Photo: Village scenery near Son La.


Son La

Most of the accommodation here is positioned either around the lake and weir in the centre of town or near the park. There's a wide range of options, from budget digs to the newly opened Hanoi Hotel. Cheap sleeps (that accept foreigners) are also available around the bus station.

Hanoi Hotel
Midrange - US$20 to 50
228 Duong Truong Chinh
T: (022) 375 3299

The building work next to the Huong Sen has transformed into the Hanoi Hotel and completely over-shadows its neighbour and similarly priced options. For a similar price to the Union or Son La Hotels you get a modern reception with comfy furnishings, a bar and restaurant, sauna, Jacuzzi pool and massage chairs, underground parking and WiFi throughout. Hallways are fresh and lined with bright... Read our full review of Hanoi Hotel.

Viet Trinh
Backpacker - Under US$10
15A 26/8 Street, across from the park
T: (022) 385 2263

The reception area for this hotel is the living room of the family that runs it but don't be put off — if price is your primary concern then Viet Trinh is your place. Furnishings have certainly seen better days, as has the paintwork, and expect tiny, well worn towels and no niceties — such as soap or a good TV reception — but that said, the rooms are cleanish and bedding was... Read our full review of Viet Trinh.

Bien Phong Guesthouse
Backpacker - Under US$10
64B Chu Van Thinh
T: (022) 625 0299

Previously the Blue Hotel, the now Bien Phong Guesthouse remains a good budget option. The exterior is done up in shades of peach and rose and the hotel is located in what passes for a central location in Son La. They offer up some clean, spacious and bright rooms, with fridges, TVs, and even in-room computers. The staff here are friendly, but speak no English — go prepared with a... Read our full review of Bien Phong Guesthouse.

Sunrise Hotel
Flashpacker - US$10 to 20
53 Duong 26 - 8
T: (022) 385 8799

The Sunrise is at the Western end of 26/8 street, past the road to the Trade Union Hotel. It has clear views of the mountainside where the lookout point is located, and it's a quiet neighbourhood to base yourself in. It's not much more than a glorified guesthouse, but for a bit more than elsewhere, you get a spacious room, with good attention to detail, good bedding, a big table to sit at, marble... Read our full review of Sunrise Hotel.

Thanh Binh Guest House
Backpacker - Under US$10
No. 7, Chu Van Thinh
T: (022) 385 2969

This cute little place is tucked in a courtyard in an alley just off the road, five minutes down the street from the Blue Hotel. The courtyard, which all the rooms face onto, is amazingly neat and tidy and the building appears freshly painted. Rooms are quite smart and cosy, with the caveat that the mattresses on the beds are thin and firm — otherwise, good bedding, light and airy, with... Read our full review of Thanh Binh Guest House.

Cong Doan Son La
Midrange - US$20 to 50
4 Xuan Thuy Road
T: (022) 385 5313

With 80 rooms on offer, this is the one place in town where you're practically guaranteed to find a bed. The midrange offerings are a bit spare, but pretty, in light wood tones, with some of the highest ceilings we've seen in Vietnam, and balconies — some of which have a good view if you can look beyond the car park below. You also get soft beds, big satellite TVs, a bath and complimentary... Read our full review of Cong Doan Son La.

Hoang Son Hotel
Backpacker - Under US$10
69 Ngo Luong Bang
T: (022) 385 9888

This attractive and freshly painted hotel just has a lovely feel to it. Staff spoke a little English and were very friendly and rooms are clean, bright and airy. All rooms have air-con, mossy nets, a small TV and standard but clean shower bathrooms, Some of the better rooms available in... Read our full review of Hoang Son Hotel.

Huong Sen Hotel
Flashpacker - US$10 to 20
228 Duong Truong Chinh
T: (022) 385 1980

This is a large hotel strung up on the left on the way into town from Hanoi, with the standard, obligatory massage and sauna facilities. —The rooms themselves are okay: clean and spacious, with good bedding, firm mattresses, hard furniture, green tile floors, fridge, and pretty plain-looking shower bathrooms, but the VIP double with a balcony we saw had a bit of a problem. Whilst it has two... Read our full review of Huong Sen Hotel.

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Son La? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Vietnam.

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