Low on style, high on comfort
241/11/6 Pham Ngu Lao, District 1 T: (08) 3837 3551, 090 8343 012
Down a busy, narrow alley, filled with dozens of other hotels and guesthouses in Saigon’s backpacker district of Pham Ngu Lao, Vy Khanh Guesthouse has quietly become one of the area’s standout places to stay with their reputation for stellar service.
At Vy Khanh you will find two types of rooms: 350,000 VND standards and 450,000 VND superiors. The difference in price translates to a difference in size, with the standards being moderately smaller than superiors. All rooms have all the necessary amenities, such as air-con, WiFi, private bathroom, fridge and TV, and though they aren’t particularly inspiring when it comes to decor, beds are comfortable and they are kept immaculately clean.
The biggest drawback to the guesthouse is that space is limited. Room size is tighter compared to what you can find at neighbouring competitors; not that you’ll feel particularly claustrophobic but be prepared for the occasional tight squeeze into the bathroom or up the stairs. Even the lobby is at the smaller end of the spectrum, although it does have a couch and a computer station available to guests, while the alley outside is barely big enough for a motorbike. Vy Khanh only sports six rooms, four standards in the main building and two superiors in a similar building immediately across the alley.
The real reason to stay at Vy Khanh is Ms Vy and her family, who are among the best hosts in the city. The Vy family tries to go above and beyond for their guests. Can’t find the guesthouse? They’ll meet you on the main road. Don’t know what to do? They’ll give you a map, complete with directions and recommendations on where to go. They family also has a reputation as being one of the cleaner Saigon guesthouses, offering fresh towels or regularly changing sheets — gestures rivals may glance over.
Vy Khanh has done a great job making their guests happy and their online reputation means a steady stream of customers — with so few rooms this means it’s nearly impossible to walk in off the street and snare one. It took us three tries over a two-week period just to see one empty room, so your best bet here is to book well in advance.
If you can’t find a room at Vy Khanh, you next best bet would be to try Ngoc Phan Guesthouse, off neighbouring Bui Vien, where you will find an equally inviting atmosphere and a little more space. Or head to the end of Pham Ngu Lao and try Long Hostel, which has quite a few more rooms and similar service, or Saigon Backpackers Hostel, where you’ll find more opportunities to meet fellow travellers. Outside of the main backpacker drag you could take a look at the California Guesthouse on Co Bac, or if you’re looking for something more midrange, the An An Hotel is worth a shot.
By Max Murta
Last updated on 3rd February, 2016.