Instead of deluxe hotels, guest houses in Vietnam (or “Nha nghi”) can be a great choice for budget travelers and backpackers who venture onto roads less explored. Scroll down to see what you should know about this type of lodging!
What are Guest Houses in Vietnam?
Guest houses in Vietnam are mostly family-run businesses, providing decent yet affordable accommodation (from VND 60,000/hour or VND 150,000 – VND 300,000/night). Though you may not get a 5-star service, you’re bound to have a hot shower and a good night’s sleep. And because they’re all over the country, even in remote places, you’ll have no trouble finding one.
How to Spot Good Guest Houses in Vietnam?
In recent years, guest houses in Vietnam have been associated with love hotels. It’s true that some love hotels hide under the facade of “nha nghi” to dodge the law, but there are some tips to tell them apart. First, love hotels display and charge their fees by the hour (usually written as “60 phut”, meaning 60 minutes). Secondly, love hotels usually decorate their rooms with Playboy-style pictures. So if you see these signs, and aren’t comfortable with staying in a love hotel, it’s time to change lodging.
Pros and Cons of Staying at Guest Houses in Vietnam
Some may shake their heads upon hearing the words “guest house” due to a number of reasons:
- They only have basic amenities such as a toilet, a bed, a bathroom, and an air-conditioner or a fan.
- Don’t expect to find a refrigerator anywhere near the room!
- Their room is usually small and the guest house is often found in small alleys.
- There’s no meal included.
- The staff oftentimes can’t speak English.
- Their lack of service: laundry, parking, room service…
- The quality of the room is not guaranteed. Even though they’re all guest houses in Vietnam, some may cost and look as much as a hotel, while some are rundown.
Yet, guest houses in Vietnam still remain a popular choice, especially for backpackers, simply because its advantages can outweigh its unwanted “characteristics”:
- It’s a lot cheaper than staying at a hotel! If you want to stay in the backpackers’ district in Ho Chi Minh City or the Old Quarter area in Hanoi for half or even a third of the normal price, guest houses are your go-to.
- When you travel to remote places in Vietnam, luxury hotels are non-existent. However, you can find guest houses in most areas in Vietnam, even in the mountains! Therefore, guest houses are great for those off-the-beaten-path trips.
- For campers, guest houses in Vietnam can give you a place to take a shower and a short nap. Even though there’s a high chance that guest houses that display their rates by the hour are love hotels, some are actually decent lodgings.
- Guest houses in touristy cities may often offer motorbike rental services to their guests for a good price.
Although traditionally, you must go into a guest house to book a room, nowadays platforms like Agoda have included some top choices for guest houses in Vietnam so you can book beforehand at home.
Don’t miss out:
Some Good Guest Houses in Vietnam
TiTi 1 Guesthouse
TiTi 1 has spacious rooms with comfy beds (See price and availability)
Locating right in the backpacker’s district, TiTi 1 Guesthouse has a perfect location for both night entertainment and sightseeing around Ho Chi Minh City.
Hanoi Lucky Guest House 2
Hanoi Lucky Guest House is frequented by many tourists (See price and availability)
Wanting to stay in the Old Quarter without breaking the bank? Choose Hanoi Lucky Guest House 2. The accommodation in Hanoi’s city center has friendly staff and an amazing breakfast.
Lyn Na Guesthouse
Lyn Na’s a more high-end guesthouse
Lyn Na’s closer to My Khe Beach than the city center. Therefore, it’s great for anyone who loves a quiet night and a morning at the beach.
Tips for Staying at Guest Houses in Vietnam
Check the listed room facilities immediately to avoid paying for something you haven’t used!
- Check the amenities carefully and inform the staff if anything’s missing or needs cleaning upon entering the room.
- Most guest houses in Vietnam require identification documents (ID or passport…) to check-in.
- If you book online (for example: via Agoda), remember to print out your booking receipt.
- A more modern, better-equipped, yet not so drastically different in pricing alternative of guest houses in Vietnam are homestays. See our list of top homestays in Ho Chi Minh City.
- Most guest houses in Vietnam only accept cash payment using the Vietnamese currency so remember to prepare enough cash.
- It’s better to prepare your own toiletries (can be found at convenience stores or local retail shops) as the toiletries kits’ quality at guest house is not guaranteed.
Our Thoughts on Guest Houses in Vietnam
We can say that guest houses in Vietnam don’t have a great reputation among locals, but if you find one that’s decent, it can actually be a good-value-for-money experience. Especially for travelers who plan to have a long trip, guest houses will help you save a lot of money for other fun activities. Stay tuned and read more about Vietnam in our Vietnam Travel Guides.
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