As the second most popular tourist destination in Southeast Asia (after Thailand) Vietnam’s accommodation options are becoming more and more extensive by the day!
Great budget hotels & lively backpacker dorms in Vietnam!
In Vietnam’s capital Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) you will find a huge range of choice from luxury 5-star hotels to backpacker dorms – yes dorms! Hostels such as the Australian run Hanoi Backpackers’ Hostel come with built in social vibe free of charge and you’re pretty much guaranteed to make a load of friends here. Dorm rooms can be found in Hanoi, Hue and Ho Chi Minh City and offer modern, clean and spacious mixed or single-sex dorms. Check out Lofi Inn Saigon (Ho Chi Ming City) for friendly atmosphere, cheap clean rooms and the opportunity to meet fellow backpackers.
Hanoi Backpackers Hostel, Vietnam
Small budget are also a popular choice for backpackers and these are easily found in all the major tourist destinations – Hoi An, Hue, Dalat, Halong Bay, Sapa, Nha Trang, Mui Ne and Phu Quoc Island.
One thing that tends to happen in Vietnam is that accommodation away from the main tourist hubs is booked as part of a tour – particularly to the likes of Halong Bay and Sapa. Although we always encourage independent travel – this can be one way to make your Dong stretch further (*Dong is Vietnamese currency – what were you thinking?) Home-stays with the hill tribes in Sapa consist of a roof over your head and a mattress on the floor. The overnight trains are also very decent quality if you are looking to save some money on a few night’s accommodation.
Hot shower, air-con and internet:
You will find that the hotel facilities in Vietnam are in many ways better than Thailand in terms of what you can get for your money. The majority of hotel rooms in Vietnam have air-con, hot shower and private bathroom, many of them have a TV in the rooms. It is also common for breakfast to be included in the price of the room – frequently a baguette, fruit, tea and coffee (sometimes a baguette with instant noodles on – yum.)
Although not as advanced as Thailand in terms of free WIFI availability, internet access is pretty much everywhere you go in Vietnam. You may have to hunt out the guesthouses which offer free WIFI included in the price of the room, however many hostels have free internet which consists of a few old PC’s in reception. You’ll be please to hear that internet in Vietnam is certainly faster than in Cambodia (although Facebook is banned!)
Modern backpacker dorms will offer free WIFI, security lockers and an attached common area where you can watch DVD’s, surf the net and read travel books. For those backpackers looking to party (all of you?) head to Hanoi Backpackers Hostel for the rooftop bar where you can expect a lively atmosphere every night of the week!
Backpacker Price Guide:
With a wide range of options, prices vary greatly in Vietnam starting at around $10 for a basic room. Generally, Vietnam is more expensive than in Thailand and certainly Cambodia – but you will get more for your money (the norm is air-con, TV and hot shower.) For dorms expect to pay around $6, shared bathroom, safety locker and sometimes breakfast included! For an average hotel room you’re looking at $15 and for a luxury room with Cable TV, hot shower, bath, breakfast, free WIFI, expect to pay around $25. That said, if you are willing to do a little bit of research there are some fantastic bargains to be found like this one we found in Mui Ne for just $6 (small room and shared bathroom but the swimming pool and the view make up for it!)
$6 a night for a room with an attached swimming pool and sea view – not bad!