Sunday, April 4, 2010

Day 19 Saigon to Vung Tau

Last night we and Audrey dined at Quan An Ngon (Restaurant Delicious) of the same name as the restaurant in Hanoi. A similar set up and atmosphere and really nice food.

The hydrofoil from Saigon to Vung Tau (a beach town and popular with local tourists) only takes about an hour and a half. It's tourist season so tickets were hard to get and we had to settle for an earlier return than we had hoped. Even tomorrow ferries are fully booked.
It was great to see Mr and Mrs Hai, Van, Quang again and to meet Mr Hai's brother, Hoai. The time flew as we chatted and exchanged gifts. We visited the White House of Vung Tau, which was built during the French occupation in the early 1800's and was the last King's summer house.
Shrimp, crabs, fish hot pot, vegies and fried rice, with quite a few Mot, Hai, Ba, Zo's (1 2 3 cheers) for lunch by the sea.
We bid Audrey farewell this afternoon and are just about to head out for dinner.

Snap leaves me nothing to say again except hi to family and friends and hope you all had a happy easter
Later that evening....below is my letter of complaint to the Renaissance Riverside hotel:

Renaissance Riverside Hotel
Ho Chi Minh City

Dear sir or madam

In early April my husband and I treated ourselves to a massage at the Renaissance Riverside Hotel. We had been two years ago and had a good experience.

I chose the foot spa/massage and my husband, a full body massage for VND 190.000. We paid for our massages prior to having them. My massage (which was adequate) was performed by a student under the guidance of two teachers.

When she had finished I emptied my purse to tip her and commented that this is all the money that I had, approximately VN 10.000. I am fairly certain she grunted at me. I waited for my husband in the reception area. A few minutes later I noticed raised voices coming from the changing room. It was that of my husband and his masseuse.

My husband had offered his masseuse a VND 20.000 tip, as 10% is a very acceptable amount to tip, world wide. The masseuse said that this was not enough and called in a co-worker, from the reception area, for reinforcement. Together they argued loudly with him and 'demanded' persistently that he pay VND 100.000, a tip of more than 50%.

He showed them the contents of his wallet which contained a 20.000 and 50.000 dong note and told them we needed money for the taxi fare back to our hotel. The staff's response to this was ' stay here', meaning at the Renaissance Riverside Hotel and did not need taxi fare. We were not.

After several minutes of their hounding and yelling, they settled for the VND 50.000 tip.

We left upset, shocked and dismayed. The management of the hotel should be greatly concerned that the staff are treating customers and possible guests of the hotel in this manner.

Perhaps the staff need educating in the art of retaining customers, repeat business and gaining new business through recommendations and not just getting the most money out of the situation at hand.

Should you require any further information, please don't hesitate to contact us. For your reference, we will be posting a copy of this letter directly to the hotel.