The infamous Halong Bay scam

We've actually been there already and it was horrible. It probably sounds to the reader like we're just negative people impossible to satisfy, but the Halong Bay tour was the very worst so far and we even started the tour with a positive attitude. 80 percent of the people we met on the tour had the same experience. Halong Bay, Vietnam

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Hoi An & Hanoi

On a more informative perspective compared to the previous writing, we stayed in Hoi An for 4 nights. We booked a hotel in advance from the bus ticket office in Da Nang which turned out to be quite a fiasco. We figured we would like to pay a little extra, $17, for some additional comfort, wireless Internet access and even a pool. Our hotel was called Hoang Binh and turned out to have closet-sized rooms, a freezing tiny swimming pool, malfunctioning wi-fi and grumpy staff. Very overpriced and not recommendable. We changed to another hotel called An Phu later on which was way nicer and indeed recommendable. You should be aware that you are able to negotiate every hotel price and never believe the printed price list shown to you.

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Hate and loathing in Hoi An

The purpose of this writing is mainly for venting the aggressions that builds up just by being among the Vietnamese. Traveling in Southeastern Asia is good fun and all, but there are certain situations where your tolerance is put to the test. We've now spent one day in the major city of Da Nang and are currently in Hoi An. For us Da Nang was a complete waste of time – big city, indifferent population, gray and dull and almost hostile to people who come to visit. Hoi An is a lot smaller and better, but the locals here are extremely annoying! It's almost like they are deliberately trying to piss you off when they want you to look at the crap they're selling or eat in their restaurant.

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Vietnam – First Impressions

As we left Cambodia on the Mekong river and entered Chau Doc we were met with a smokescreen caused by everybody firing up their bonfires for dinnertime using lots of paper and wood. Through the haze we quickly found ourselves a hotel (a super nice one, even) for $15 including breakfast. Chau Doc was much less touristy than any other place we've been to. We found only local eateries which we then had to try out resulting in finding a place with a menu including frog, snake, turtle and luckily less extreme Vietnamese dishes as well. We ate our dinner while locals had a few too many after-work drinks all around us. We also saw, for the first time here, Asians getting chili pepper red faces when drinking which was good fun. For the first time we tried a cyclo as transport, a bicycle with a trailer meant to contain small Vietnamese people.

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