Ngoc Mai is the most backpackery joint in Buon Ma Thuot simply because the friendly family know how to cater to an international crowd.
Their English is excellent and they are super helpful and happy to dispense advice on how to get to sites, whether you want to rent one of their bicycles or motorbikes, take the local bus or do a tour. They gave us a free handy map of the city and they also sell a Narenca travel map of Vietnam, one of the best maps of the country we’ve come across, for only 50,000 dong. There are cold drinks for sale and they can book onward bus tickets - it’s basically the one stop shop that backpackers love.
A narrow set of stairs lead up to the bare basic rooms. The single rooms have enough space to squeeze in the spongey soft, foam mattress bed and your backpack. Tall folk would struggle with the low ceiling wet room style bathroom. Pay more and you can get a room with two beds, far more spacious, has a window to the outside world and balcony. It’s airier and less claustrophobic. All rooms come with air-con, WiFi and a box TV, but no breakfast.
Ngoc Mai Hotel is located on a small, short street that connects Dien Bien Phu and Le Hong Phong. It’s an easy walk to the market and roundabout. Show the address to taxi drivers and they will know the location.
Address: B14 - Duong So 1/Dien Bien Phu St, Buon Ma Tuot
T: (0500) 385 3406, (091) 436 312;
Coordinates (for GPS): 108º2'29.81" E, 12º40'53.96" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: Under US$10
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Standard double room||180,000 dong||180,000 dong|
|Triple air-con private bathroom||250,000 dong||250,000 dong|
Cindy Fan is a Canadian writer/photographer and author of So Many Miles, a website that chronicles the love of adventure, food and culture. After falling in love with sticky rice and Mekong sunsets, in 2011 she uprooted her life in Toronto to live la vida Laos. She’s travelled to over 40 countries and harbours a deep affection for Africa and Southeast Asia. In between jaunts around the world, she calls Laos and Vietnam home where you'll find her traipsing through rice paddies, standing beside broken-down buses and in villages laughing with the locals.
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