When I first arrived in Saigon, Vietnam (via bus from Cambodia), it was already dark and I didn’t know a thing about where I was. My Lonely Planet guidebook pointed me in the direction of where most of the backpackers stay in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) so that was my plan.

I was starving and tired and with my backpack, I walked a few blocks and arrived on Bui Vien Street in the backpacker central area of Ngu Lao Ward. This street has hundreds of hostels and guesthouses and people were handing my countless flyers and offering to help me find a place to stay. Seeing as how it was already dark and I was itching for my first banh mi sandwich, I knew I wouldn’t take long to find something.

Like much of southeast Asia, hostels are hard to come by. Guest houses with single or double rooms are much more popular than dorms. I was supposed to meet up with friends I’d met a few weeks ago in Cambodia but wasn’t sure when or if I’d find them, so I knew I wanted a dorm in Saigon.

That’s when I walked past Viet Dream Travel which had a billboard out front with a price quoted for a dorm. I was intrigued and there was no one pushy outside trying to get me in, so that was a bonus too! The friendly staff downstairs showed me the room and I was happy to find it was a 5-person dorm with a private bathroom. Another bonus: there was a balcony! But most importantly: there was air-conditioning!

The view from the dorm—even if it was just down onto the backpacker street below—was beautiful. I quickly fell in love with Saigon.

The view from my Saigon hostel balcony

Viet Dream Travel

The hostel also acts as a travel booking agency (like most do). My friends and I used the hostel to book our bus tickets through Vietnam and another friend used the hostel to extend his visa. The staff was extremely helpful and friendly—and even transported my friend’s passport from Saigon to Nha Trang so he wouldn’t have to wait around in Saigon for a week.

I stayed in this hostel twice: my first few nights in Ho Chi Minh City at the beginning of my month in Vietnam, and again at the end of my travels there. It was in June 2011.

Viet Dream Travel
112 Bui Vien Str, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, Dist.1, HCMC
Telephone: (848) 38388322
Email: [email protected]

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