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Okay the last 3 days have been a huge drama. It’s Thursday, I was suppose to leave Hanoi last Sunday but at passport control they noticed that my VISA had run out. Okay guess what? they don’t let you leave Vietnam!

It’s Thursday, I got through today after getting my VISA yesterday, I barely got through, they of course had to have a few other officers check the passport details. It ended up being nice and friendly, the locals and mostly really great! Thanks for the memories Vietnam, I think you were over welcoming though at the end not letting me go home even after I worked for you for Tet and really helped you and passed on a lot of knowledge as much as I can while I was there.

My assignment in Hanoi had been extended three times. It was initially well within the VISA requested by the local company. The company did not inform me before the expiry and I did not check. A very successful project was completed making the company a lot of potential business BUT the cost of the VISA ended up being US$225. The budget for extended VISA is $110 but that’s only a budget, in reality it’s usually more. So if your in Hanoi be aware if your VISA runs out, you will have to go to the embassy in Hoan Kiem district and pay these penalties. I was lucky I had some support from the companies to get my VISA although all costs for the hotel I was staying in were not being covered anymore. Very embarrassing. What’s more embarrassing is I found they the hotel was told to charge me not the company for electricity I used, it ended up being US$10 a month approximately. That was very sneaky and I haven’t reported it to management yet because it happened on checkout.

Somerset West Lake hotel

should not charge for electricity for their rooms! That’s unheard of in my 5 years of corporate travel. I would be very weary of staying there. The first money I stayed there I was on the first floor and I was getting sick, there was smell of rotting! I came back to Vietnam from Melbourne for an extension and was told to organize my own accommodation so I did with Mercure in Hoan Kiem but then I was told no and that I must stay in Somerset again. They admitted at the reception that the rooms we were staying in were on top of sewerage!

Be warned of this hotel. I will not stay there again… And the company issues will get resolved internally.


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