Ha Vy hotel

About Ha Vy hotel
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16-18 Ð Do Quang Dau
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
-083836 9123
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Last edited on Oct 3, 08 7:54 AM.
Contributors: Sharmin D. Show History
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1 Reviews of Ha Vy hotel  
First To Review: Sharmin D.
4.0 star rating
Oct 3, 2008
This review is actually about District 1 in Ho Chi Min City in general. However, I feel that it is important to point out the Ha Vy hotel to you because it is a cheap, clean and very nice family run hotel/guesthouse in a bustling albeit heavily touristy area. Ha Vy has clean and basic rooms and provides a decent breakfast all at USD 8 per night, not bad I say. Compared to some other SE Asian countries, Vietnam is known for its accommodation being more expensive (say compared to Thailand, Cambodia or Laos) so this is a real find. Most tourists travelling to Ho Chi Min City, or Saigon as some people still insist on calling it, find themselves heading straight to District 1, as did I. It's of course mentioned in the Lonely Planet and you'll be sure to know at least one person who has stayed there when visiting this incredible city. I had just arrived there coming from serene and somewhat quieter neighbouring country Laos and wasn't quite prepared for the blanket of heat, the loud voices, chaos and traffic bestowed on me upon arrival. However, I somewhat learnt to embrace it whilst cursing the many annoyances I came across as well. My hotel was truly a more luxurious experience compared to some of the dives I had stayed in previously and the friendly and helpful faces were just what I needed. The streets are littred with guest houses, tourists and internet cafes. Loud motorbike taxi's and cyclo drivers all trying to take you for a ride (literally of course lol) and not to mention loads of food vendors. I must say, the latter was such a true Asian experience I could never get enough of looking at how these petite looking women managed to carry such heavy food baskets on a pole and run around as if it was light as a feather. Or the Durian seller on her bike with the pungent aroma greeting you wherever you went. If you want a variety of food right at your doorstep, District 1 is the place to be, you can get anything from pizza to the traditional pho noodles, which is cheap as hell but very tasty. All in all though most of the eateries around this area are crap. Head to district 4 for a more French/Vietnamese feel and better eateries. If you do find yourself staying in District 1, just make the most of the location as it is very central. Basically, you're just a hop, skip and a jump away from Ben Than Market, which is very nice and has a huge indoor area as well, selling cheap knock offs. A cyclo driver will take you wherever you want to go and this is a much more pleasant experience than riding on the back of a motorbike. Although I must admit, I did take a motorbike many times for its speed. It is utterly dangerous though because no one wears a helmet and traffic is absolute mayhem. One way system, the Vietnamese have never heard of it, so when crossing the road, just go for it and don't look back and certainly don't hesitate. Somewhat life endangering but thrilling experience ( esp when you've managed to cross the road succesfully, it's pure victory lol) Finally I would suggest if you are staying in District one to venture out at night for a walk and look at some of the old traditional homes in the area. Except for bag snatchers and touts ( be careful of those) Ho Chi Min is a safe city (much safer than for example Bangkok) so you can walk around at night, even by yourself. As I walked through the small back alleys I saw women cooking outside whilst having the television switched on inside. Men drinking a beer on small plastic chairs with loud chuckles filling up the air. I really enjoyed the experience of local life right in the heart of probably the most touristy district of the whole city. Ho Chi Min City may want to make you pull your hair out at times, but is a truly amazing city trying to succumb to the perils of globalisation whilst still retaining old Vietnamese life. This place is transforming before our very eyes so I really suggest visiting this city and the whole country for that matter before too long.
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