Wow. Yesterday was a pretty rough day in Saigon. A bit of an altercation with a front hotel desk attendant that absolutely refused to give us our passports back. We were lured to a hotel straight from the airport that promised us amenities we requested. We arrive at the hotel, check in and gave them our passports as she promised they would be safe. Michelle and I initially looked at each other with great concern, thus ultimately letting go the idea of giving our passports to the hotel due to our exhaustion. We went to our room, realized it was a dump and this so-called 4.5 start hotel did not have the amenities we asked for. We wanted 1 bed and there were two, we were told there was a pool and there was not. Within 10 minutes, we put our packs on and went back down to the front desk to get our passports and leave the hotel. She said we had to pay for the night because we had been in the room over an hour. For 90 minutes, we refused to pay and argued and we insisted on getting our passports back otherwise we threatened to call the police and the U.S. Embassy. Long story short, the cabbie gets commission to take guests to this hotel giving false promises to the guest, drops us off and gets $30 US dollars cash commission upon dropping us off (for a hotel that costs $25 a night) and takes off. The front desk charges us $55 when the rates online are $25 a night (includes the commission they paid the cabbie). They argue we had been in the room for an hour, when it was clearly under 10 minutes and won’t give us our passports back unless we pay them the $55.
Michelle and I were both literally about to jump this counter and strangle this girl as it was illegal what she was doing in so many ways. We honestly felt we were in the twilight zone and the thought of me jumping the desk to rifle through the cabinet to get our passports was on the top of my solution list by the very end. I’m not kidding, I was mentally prepared for that. We were out of options and paying this bitch was not an option cause it was a scam. I came to my senses and slapped $20 down on the counter as I didn’t want to be arrested in this foreign country. She agreed to give them back for $20. We walked out, found another hotel and now day two in Saigon.