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“hostel great, tour horrible”

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Vietnam Backpacker Hostels - The Original
Ranked #30 of 422 Specialty Lodging in Hanoi
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 26, 2011

The actual hostel was one of the nicest I have been to, we had a double room which was large, clean and modern. Our only problem was a guy from the hostel walking in as he pleased, no knocking or apology, as he went to fix the shower or something (we had not noticed any defect) the hostel is in a good location and has decent breakfast options at reasonable prices on offer.

What really let it down was the halong bay tour we did through them. It is run by the hostel and not catered for by some other company.

Would have to be the worst tour I have ever been on. From initially forced onto a separate bus to the others we were traveling with, to being again separated on boats and left on a boat with only the non English speaking crew waiting for half a hour with no idea what's going on before we left the port with only half the group not being told we would meet them half a hour later. After we had been made to wait 45 minutes at a horrible pottery store selling snacks at three times the regular prices. as It only progressed to get worse as the food was cold and dry, the night pathetic as we were forced to play juvenile drinking games at 8pm when everyone had been sitting around happily drinking at an appropriate pace, socializing and having an overall ok night until those who weren't interested in being told what to drink and when, were made uncomfortable to the point which we all left and sat in our rooms for the rest of the night and we were the lucky ones, there was a group of girls sitting on the sun deck who were to intimidated to come down to get to their rooms as they didn't want to be abused by the tour leaders as we had all been earlier. The second night was just the same being virtually abused if we didn't want to get plastered on their terms. In addition the water skiing, wake boarding, tubing, banana tubing was limited to wake boarding and to ten minutes per person. This was made even worse by the fact that the beach was horrible, littered with rubbish, and only around 2m of beach available. But what was really the worst thing was that there was very little of haloing bay seen. We didn't go to any areas that weren't filled with other tourist boats, didn't see a floating fish farm, didn't even Tavel through let alone get to have a good look at any of the floating villages one of the highlights of the bay.

All in all if you want to drink on a boat and a beach, not be informed of any information of the area, not see any of sites, then go for it.

If you want to enjoy all that haloing bay is on a relaxed peaceful manner, stay as far away as possible.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank joceey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 3, 2011

We arrived very early back to Hanoi from sapa at 4.30 am we arrived at the hostel and we knew we wouldnt be given a room until much later in the day but we were shown to a lounge with the biggest TV so many movies, free pool table and internet. We were told we could use the showeres and were even given breakfast at 6am (bread jam and bananas.
The dorms were clean we paid for a double bed just $9 with was a great bargin. Showers were cold but we think that may have been because of the 'rush hour showers' The atmoshere downstairs was brilliant everyone was talking to everyone no clicks here. The menu was really reasonably prices with western and vietnamese food. Bun cha here was one of the best i have had. We did the quiz which was fun. We also took the backpackers tour to halong bay 3 days 2 nights. It was fun but if you dont like to get smashed or you enjoy your sleep i wouldnt recommend. It was pricy.
The first night on the boat was mad. The kyacking to the cave was great fun but you definatly feel it the next day! The second day was on an island with no other people. Drinking games agin and good food. The beach was a little littered unfortunatly but i think that its locals too that make a mess. We got to try our hand at wake boarding too which was an experience :) recommended tour if you want to drink alot :)

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Dwilea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2011

I stayed at the new place located in Ma May street. This place is well organized, they have dorm rooms and private rooms in upper floor with the bar and restaurant on the bottom floor. Free internet all day long, it's not so fast and not every computer is working but what to complain since its free, right? There is a big flat screen TV on the 5th floor with lots of movies or series to choose. You can order the food downstair and ask them to serve u at the 5th floor if you want. The room is clean enough for me and the shower was great, they have cleaning ladies clean the bathroom in every 2 hours. At night, the room can be a bit noisy if ur roommates happen to come back to room late, so u might got woken up from the noise when they got in the room but besides that, this hostel is well organized, the owner knows what he is doing and know what backpackers want.

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled solo
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Thank Travelee086
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 31, 2011

I stayed in the new, Ma May, building and have mixed feelings about the hostel. It is very modern, with a great bar, great (western-style) food and is right in the heart of the city. Everything in the old town really is right on your doorstep and I can't praise the location highly enough. The croud is young and pretty 'party hard' in outlook, which made it slightly more noisy than other hostels I'd stayed in, but created a very fun atmosphere. The downside was the lack of organisation. We arrived and no one seemed to know what was going on, or where we were staying. We'd booked a 6-bad dorm, but told that this wasn't available when we arrived. The cleaning staff regularly took items from our beds and some items were never returned. A book that was taken ended up in their library, which we promptly took back. Nothing major, but having to try to find ear plugs and sundries was a bit of a bore. Also, there seemed to be no system for storing passports, so when I went to get mine back at the end of my stay I was given a big stack to look through. A bit worrying. Overall though I liked my stay at the HBH and would recommend it, but left with mixed feelings.

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank abreeze61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 12, 2011

We had to block the holes in the windows with towels, they never cleaned our room I made several requests for it to be cleaned, it never was nor towels changed. Also our air con never worked made several request regarding this most of these occasions i got the
" I'll send someone up" only to find that when we returned it had not been fixed, Because there is constant change over of staff at the desks, no body is accountable, it made our stay very frustrating. Also one staff in particular was extremely rude to me from the day we arrived. I had intended making a complaint to the manager of the hostel but given how lax the overall standard of this place was, i felt it would fall on deaf ears and didn't bother. We stayed in the "sweet" room, I did not see the dorms and they seemed to be very popular so i cannot say anything about those. However I do feel there is better standards in double rooms in Hanoi for the same money.

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Rackie-doll
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2011

I stayed for a week in Hanoi Backpackers Hostel at ngo Huyen (the 'old' HBH). Its clean, the young staff is very helpful and friendly and it is a great place for meeting fellow travelers! I really enjoyed my time here!

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled solo
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2  Thank Rickfromholland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 9, 2011

We made the mistake of arrivimg in vietnam on tet (their new years eve). Therefore when we arrived none of the staff were in a particularly helpful mood. We were given our key (staying in a private room at the old site). The room was at the back of the hotel and TINY, we are talking double bed against the wall one side and just about being able to walk down the other. The bed linen not only smelt like people had slept in it but also had blood on. For 25usd a night we got no towel and the aircon we tried to use to warm the feezing cold room up did not work. Also the window looked out onto someones balcony, about a metre away, which was a little offputting.
So when deliberating where to stay after our trip to halong bay we did some research and realised the misleasing photos of the double room on the website are the rooms at the front. So we booked for after our trip saying we wanted a frontroom. They were very loathed to let us and on our return tried to give is a back room, we held out and got the front room. It was a different stay, clean sheets and towels and a huge and airy room.

With regards to extras - left luggage seems very safe and well run(and free), breakfast is basic but okay and laundary smells even worse when you get it back(i got everything rewashed at our next stop).

I could only recommend this place on its location and if you get one of the larger front rooms otherwise it is a ripoff!

Little advice for vietnam, the sinh cafe is now Sinh Tourist so any place claiming to be a sinh cafe is not and you will get bad quality trips and buses. Think overnight buses with locals picked up along the way lining the aisles or trips where your 'guide' leaves you to your own devices all day.

  • Stayed: February 2011
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Thank Rich_Toria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Vietnam Backpacker Hostels - The Original

Address: 48 Ngo Huyen Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi 10000, Vietnam
Location: Vietnam > Hanoi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #30 of 422 Specialty Lodging in Hanoi
Price Range: $10 - $29 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Vietnam Backpacker Hostels - The Original 2*
Number of rooms: 23
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Also Known As:
Hanoi Backpackers Hotel Hanoi
Backpackers Hostel Hotel Hanoi
Backpackers Hostel Hanoi

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