Worn out but one of the cheapest in town
Saigon Backpackers Hostel has three locations, all within Ho Chi Minh City’s backpacker area. Their location on Cong Quynh St is long in the tooth but for an air-con dorm, it doesn’t get much cheaper than this.
The reason we are featuring this hostel is because the dorm bed is US$2 less than their competitors and we know this will appeal to frugal backpackers looking for the best bargain in Saigon. It’s also one of the few Pham Ngu Lao hostels we came across to offer female-only dorms.
However, you get what you pay for as the building was looking tired and saggy when we inspected in May 2017. The 10-bed dorm (which is oddly advertised as 8-bed on online booking sites) is cramped, with metal bunks filling every inch of available space so there’s no privacy and not much wiggle room (though their rooftop terrace is good for spreading out a bit). Which bed you get will affect your comfort level. Get the top bunk directly under the dated air-con unit and expect a chilly night. Get a bed at the window which only has a sheer curtain and expect first light and street noise. There’s WiFi, a few electrical outlets and metal lockers inside the room.
The 4-bed dorms are equally cramped, two metal bunks in a small room with as much charm as a jail cell. US$7 will get you a lot more elsewhere so it is not worth it here—check out same priced Khoi Hostel a few blocks away. Even the Saigon Backpackers Hostel at 373/20 Pham Ngu Lao is slightly better. That location could still use a cosmetic refresher but the condition is less dire than here. 373/20 Pham Ngu Lao quoted both the 8-bed mixed and 4-bed female dorms as US$6 a night, a better deal for the 4-bed and there’s an air-con lobby with TV and a pool table.
At either Saigon Backpackers Hostel locations, you'd probably be able to meet some other travellers without the late-night party vibe of The Hideout. Overall, everything could be cleaner. It needs a complete renovation but at this price, it’s ok to lay your head for a night, maximum two.
The building is at 200 Cong Quynh St, find the entrance a few metres down the alleyway.
Address: 200 Cong Quynh St, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1
T: (028) 3920 9643;
Coordinates (for GPS): 106º41'22.33" E, 10º45'58.98" 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.
10-bed mixed and female only $7 for a four-bed dorm
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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