Jul 04 2012

Review: Saigon Backpackers Hostel

Published by at 2:14 pm under Accommodation


Tucked into the middle of Saigon’s Pham Ngu Lao backpacker’s area, Saigon Backpackers Hostel is one of the few true hostels in the city. Somewhat hard to find on a first visit, the hostel is actually just a short walk down an alley hidden behind Thai Binh market.

Welcome to a hostel.

Welcome to a hostel.

This is one of the only spots in Saigon with gender-assigned, bunk-bed dorms. You have a choice between staying in a four-person dorm, a much smaller room with no window but fewer people, or a six-person dorm, which has more people but is quite a bit larger and comes with a balcony. Either way the price is the same and the rooms offer the same basic amenities, such as private lockers and air-con, although the six-person room does have a nicer bathroom, complete with an enclosed shower. If you’re looking for something more private there are a couple of double rooms, which are the same as the four-person dorm rooms except instead of two bunk-beds there is one bed.

The four-bed rooms are a little cramped.

The four-bed rooms are a little cramped.

While the rooms are one thing, the real reason to stay at a hostel is to meet your fellow traveller and at Saigon Backpackers you will find one of the few places in town where an attempt at community has been made. It starts with the friendly, courteous staff that gives the hostel more of a guesthouse feel. Downstairs, besides the typical tour booking desk and two-computer internet area, the hostel has also added a pool table, entertainment centre and community kitchen for its guests. The entertainment area is actually quite enviable; a large flat-screen television, surround sound and a PlayStation 3 available throughout the day at no charge. In the kitchen you have full use of all the equipment, from the cook-tops to the fridge, and with your close proximity to the market you may actual find a use for it. The kitchen is also where you receive your included breakfast every morning.

I call first turn.

I call first turn.

Although the doubles here are adequate, at around 400,000 VND a night you could do better, both in price and quality, elsewhere. The real reason to choose Saigon Backpackers is for their dorm beds, which at 160,000 VND are among the most affordable beds in Ho Chi Minh City. Couple their price with the hostel’s overall atmosphere and you have something hard to beat.

You can cook for yourself.

You can cook for yourself.

But it’s not all rainbows and butterflies at Saigon Backpackers. The location isn’t ideal, as the alley gets dark being off the road behind the market. Not that the area has a particular reputation for crime, but we would recommend exercising caution if you’re alone and it’s getting late. Also, if you find yourself on one of the hostel’s upper floors, be prepared for the absence of an elevator. It may not seem like a huge deal but during a humid Saigon day you may break into a sweat just going up a floor or two.

Saigon Backpackers is quickly gaining a solid reputation among travellers looking for the hostel experience; as such you may no longer be able to walk in off the street during high season and find a bed. Instead book online, which they actually seem to prefer, and save yourself the trouble.

If they are full, the neighbours have caught copy fever and several have added hostel to their name, the best of these being the Long Hostel. For a step up in amenities try the An An Hotel on Bui Vien or the Elios Hotel on Pham Ngu Lao. If you want something a little outside of the backpacker’s area, head to the California Guesthouse on Co Bac where you will find a similar sense of community but far fewer beds.

Saigon Backpackers Hostel
373/20 Pham Ngu Lao, District 1
T: (08) 3837 0230
www.saigonbackpackershostel.com
sgbackpackershostel@gmail.com

Check rates & availability at Saigon Backpackers Hostel

More still
» Previous post:
» Next post:

Disclaimer
Travelfish.org always pays its way. No exceptions.

Tags: ,

Agoda logo
best price guarantee

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Review: Saigon Backpackers Hostel”

  1. [...] area on Co Bac. Those who are looking for the real hostel experience should head next door to the Saigon Backpackers Hostel, where you will find clean, gender-assigned dorms. If you want something a step up in scale the An [...]

  2. Ismaelon 08 Jan 2013 at 12:06 pm

    Les detallo mi experiencia:
    Cuando hicimos el check in en el hostel, dijimos que quedaríamos un mínimo de 3 noches o quizás más; después de haber pasado 2 noches solamente, al llegar por la tarde al hostel nos dicen que tenemos que hacer el check out e irnos porque tienen a otras personas que tienen una reserva, diciendo que ellos solo nos habían guardado la plaza por 2 noches. Ni nos avisaron al hacer el check in, ni nos avisaron esa mañana al dejar la llave en recepción cuando salimos del hostel. Una autentica vergüenza de organización y responsabilidad por parte del hostel y su personal.
    Por si fuera poco yo tenía algunas cosas sobre la cama que desaparecieron después de que la persona de la limpieza pasara a prepararla para el siguiente, en concreto, era una lonely planet de Vientam (una de las copias que venden no la original), un plano de Saigon en el que tenía marcados todos los puntos de interés, y un bolígrafo; no eran cosas de gran valor pero no es normal que las tiraran y punto.
    Nos vimos con las mochilas en la calle, sin aportarnos ninguna solución excepto mandarnos a otro hostel asociado que tienen fuera del centro (lo cual no nos interesaba).
    Por suerte, es muy fácil encontrar alojamiento y lo obtuvimos en la misma calle, a un precio más bajo y un hostel en muchas mejores condiciones. De hecho hay varios hostel en esa calle como el Long Hostel o el Venus hostel, más económicos y con mejor servicio.
    En cuanto al resto de aspectos, el hostel tiene una buena situación, en el barrio mochilero, en el centro de Saigon (al igual que otros cientos de alojamientos que hay en la zona), el desayuno es bastante pobre pero aceptable; sus principales fallos son la limpieza, ya que el día que llegamos nos encontramos nuestras camas con sabanas sucias y usadas por los anteriores huéspedes, la habitación olía realmente mal, y el WiFi, que a determinadas horas no funciona (de 18-22 pm), y cuando lo hace va muy lento y hay páginas que no se cargan como Facebook.
    Espero que mi opinión sea de utilidad y en caso de alojarse aquí tengan cuidado!!!

Leave a Reply