I think we’re on Day 4? It’s hard to tell, as the last few days (and nights) have followed a schedule that fits neither our internal Seattle/Portland clocks nor the local time in HCMC. To explain…
Oliver and I decided to try out AirBnb for this trip because it was easy to use the app to book and communicate with hosts, and because we liked the idea of staying in a neighborhood rather than a hotel. Checking into our super cute (see pictures!) HCMC AirBnb went smoothly, and we were satisfied with our choice even though it was further from the downtown area than we had expected. Our host was super nice, and we had keys to both the apartment and the building so we could come and go as we pleased… HOWEVER, on Day 2, when we returned from a late dinner with Cameron, the building gate was locked and none of our keys worked. Despite it being after midnight, our host answered her phone and motorbiked over to check it out, and confirmed that we were, in fact, locked out, and she wasn’t sure why.
We decided to head to a hotel, and after an online booking gone wrong and a long, tired, and very confused conversation with a doorman, we ended up with two rooms booked and too tired to care at approximately 2 am local time. All we had was our phones, money, cards, and the clothes we were wearing, but our room had a bathtub and a queen-sized bed and that was enough for us.
The next morning our AirBnb host informed us that the building locks had been changed by security without her knowledge, and it that it would be a few days before we could get gate keys – we could come and go during the day, but we had no way to access our accommodations after hours. Because of this, we decided it would be better to stay at the hotel, and subsequently went through loop after loop of customer-service lines, the front desk, etc., etc., etc., ETC. In the end, we booked the next few days/nights at the same hotel, and due to the confusion, a refund because of a glitch in the booking system, and a discount because the lobby was under construction, we are now staying in a junior suite with an amazing full-wall window in the heart of the downtown area for the same cost as the AirBnb. (See pictures below.) We’re not sure how it happened, but we think we’re okay with it! Hopefully AirBnb will process a refund for our missed days (and time without our luggage), but regardless, everything turned out okay.
Moral of the story is: be flexible, be patient, and keep a toothbrush in your purse. (We didn’t. Ick.)
We’ve done a lot of other cool things and eaten a lot of delicious things) in and around all that confusion, of course – I’ll update y’all on that later, because right now it’s time to go eat. Again. 😝