Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Hotel Review - Saigon Youth Hostel, Ho Chi Minh City

During my first two days in Vietnam, I was in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) and I stayed at the Saigon Youth Hostel along Pham Ngu Lao in District 1. Known as the backpacker’s area, there are many cheap accommodations along this street that there is no such need to do any booking before arrival for there will be a place for you. However, since my flight was at night, I had to secure a place to stay and I made online reservation firsthand and had them arrange transportation to pick me up from the airport.

Saigon Youth Hostel

How come that Pham Ngu Lao is known as the backpacker’s alley? Well, for starter, with so many hostels crowded the street, travelers looking for cheap accommodations will definitely haunt the area. Plus, the strategic location to many sights in HCMC makes Pham Ngu Lao the perfect base for your stay in the city.

Pham Ngu Lao

Another possible explanation? The numbers of foreigners in the zone simply outnumber the locals. You will see many tourists and Westerners sitting by the roadside, drinking beers and talking to one another. If you want to make new friends, this is the perfect place to be.

Look at the Westerners all sitting and drinking beers...
So, how was my stay in Saigon Youth Hostel? Well, generally, for the price I paid (RM20+ per bed per night), it was worth it. The room was clean and tidy. The four-bed room has a window view of the street while the single room has personal TV and fridge. How did I know about the single bedroom? Here’s the funny tale accompanying it.

Four-bed dormitory

Window view from my room

When I checked in on the first night, I was given the key to the single bedroom, which was strange for I booked for a four-bed dormitory room. Thinking that somehow, all the four-bed rooms were full and I had been reassigned to a single bed room (how lucky, I thought), I just went along with it.

Single bed room I was mistakenly given to...

However, around two in the morning, while I was sound asleep, one of the staffs knocked on my door and told me that there was a mistake and that I was to move to the four-bed dormitory I was supposed to have immediately. Luckily, my stuffs were still inside the luggage and I can move out within five minutes. This unfortunate incident (which I blamed the receptionist who gave me the wrong key) set me off on a bad start.  
Other than the incident, overall, I was satisfied with my stay at Saigon Youth Hostel. The staffs are friendly and helpful and breakfasts are provided (nothing to shout about). The best part is its golden location, about ten minutes walking distance to Ben Thanh market and further walking will lead you to other famous landmarks. I will definitely stay along this street the next time I go HCMC but might do some surveying first before making any moves.

Pros: cheap, strategic locations, friendly, English-speaking staffs, convenient, free Wi-Fi
Cons: has to go through narrow back lanes to reach the main entrance

The said back alley to reach the main entrance


Sharing is caring. A word of advice and a piece of information.

Besides having them arranging airport transfer for you (taxi at US$14 one way), you can also arrange half-day and day tours with the receptionists at the hostel lobby. Examples of such tours are city tours, half-day/day tours Cu Chi Tunnel, and so on. For information on the room rate, you can click on their website here.


  1. Wow! How lucky you got a single bed room! Haha! Too bad it did not last long : )

  2. haha, at least get to stay in a single bed room for a few good hours...