Hostelling in Vietnam

Hostelling in Vietnam

There are many different ways to experience Vietnam as a country, from high priced luxurious tours to more budget friendly alternatives. Hostels often have a bad reputation, particularly for those who have never stayed in them before, however there are a lot of benefits to sharing your accommodation over having a private room in a hotel, and Vietnam is a great country to start.

The first, and probably the most important benefit is the price. You can find yourself a bed for as low as $4USD in Hanoi and $7USD in Ho Chi Minh. For those who are willing to sacrifice their privacy, having their own bathroom, and to risk sharing a dorm room with a snorer, the financial benefits are huge. Whatever money you save from your accommodation can go straight to paying for your adventures or can be put towards trying all of those exotic and exciting Vietnamese dishes. You can also have private rooms in hostels which tend to be cheaper than hotels, but still cost a little more than paying for a bed in a shared room. As people who stay in hostels tend to be budgeting a little more than those in hotels, the partnered companies who provide the tours tend to also be cheaper and more local, so overall you will be saving a lot, and maybe you will even go home with some change for once.

Socially, staying in hostels is awesome. You have no choice but to mix in with people from all over the world, with stories to tell and experiences to share. Quite often, travellers in Vietnam will actually be taking the same routes, and so for those who are travelling alone, it is a great way to meet and to make travelling companions who can help you to spread the cost even further. As a lot of people travel around Southeast Asia by motorbike, you can also find people who will travel with you this way, and perhaps have a more mechanical mindset than you for when they break down. As people who stay in hostels tend to be very international, they are usually very open minded, and you are likely to leave with some friends for life, as well as making a few friends just for the day.

Culturally, staying in a hostel usually lands you closer to the local action. They are usually run by local people who are fully immersed in the local world, and who will be able to recommend potentially less touristic attractions to visit and more diverse things to do. They will be able to send you to restaurants where the locals eat, and to give you a more legitimate and genuinely unique experience of Vietnam. As they are often family run businesses, you will be supporting the local economy in ways that the Marriott can't as an international conglomerate company. Staff are often young people who are enthusiastic about travelling and about the country that they are residing in, and want to provide you with the best snapshot of what their culture means to them.

For those really looking to budget, some hostels have a guest kitchen, although in Vietnam this is less common than in other countries. Here, you will be able to try out local ingredients and to make recreate some Vietnamese dishes while the recipes are still fresh in your mind, as well as team up with other travellers to save even more money and cook together. The sanitary element of hostels is often a worry for first time hostellers, however these are always improving to keep up with modern expectations, and the kitchen is, most of the time, a safe place to prepare, cook and to eat.

Hostels often provide very unique sleeping opportunities, and Vietnam is no disappointment at showcasing some weird and wonderful accommodation. The Circle Vietnam Hostel in Da Lat City offers guests the chance to sleep in some strange pipe shaped rooms, two meters in diameter, with a panoramic view of the city. The Asia Home Nha Trang is similar to capsule hotels in Hong Kong, with shared facilities and the chance to sleep in an all inclusive capsule bed. While competing with each other for guests, hostels quite often are very weird and wonderful places to sleep and offer a unique experience for their guests.

Like most of our visitors, if you are used to five star hotels and have never stayed in a hostel, maybe Vietnam is the place to try something new.