We stepped out of the taxi and looked up at the building. It was big and ominous. The front was open, like a garage, and a smiling man sat behind a table. I remember everything looked yellow. He sorted out our keys and told us we were on the 2nd floor. There were no lifts, so we lugged our suitcases up the stairs. It was sweaty and hot in there. There were no windows and the walls were tiled. Dirt clung to the corners and the mould-stained grout. It never felt unsafe, it just felt real. You could hear TV’s blaring, shoes lay outside the doors and people chattered in their doorways. When we reached our apartment, it was like stepping into a different world.
The room was bright and airy and smelt like fresh laundry. There was a four poster bed draped in white that was screaming my name. Green plants were everywhere you looked. It was a stylish haven of calm on a very busy Vietnamese street. We spent a very happy 2 weeks here, using it a base to do some work and get out exploring. We even had takeaway one night, and I promise you that few things feel as indulgent as a takeaway when you’re travelling. We loved it here.