A relatively new craze sweeping Saigon’s accommodation scene, particularly in the backpacker area of Pham Ngu Lao, is the hostel — it seems that every month a new one opens its doors. With similar prices, amenities and general location it may be difficult to pick one hostel from another. Here are our nominees for the best hostels in Ho Chi Minh City.
Perhaps the establishment that started Saigon’s hostel movement, the Saigon Backpackers Hostel, is still one of the best hostels in the city. Their dorm rooms are basic; you have a choice between gender-assigned rooms with four or six beds. The four-bed rooms are smaller, with packed together beds, but you share the bathroom with fewer people. A six-bed room is larger but also has a balcony. The rooms are clean and air-con, with a private locker for each bed. While the dorms are simple, the real reason to stay with Saigon Backpackers is for their common area, a good spot to mingle with other travellers and simply a great place to pass some time, as it comes equipped with a pool table, guitar and entertainment centre.
Down the same, hard-to-find alley as Saigon Backpackers, Phan Anh Backpackers Hostel is another stand-out location. All dorms here come with six beds, one bathroom, private lockers and air-con. The rooms have quite a bit of space for the six people to share and things are kept generally clean. With no common area for guests to mingle, it’ll be harder to meet fellow travellers; the upside here though is there’s an elevator — something that no other hostel in Saigon has.
Packed into a tighter alley than the other hostels in the area, the Saigon Youth Hostel offers the hostel experience in an area more focused on hotels and guesthouses. Don’t let the name fool you — you don’t have to be young to stay the night, with no age limit in place. Dorms here are small compared to others around town, with space being tight even with only four beds in each room. Still, the rooms have a little character, bed frames are made of wood instead of metal, and the hostel’s no-shoes policy helps keep things clean. Like Saigon Backpackers, the common area here offers a full array of activities — including a foosball table — and has plenty of places to sit and chat.
Koniko Backpackers Hostel, also known as Binh An Hostel, may be the biggest hostel in Saigon. Dorm rooms here are massive, packing in enough beds to sleep 10. While you won’t find much space between beds that sit side by side, the rooms still have plenty of room to move around. Besides having private lockers and air-con, the dorms have two large windows and possibly the only hardwood floors in Saigon. With its home in the middle of busy Bui Vien, Koniko may have the best location for a hostel in Pham Ngu Lao, especially if you’re looking to experience the local nightlife. Although it doesn’t have a common area, with so much going on outside, you may not even notice.
Saigon Backpackers Hostel
373/20 Pham Ngu Lao, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
T: (08) 3837 0230
Phan Anh Backpackers Hostel
373/6 Pham Ngu Lao, Ho Chi Minh City
T: (08) 3920 9235
Saigon Youth Hostel
241/32 Pham Ngu Lao, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
T: (08) 3920 3665
Koniko Backpackers Hostel
149 Bui Vien, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
T: (08) 3836 9548
By Max Murta
Last updated on 16th December, 2014.