Nice, but Pushy
After a horrible night at the first hotel we set off to explore the Old District to find a new guesthouse. We really liked the "Alley" (Tam Thuong Street) and had seen several guesthouses down it the night before so we started there. We looked at rooms at several places before settling on the Manh Dung Guesthouse. Our room was a decent size and clean with hot water, TV and air conditioning. We had a nice double bed and the service was friendly. Our room was five flights up a narrow staircase but they are in the process of installing a lift. The family serves hot food in the kitchen at reasonable prices. As with all guesthouses, they offer travel services. I highly recommend using an outside agent as most of the guesthouses (this one included) hikes up the prices. Check out the LP for recommendations on discounted but reliable travel agencies. The Manh Dung allowed us to store our luggage for free while we went on our Ha Long Bay tour and was perfectly safe. The only drawbacks we found staying here were the following: the staff, although friendly, was very pushy about using their travel services. She guaranteed us that they had the lowest prices and (of course) when we took out Ha Long Bay tour (booked through them) we discovered we paid more than anyone else on the trip. The high pressure and high prices soured our experience slightly. Also, when we paid for our room they claimed to not have any change so I asked for an IOU. And I had to fight hard to get our change in the end. In fact, she even tried to take my receipt (without giving me my change) but I refused, thankfully. I wanted the proof. And I am glad I kept it because I never would have gotten my money if I hadn’t. They are putting in an elevator, have cheap, hot food and 3 computer terminals with internet in the lobby. Great location and friendly staff.