How to find a Cheap Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City
By international standards finding a cheap hotel in Ho Chi Minh City is a breeze. Compared to Europe, the USA or Australia, the quality of room you will get for your money will be so much higher. Rooms are plentiful, and there’s such a huge range everyone should be able to find something they like. (I’ve linked up to a few of my favorites from THIS PAGE)
There are essentially three options.
Option 1. Jump off the bus or arrive at the airport. From the airport you can grab one of the new shuttle buses or a taxi to Pham Ngu Lao (the budget tourist area.) Make sure you read my advice on how to avoid taxi scams before you take one. Chances are if you arrive on an intercity bus you are already in Pham Ngu Lao. Walk down the first alley you see and start viewing rooms. If there are two or more of you on your journey, dump your bags at a cafe and let one do the walking. Don’t be surprised if you are accosted by a hotel tout before you even remove your luggage from the taxi. If you go with them they will get a commission but you might just get the room you want much quicker than trudging around yourself.
There are literally hundreds of hotels and guesthouses within two square blocks and even more if you go walk further West than Do Quang Dau Street. Prices range from as little as $6 for a bed in a dorm room and you’ll be hard-pressed to pay more than $40/night in even a bright, clean 3-star hotel. Don’t forget to bargain if you are staying more than a few nights. Most prices include breakfast but check if this is true, especially for the cheaper rooms. An alternative is to walk into the first travel agent you see after exiting the cab and ask them to find you a place. You’ll still want to look at a couple before you sign up but at least they’ll probably let you leave you luggage in their office while you do. Of course, you’ll then be paying a commission as part of the price of your room.
Option 2. Use a booking engine like Expedia.com, Agoda.com, Hotels.com, Booking.com, or Hostelworld.com. Here you’ll be able to apply filters to narrow down your location, check their facilities (e.g. like having a room safe, AC, Breakfast inclusions) and read reviews from other travelers. Since I first wrote this post, Airbnb has made a significant impact on accommodation options in Ho Chi Minh City and throughout the rest of Vietnam. My favorite is the remarkable value provided by the Christina’s chain but there are many cheaper options available as well. (Note: Use THIS LINK to join up to Airbnb for FREE and you’ll receive approximately $22 USD of your first booking from me. It’s more than possible that will be a free nights accommodation if you select one of the cheaper properties)
Option 3. Get your Travel Agent (if you are using one) to book your accommodation for you. It’s possible that they have a deal with particular companies and you may get a good price. Or NOT.
Personally, I prefer Option 2, at least for the first night or two especially if you are arriving at night or have a long plane ride. You can read reviews of the places you like and check the location on the map, so you don’t end up too far away from the sights. Option 1 is my second choice if you’re sure you won’t be horribly fatigued by your journey there, have no issues with hauling your luggage around and have plenty of time to find something you like.
Use any one of the options above and you’ll be able to find a cheap hotel in Ho Chi Minh City no worries.
Note: I do not receive any payment for this post (or any others on the site for that matter!). I do receive a small amount of money by allowing advertisements on the site and any purchases made through those links.