For those on a budget, Vietnam is pretty much close to the ideal destination. Banquets can be had for cents while the profusion of cheap alcohol means that you can get the party well and truly swinging for the price of what a packet of cigarettes would cost in the west. Unsurprisingly, accommodation is just as reasonable. Competition is fierce in Ho Chi Minh City, especially in the budget-tourist hub of Pham Ngu Lao, and you won’t struggle to find a decent room for around $10 a night. Pay a little bit more and you’ll bag yourself some luxury trimmings such as a flat-screen TV and a spacious en suite bathroom.
It’s not difficult to find yourself a bargain by just hunting around but the following options have all been road tested by your correspondent. The first hotel I stayed in when I pitched up in Vietnam was the Nguyen Khang. The accommodation itself is fairly standard – rooms are clean and airy, there are en suite bathrooms and breakfast is free – but it is the friendly receptionists, Thu and Lang, which really make the place.
Elsewhere in Pham Ngu Lao, the Saigon Mini Hotel chain continues to impress guests with its blend of comfortable, almost boutique, accommodation and friendly service while the Duc Vuong Hotel offers pretty much everything you would get at a mid-range option for an unbelievably good price.