Saigon guest houses - guesthouses in Ho Chi Minh City

A guesthouse with garden rooftop.

A guesthouse with garden rooftop.

Some things in Saigon are nice and simple, meaning you don’t have to torment yourself for hours making tricky decisions. Let’s take accommodation as an example. Are you loaded, or sufficiently well-off to want 4- or 5-star digs? Then head for Dong Koi and the nearby streets where you’ll find branches of all the international chains like the Hyatt and Sheraton.

Or are you looking for budget accommodation, somewhere that’s clean but that won’t bust the bank? Then make your way to Saigon’s budget district, which radiates out from De Tham Street about a kilometre west of the city centre and features loads of cheap rooms, travel agencies, tours, restaurants and bars. But luckily there are still a few authentic places selling noodles and bia hoi.

De Tham is unlike anywhere else in Saigon, or even Vietnam for that matter. It’s the only place you’ll see more foreigners than Vietnamese, and where almost every shop is given over to travellers’ needs, such as sunscreen and souvenirs, cheap clothes and knock-off CDs.

Like Khao San Road in Bangkok, it’s where all budget travellers hang out, and the guests in the hundreds of mini-hotels also provide custom for the hundreds of restaurants and bars scattered around the area.

Competitive prices make sleeping here cheaper than Dong Khoi.

Recommended Saigon guest houses in Ho Chi Minh City

An An
There’s no budget feel about this place, where the spacious rooms all have a/c, minibar, ADSL and Wi-Fi connections, as well as cable TV. Rates are very competitive and their success has led to the opening of a second branch at 216 De Tham, with slightly smaller rooms and slightly cheaper prices. Rooms a/c private bathroom US$34-$50; 40 Bui Ven Street, District 1, Pham Ngu Lao/Tay Balo, Ho Chi Minh City... more details and booking

Bi Saigon
Tucked away down ‘mini-hotel alley’, which runs parallel to De Tham, this place has a lot going for it. It’s relatively quiet, and the suites are very spacious with private balconies. Décor is on the kitsch side but this gives the place character, and the restaurant turns out consistently good food. There’s a second, similar branch just a few steps down the alley at 185/16 Pham Ngu Lao. Double: a/c private bathroom US$20-$40, suites: US$34-$60; 185/26-185/16; Pham Ngu Lao, tel: +84 8 3836 0678, email: bisaigonhotel@gmail.com, website: www.bisaigon.com.

Dai Duong (Formerly: Ocean Hotel)
This small hotel, also known as Ocean Hotel, has rooms that are, well, smallish, but they are well-equipped with hot water showers and a choice of fan or a/c. It also has something of a rarity in this region – a lift. Rooms out front can be a bit noisy so ask for one out back. Double fan private bathroom US$10, a/c US$15. 217 Pham Ngu Laomore details and booking

Guest House California
Tucked away a few blocks south of the budget area, this friendly place has a variety of large and smaller rooms, some with fan and others with a/c, as well as friendly and helpful staff. Double fan private bathroom US$15, a/c US$25; 171A Co Bac St., tel: +84 8 3837 8885, email: guesthousecalifornia-saigon@yahoo.com

Hanh Hoa
From the street it looks like any other budget mini-hotel, but inside things get better. Rooms are quite spacious, with flat-screen TVs and bamboo furnishings, giving the place a touch of class and making it good value. Rooms a/c private bathroom US$11-$15; 237 Pham Ngu Lao... more details and booking

Hong Kong Saigon Hotel 
One of the budget district’s longest-running mini hotels, located on Bui Ven near the edge of the district, this place is worth considering particularly for its helpful staff. Rooms are nothing special but have all major facilities for a reasonable price. Room a/c private bathroom US$15; 22 Bui Venmore details and booking

Lan Anh
Located right in the heart of the action on De Tham, this family-run place has well-maintained rooms, though some lack windows and those at the front can be noisy. Rooms a/c private bathroom US$15-$25; 252 De Tham… more details and booking

Le Le
This ageing mini hotel remains very popular among business people for its good-value rooms that include cable TV and IDD phone. Breakfast is included in the rate. Rooms a/c private bathroom US$18-30; 171 Pham Ngu Lao... more details and booking

Madame Cuc
This genial guest house has been so successful that it now has three locations (the others being at 184 Cong Quynh and 64 Bui Ven. Rooms are all  smart and well-maintained, and Madame Cuc takes care of her guests by offering free breakfast (as well as a simple lunch and dinner if you’re around!) and excellent travel advice. Rooms a/c private bathroom US$25-$32; 127 Cong Quynhmore details and booking

Miss Loi Guesthouse
If the budget district is too intense for you, consider this place hidden down a tiny alley a few blocks southwest of De Tham. Rooms aere immaculately clean and cosy as well, and the staff go out of their way to make you feel at home. Rooms fan private bathroom US$16; 178/20 Co Giang Street, Co Giang Wardmore details and booking

Ngoc Minh
If you’re worried about being disturbed by traffic noise, then this place may appeal, as it’s tucked in an alley about 50m from busy Pham Ngu Lao. Rooms are well-equipped, with a/c. cable TV and wi-fi. Rooms a/c private bathroom US$22-$27; 15-20; 283/11-13 Pham Ngu Lao… more details and booking

Orient
You couldn’t get closer than this smart mini hotel to the heart of the budget district action. Rooms are small but cosy and the staff are polite and helpful. Rates include breakfast and free wi-fi. Room from US$20274-276 De Tham... more details and booking

Tu Do
The smart rooms in this mini hotel are a bit above budget quality, with a/c and cable TV, and some rooms even have bathtubs. Ideal location for exploring the budget district. Rooms a/c private bathroom US$18; 267-269 Pham Nu Lao, tel: +84 8 3836 7345, fax: +84 8 3836 8171, email: freedom_hotel_hcm@yahoo.com

Vinh Guesthouse
Worth considering if you really need somewhere cheap. This place, under the same management as Le Le Hotel, has just a handful of fan and a/c rooms, as well as a dormitory at the top of the building. Unfortunately, though, there’s no lift here. Rooms fan private bathroom US$14, dormitory US$6; 269 De Tham... more details and booking

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