I would like to advise travelers to steer clear of the Queen Mini Guest House: The owner/manager extorted my friends and I and then drew a knife when we attempted to leave!
It is on the road leading up (or away from the) train station, Hong Hoa Tham Street, and is in the Lonely Planet Guide.
Don't be lured in by the convince! We rented motorbikes from the Queen Mini over night and drove into the country side surrounding Ninh Binh- I'd highly recommend this excursion. When we returned the manager of the hotel, Mr. Luong, said that we had damaged the rear view mirror of one bike. This is not true- the glass was missing from the mirror before we left. we tried to tell him this but he insisted that we pay him $10 or he wouldn't return my passport. he was drunk and pushy. we eventually gave him the money to risk further escalation, but when i realized that he had harassed my female travel companion to the point of tears I (ill- advisedly) yelled at him then told the other four members of our party that we were leaving. Our beds had not been slept in and we felt justified in leaving without paying. on our way out he chased after me in a fit of rage- waving a large cooking knife. he turned on two women in my party- one of them Vietnamese- and flashed the knife at them. I ran him down and shouted until he dropped the knife. eventually the owner of the building that houses the hotel came out and with the help of our Vietnamese friend negotiated paying half the cost of the rooms.
In short, please please do not stay at the Queen Mini guest house.
#1 samdraft has been a member since 2/5/2008. Posts: 3
Even though you are a first-time poster I believe what you say, Unfortunately in happens all to often.
Pity you didn't give the exact street number and / or telephone number (even from LP).
(1) When you rent a motorcycle, and its capacity is in excess of 75cc, you are technically illegal.
(2) Always carry a copy of insurance and ownership;
(3) Always use your OWN chain and lock - even if you have to buy them - as some motorcycles 'steal' their own bikes back and try to get you to pay for a new one;
(4) Always give a vehicle a once over and make a note (or photograph with owner in frame) showing damage;
(5) Carry copies of your passport data and visa pages and GIVE a set to the hotel and SHOW them your passport BUT expect to pay for the room. NOTE: In Lao Cai / Sa Pa you WILL be required to hand over the passport as the Neanderthal chair of the Peoples Committee requires the police to inspect all passports. Occasionally in Hue the police want to inspect an original passport.
(6) A replacement mirror costs USD$2 (in HCMC);
(7) You should have also called the police: "Cong An" or "Cahn Sat"'
Don't blame VietNam - you just hit on a bad hotel - typical LP listing!
P.S Is this the one: "Queen Mini Hotel, 21 Hoang Hoa Tham; (Tel: 871-874;rUS$3T5;firstname.lastname@example.org"?
#2 CatBa has been a member since 5/3/2007. Posts: 349
Thank you for your speedy reply, for your trust, and for your advise. That is the info of the hotel we stayed at. I'll retype it below.
your tips are very good. i was wondering about calling the police. I brought up the idea on several occations and the hotel proprietor in question (I should adjust my wording, I'm not sure he is the owner) readily agreed. In retrospect, it may have been the best thing to do, particularly because he was clearly drunk. But at the time we thought that, because it is a small city, he may be friendly with the police and that as it was our word against his, we wouldn't fair well. What do you think?
This is the information of the card we carried from his hotel:
Queen Mini Hotel
21 Hoang Hoa Tham St.
tel 030 871 874
mobile 0913 527 579
fax 030 873 005
and don't worry: i love Vietnam, Live, work, volunteer in the country, and speak a bit of the language. I've had an amazing time. and even the rest of the trip in and around Ninh Binh was great. i highly recommend a bike (push or motor) around the area. talk to the farmers!
#4 samdraft has been a member since 2/5/2008. Posts: 3
Thanks again! the LP thread you forwarded is certainly the same place on a different occasion (I've also posted on LP). While in my complaint the money isn't really the issue, I wonder if the sum total of these complaints makes some kind of recourse advisable. What could be done? I don't want to be vindictive but I really don't want anyone to have a similar, or worse, experience.
#5 samdraft has been a member since 2/5/2008. Posts: 3