Staying in Vietnamese hotels can be dangerous!
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Staying in Vietnamese hotels can be dangerous! Ho Chi Minh City Reviews
Staying in Vietnamese hotels can be dangerous! Feb 27, 2009
Many hotels in VietNam have but a single entrance - the front door. In emergencies alternatives can be windows or balconies. Fire escapes can be filled with debris (example the Diamond Plaza in HCMC), unlit, or a simple open steel ladder affixed to the outside of the building. Recently HCMC authorities have demanded that cages be fitted around such ladders to minimise injuries from slipping on ladders! One hotel, again in District 1, HCMC, has a rope with a seat attached to it for escaping from their 6th floor restaurant!
There are also frequent power outages and the emergency lights, if even present, often do not work properly.
Adding to this dangerous mix is the fact that fire extinguishers and fire hoses are infrequently inspected. Vietnamese firemen are dressed in police type uniforms but lack the red epaulets. Their equipment is old, practice drills rare and, compared to Western countries, the are relatively few fire stations (halls to American readers).
Even in Ho Chi Minh City/SaiGon he most modern aerial ladders do not extend above the 6th floor!
Therefore a small kit comprising a tested working flashlight, a whistle and a small roll of Duct Tape should be carried.
The use of the flashlight is obvious; the whistle can be used to attract attention of would-be rescuers particularly if you are high on a balcony; the Duct Tape can be used to seal off doors so contain smoke. Wet towels can always be used to seal doors although not ss well as Duct Tape!
I always check the fire escape routes when checking into ANY class of hotel. One 3-star hotel in Hue has clearly marked fire doors - unfortunately the external staircase, that protruded into the air rights of an adjacent building, has been removed.
Be smart - carry that small kit, it might save a life. AND REMEMBER, many hotels have accessible roofs on wich you can seek refuge.
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