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Monday, March 7, 2011

Google Hotel in Vietnam

Recently, I arrived in Hue, Vietnam - the former imperial capital of the Nguyễn Dynasty.  I was excited to explore both its rich historical sites and its delicious local food.  However, something else also caught my attention.  Yesterday, while I was walking down a street I noticed this sign:

Google Hotel sign

I had never heard of a Google Hotel, so I walked around the corner to see if it really existed.  Indeed, not far away I found the Google Hotel:

Google Hotel in Hue Vietnam

Later that night, I discovered the hotel appeared to have its own web site -- of course, it's the Google Hotel!  I was particularly intrigued to find that under "Our services" they listed "Nerd water" as a drink for sale.

Well, I knew I had to try some nerd water so I stopped by the next day.  The menu was a bit different from the online version.  The drinks page is here:

Google Hotel menu drinks page

Instead of "nerd water" they had "nerd bird can".  I wasn't totally sure I wanted a nerd bird can so I ordered this instead:

Festival Beer

After a few sips of the decent 50 cent local beer I asked the Google Hotel staff about the nerd bird can.  They insisted it was very healthy so I decided to give it a try.  Out came this:

White Fungus Bird's Nest Drink

It actually had a good taste.  I don't know how to describe it other than that it was completely not like how I'd expect a white fungus bird's nest drink to taste.  Or nerd water.  Regardless, "bird's nest" appears to be a much better English translation for the Vietnamese listings on their menus.  The people I spoke to weren't aware of the meaning of "nerd".  Maybe someone else had a sense of humor...

After finishing the drinks, I took a look around the lobby and saw this:

Google Hotel's clocks for different cities around the world

All those clocks for different cities around the world and no Mountain View clock?  I suspect Google Headquarters would not be pleased.

At least they were providing free internet:

Google Hotel's computers at entrance

They were also selling Google Hotel raincoats & hats for less than $1 each:

Google Hotel's raincoats and hats for sale

I finally asked why they named their hotel the "Google Hotel".  One replied, "It's a good name!"  Indeed it is.  After some further questioning they pointed to a lady, who I assumed was the manager or owner, and said she really liked Google so she decided to use its name.

That was the end of my visit to the Google Hotel.  I saw no point in staying longer since there weren't any free meals.

Just one more thing...  If you visit the Google Hotel web site you can find this at the bottom of the pages:
"Copy right @ 2010 by Googlee Hotel"
That's priceless.

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