A different kind of travelogue. As an avid young traveller I often wondered what would it would be like when I got older, gathered commitments, created children and accrued debt. This is what it's like.
I was in the sauna for the 4th time when it struck me. I had bathed myself 12 times and swam in the pool 4 times in the last 24 hours. I was getting whiter by the second. Surely there must be some sort of ill effect of this much personal hygiene?
After the last overnight train ride. I am in that disoriented indecisive mode that I seem to find myself in when I’ve been up all night or up way too early. I feel alive though. I am getting older and staying up all night is an altogether different activity to how it used to be but even now I still have some sort of romantic concept of the whole thing.
No one was going to let us check in at 6 am though and after a very salubrious hotel lobby experience we were out wandering the less than salubrious streets in search of some mythical type of restaurant that would satisfy each fickle desire of our comedy family with its “blended” dietary requirements. We went for that Alice in Wonderland stroll. (See GT #25)
We eventually arrived back at our hotel and we had picked a strange one. Some sort of upgrade had delivered an early check in and a late check out for less than hiring the room for an extra half day. Then we managed to extend even further in each direction to our advantage. There are few hotels that give you a room for 36 hours when you pay for one night. Our Hotel gave us 30 hours.
It was still too early to get in our room but a little planning meant we had our swimmers easily accessed and an hour or so in the rooftop pool soothed some aching muscles. The soothing had just begun. It was a Japanese Business Hotel; Hotel Nikko Saigon. It was chosen for an expected high level of hygiene, for a high standard of food and for a sauna.
We had only one night between the very early arrival after overnight train and the very late departure on overnight plane. We needed to rest. I went for that upgrade to access the early check in, the later check out and a better room configuration but with that we also got all sorts of treats and benefits. The sort of things that we would never choose. Chocolates in the room. Access to the business lounge and library. Complimentary afternoon tea (which was excessively fancy). Access to the spa area; sauna, steam room and full Onsen set up. Gym action. Pool action. Complimentary drinks all day in the upper level fancy club room.
We were the only family among stylish looking young besuited Japanese men and less stylish older besuited Japanese men. We all resolved to use everything the hotel had to offer.
We stuffed ourselves at the free buffets. We drank the free drinks. We borrowed from the library. We had room service. And Mrs Less Baggage and I washed and washed and washed.
We were in a zen like state of calmness as we left 36 hours after we arrived. Zen like states are helpful when you are headed to the airport for the dreaded overnight long haul flight to europe (in cattle class) (with children).
(http://www.hotelnikkosaigon.com.vn didn’t pay me. I paid them. They were worth it. )