Vietnam is definitely one country for backpackers. The hostels have such good views and facilities which can make one easily ditch the grand and luxurious hotels. Most of the hostels are well located, with amazing hosts and provide great internet connectivity, but above all are well within $10 per night. Every hostel has one similarity, upon arrival every host hands over a printed map of the surrounding area marking the favorite tourist spots, eateries and way back to the hostel which becomes so handy in absence of Google Maps. Here I am sharing my experiences of some of the best hostels in the land of the `North Star`.
AIVI HOSTEL (Ho Chi Minh City) :
This hostel is situated in the old city area that connects the city center of District 1 and new urban District 2 and totally gives you the best of everything. Though situated in a quiet surrounding its hardly a km from the lively chaos of the city center.
This hostel is actually an apartment on the 12th floor of a building which keeps it a lot airy. On entering the hostel, it gives a very attractive, cute and lively feel. The walls are painted with the travel quotes and map of Vietnam highlighting the tourist spots of the country. A laptop is available in the common room for the guests to use for their convenience. I loved the host for her hospitality as she made sure the comfort of my stay and was such a sweetheart to give me the bed with best view of Saigon river . The host makes sure that the refrigerator is always loaded with the fresh seasonal fruits for guests at no price. The Internet connectivity was just so great all the time during my stay.
- Distance from Airport / Travel time / cost to reach : 7.6 kms / 27 mins / $15 by taxi and $5 by motorbikde
- Distance from Tourist Center / Travel time : 3 kms / 10 mins
- Distance from best street food : 0.3 kms
- Price : $11
FUNTASTIC BEACH HOSTEL (Da Nang):
Funtastic beach hostel is located in Da Nang city of Vietnam. This chain has another hostel called Funtastic Da Nang Hostel which is situated amidst the city. Mistakenly, I had booked the Funtastic Da Nang Hostel instead of the beach one. The sole motive of visiting Da Nang was to immerse myself in the surreal waves on the beach and stay away from the hustle bustle of the city. When I reached the city hostel, I realized I had booked the wrong one and asked the hostel guy if I could be shifted to the beach hostel. I was impressed by the way he handled it and immediately checked with the beach hostel and transferred me there. Woaaah! What a relief it was.
The hostel is newly constructed and had every bit of energy in the interiors which made it perfect for youngsters to crash after a tiring day spent at the beach. The Da Nang beach is around 200 steps from the hostel. The Hostel has a kitchen which can be used for cooking and eating supplemented with all the required utensils. I really have to talk about the new, cushiony and comfy beds which actually made me peacefully sleep like a baby. This was a much required sleep after a day of travel in the buses and flights put together and ya, the worry which we all have of using the shared bathrooms did not cross my mind even once during my stay at this hostel. The bathrooms were well kept, clean and provided with toiletries. The breakfast came in complimentary with the stay and was served at the rooftop which gave a breathtaking view of the beach.
- Distance from Airport / Travel time / cost to reach : 5.6 kms / 16 mins / $10 by taxi
- Distance from the beach : 0.2 km
- Price : $6.5 to $ 10.5
BUFFALO PUB & HOSTEL (Dong Hoi):
This was my favorite hostel on the entire Vietnam trip. Buffalo Pub and Hostel is located in Dong Hoi, Quang Binh province of Vietnam. It was like a dream stay for me as it had all the contrasts around it. While in the evening, I can play my own songs, play pool, drink and dance in the pub, yet in the morning, I was literally awaken by the sound of Nhat le river on whose bank the Buffalo Pub and Hostel is located. While it served the best of the cocktails, yet it refreshed me with the most authentic coffee in the morning. While the hotel staff hardly knew any English series, yet they watch Balika Vadhu dubbed in Vietnamese 🙂 :).
The dorms were airy, spacious and the view of the river from my bed made my morning even more soothing. I was left spell bound with such humility of the hostel and staff. The hostel staff was always on their toes to serve you in every way possible. The scooters and bikes were available at a very minimal charge to drive to Phong Nha ke Bang National Park and Caves.
- Distance from Airport / Travel time / cost to reach : 8.6 kms / 16 mins / $17 by taxi
- Distance from Train Station : 3kms
- Distance from Phong Nha ke Bang National Park and Caves – 40kms
- Price : $5, Huge value for money
CATBA CENTRAL HOSTEL (Cat Ba Island):
Catba Central Hostel is situated at Cat ba Island in Hai Phong province. It’s a huge property with approximately 50 rooms with shared bathrooms with each room. The toiletries and a pair of slippers came along. The rooms were well lit, ventilated and super spacious which gave a lot of personal space even when staying in the dormitories. The beds were comfortable to crash on it after an exhausting day at the beach. The internet connectivity is great even to download movies which ideally we shouldn’t.:P.
The restaurant served great food but with limited options on the menu. It also had an on site bar. The beach is around 0.5 kms from the hostel. The porch in front of the hostel is a perfect seating place to sip coffee and appreciate nature all around. Do not forget to visit Rose Bar (0.5 kms from Catba Central Hostel) which serves Laughing Gas (amazing experience which lasts for a couple of minutes though).
- Distance from City centre : 9.7km
- Distance from Ferry stop : 15.4 km
- Price : $10
Do share your experience of Vietnam hostels in the comments below.