnam, because I'm travelling with my twin three year olds and the high usage of banned pesticides in SE Asian hotels. I remember a bit of a scandal a few years back and it seems there have been quite a few deaths related to the issue. That has kind of taken the wind out of my sails. My brother is actually a pretty frugal guy and also happens to work for hotels, so I think he has a bit of knowledge in the area.

What say the Money Moustaches? Is it worth the peace of mind to fork out for a luxury hotel line? 

limeandpepper

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Re: SE Asian hotels
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2015, 05:56:56 AM »
I've been to several parts of Southeast Asia and almost always stay in cheap, cheerful places that aren't part of a chain. I choose accommodation with great ratings/reviews and I also always read a range of the reviews (positive, neutral, negative) to weigh it up properly. I try to get a place with windows / good ventilation if possible.

I don't think the issue is that prevalent, but it just appears that way due to the widespread reporting of the few incidents that have occurred. Many tourists die of other causes that attract less media coverage because the situations weren't as mysterious and don't seem to be as scary. As far as I am aware, traffic accidents are still the leading cause of death for travellers.

It is really up to you. I can definitely see why it might be worth shelling out more money for peace of mind. If you think a more expensive hotel improves your odds, so be it. But life is unpredictable and spending more money on a nicer hotel does not necessarily guarantee your safety. While smaller guesthouses may seem to be at a higher risk for dodgy chemical use, one might also counter that luxury international hotel chains are more likely to be targeted for terrorist attacks. You don't know what can happen and the best you can do is to be cautious.

lemanfan

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Re: SE Asian hotels
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2015, 07:10:15 AM »
It's now a deceade since I spent regular time in SE Asia, but your main worry should be traffic - not pesticides. I would not worry overly from the chemical aspect of hotel choice.

lpep

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Re: SE Asian hotels
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2015, 07:16:42 AM »
Well hello there from Hanoi!

As a resident, I can tell you this: not everything here is out to kill you :) It's generally an extremely safe city. The only thing you should worry about is the traffic, but once you get it, it's fine. I don't know how it's going to go for you here with two three-year-olds, but I don't know how anyone does anything with two three-year-olds, so, good luck to you. Don't be afraid of street food, it's delicious and safe. I've only gotten sick from a restaurant!

Here's an idea: don't stay in a hotel. Stay in a homestay. I stayed in one I would definitely recommend when I first got here, Ms. Dong's. She and her business partner, who's an Aussie, live in the house, they have a lovely housekeeper/cook and a crazy chihuahua. Look her up on AirBNB. Or there are tons of other options! Mike Homestay is an option, but not as well located and gets more of a backpacker crowd.

If you must have a hotel, and I totally don't blame you for it, use Agoda.com to book it, and read reviews. The Sofitel Metropole is beautiful and in a gorgeous part of the city close to lots of stuff. Or there are millions of small hotels that'll be fine. Enjoy Hanoi!

acoin

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Re: SE Asian hotels
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2015, 07:28:24 AM »
Hi,

I am a resident of Hanoi. Sorry to be so blunt, but if you're concerned about pesticides in hotel rooms you should be primarily concerned about visiting SE Asia at all. Hanoi is one of (if not the) most polluted cities in SE Asia. You'll only be here for four nights, so you'd have to try really hard for it to impact your or your family's health at all.

There is no guarantee that the more expensive hotels will be cleaner than the cheaper options. Things don't really work like that here, and oftentimes the more expensive option is lower quality. (The best hotels that I've stayed in in SE Asia have all been <$30 a night.)

I second lpep's recommendation to find a homestay.

If you need any other recommendations for where to go, what to do, or where to eat while here then I would be happy to make some suggestions.

flyingaway

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Re: SE Asian hotels
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2015, 11:33:58 PM »
Do you need a visa for a 4 day stop over in Hanoi?

lemanfan

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Re: SE Asian hotels
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2015, 02:32:13 AM »
Do you need a visa for a 4 day stop over in Hanoi?

In my understanding: It depends on your nationality. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_policy_of_Vietnam

chouchouu

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Re: SE Asian hotels
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2015, 05:31:52 AM »
Hi guys, thanks for the replies. Yes I do need a visa for Vietnam.

The home stay sounds like a good option, I'll look that up.

I'm open to suggestions on what to do in Hanoi. To be honest I haven't researched it much, just saw a movie based there and thought it seemed nicer than Ho Chi Minh city. Just thought if eat lots of pho and wander the city...

MMMaybe

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Re: SE Asian hotels
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2015, 05:41:16 AM »
On the budget hotel front, I enjoyed staying at the Hanoi Elegance Diamond hotel. It was about 70 USD a night so not terribly cheap. But if you have worries about cleanliness etc, you will be fine there. A lot of tour groups use it so they are very used to Westerners. And their Pho is excellent :)

I enjoyed wandering around the old streets of Hanoi. It has a lot of charm with old colonial buildings that have been turned into restaurants. I am a terrible tourist so didn't do much more than soak up the atmosphere...

You'll be fine really. I am have stayed in all kinds of places throughout SE Asia from flea pit to 5* and generally I feel safer than I do in a lot of Western cities.

lemanfan

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Re: SE Asian hotels
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2015, 01:23:00 PM »
I'm open to suggestions on what to do in Hanoi. To be honest I haven't researched it much, just saw a movie based there and thought it seemed nicer than Ho Chi Minh city. Just thought if eat lots of pho and wander the city...

Just exploring sounds like a great adventure - that's what I did most of my time there.  I also took a short overnight cruise in the Ha Long Bay archipelago.

Hanoi had at that time (2004) lots of resturants that had very VERY good food for prices that was cheap to a westerner.

chouchouu

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Re: SE Asian hotels
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2015, 05:28:17 PM »
On the budget hotel front, I enjoyed staying at the Hanoi Elegance Diamond hotel. It was about 70 USD a night so not terribly cheap. But if you have worries about cleanliness etc, you will be fine there. A lot of tour groups use it so they are very used to Westerners. And their Pho is excellent :)

I enjoyed wandering around the old streets of Hanoi. It has a lot of charm with old colonial buildings that have been turned into restaurants. I am a terrible tourist so didn't do much more than soak up the atmosphere...

You'll be fine really. I am have stayed in all kinds of places throughout SE Asia from flea pit to 5* and generally I feel safer than I do in a lot of Western cities.

I'm not concerned with cleanliness or safety, I'm concerned with unregulated pesticide use, which i think are very different concerns. I'm actually half Thai and have travelled extensively through Thailand, Laos, Malaysia and Singapore. I would think that unregulated pesticide use would be more a concern at the privately owned upper end of the market where pesticide use would be entirely upto the owners or contractors. All the deaths have been in that type of hotel. There really is a lack of knowledge, especially in Thailand. My brother caught my mum heating her house with a charcoal stove and the windows closed, my cousin's method of fishing was to electrocute the river, plastics are regularly burned in home bonfires. Things that are common sense elsewhere just aren't, at least in Thailand.