Hotel Name: Thien Thien Thanh Hotel
Address: 12 Thuy Hoa, Lao Cai, Vietnam
I stayed at Thien Thien Thanh Hotel in Lao Cai, Vietnam. I booked online at the rate of VND 350,000 ($15.10 USD), and I booked it for its price and location.
This was my first trip to Lao Cai, so I didn’t know where the best area to stay was. Most tourists in this part of Vietnam only pass through Lao Cai on the way to Sapa, or on the way to China. There’s not much written about the city, so I deduced the best location by looking on Google Maps for interesting spots. I figured that staying on the river near the Vietnam-China border should be interesting enough.
The Thien Thien Thanh Hotel is on Thuy Hoa Rd, opposite Thuy Hoa Park. When I arrived the reception was somewhat surprised to see me. I was travelling during the great pandemic and I had become accustomed to arriving at empty hotels by now. After showing them my Agoda booking I was shown to my room.
I booked a twin room with a private bathroom. Instead, I got a large triple room. Perhaps they wanted to give me a room with a great view, so I was also on the top floor. I picked the bed by the window, and from here I had a view of China. That is the Red River, and on the other side is the Chinese city of Hekou.
With such large windows, the room was bright and perhaps felt even larger than it was. The bed was comfortable and the room had air-conditioning. I had a good wifi reception in my room, though there were not enough power outlets in the room (a problem in many old hotel rooms).
From my window, you could see the border-crossing bridge for Vietnam and China.
The bathroom was fine. It was also spacious, clean, and it had a good hot water system.
At night time the area in front of the park becomes lively with bars and street food. Some of the cafes on this street also put their seats out on the park side of the road.
At night the apartments in China are lit up like a Christmas tree. It was pretty cool to lie in bed in one country and look at another.
There is no breakfast service here so I had pho at the bus stop near the train station. The hotel is 2.5 km from the train station and it cost 50,000 VND ($2.15 USD) by taxi to get there. The bus for Sapa departs from the train station.
Overall this was a good place to stay in Lao Cai if you are just looking for a budget room. Make sure to get a front room so you can get a view of China, otherwise it would be just like staying in any other random budget hotel in Vietnam. The location was also good if you want to explore the city. There didn’t appear to be any street that more advantageous than another, and the city streets are walkable.