Now you have your visa on arrival for Vietnam sorted, you will probably want to start looking at accommodation. There are literally thousands of accommodation options to choose from, and all are great value. Here is a list of things to look out for when making your booking.
1. Type of accommodation
There are numerous different accommodation options for you in Vietnam. One of the most popular options is to just book a nice hotel. This is quick and easy and often comes with a beautiful pool, relaxing restaurant and friendly bar depending on your budget. For those of you who aren’t lucky enough to have a pool, bar or restaurant in your hotel, there will be plenty of awesome spots in the surrounding areas. The great thing about hotels in Vietnam is that there are plenty, to suit all different kinds of budgets, and even a small budget goes a long way due to the exchange rate and low pricing. The place to book accommodation is through trusted sites such as booking.com, hostel world, Agoda and TripAdvisor. Agoda also commonly runs promotions and discounts on all its listings so it’s worth doing some comparisons.
Then there is AirBnB which is great if you fancy having your own cosy place, away from other guests and a much larger space. AirBnB is especially good for couples or small groups because you can split the cost of the night which makes it the same price or cheaper than a hotel but for your own private space. It is possible that with 4 people you can easily get yourself a two-bedroom house all to yourself with a private swimming pool and all the convenience of a modern apartment. I love using AirBnB in Asia and it can make your trip feel more homely and less stressful.
Another option is homestays. These are usually where you go and stay in a remote area such as in the Mekong Delta or the hills of Sapa with the local people and sleep in their family home. Some home stays only sleep a few people while others are purpose built for larger groups. Make sure you check how many rooms there are to judge the size of the homestay. Locals have caught on that a “homestay” is a popular buzzword and so might call it this, even if what they own is more like a boutique hotel. Usually a home stay involves more interaction with the family and locals and it may come with a lunch or dinner provided by the family. Homestays are usually in quiet, peaceful locations away from the hustle and bustle of the cities. Even those within the city will be in quieter areas of town down cute little backstreets away from the traffic.
2. Location of accommodation
Make sure you check where the location is in terms of taking tours, seeing popular attractions, amenities and main roads. The main backpacker areas will have a party vibe and this is where you will find most of the clubs and bars so you don’t want to be away from this if that’s what you’re after. Likewise, if that’s not your scene then you’ll want to make sure that you read up on where the nightlife is in town- so you can avoid it! Some places will be right in the middle of the action but hidden down a small, back street alley that is comparatively quiet and tranquil.
You will also want to be relatively near a convenience store so you can pop to the shop to buy alcohol, drinks, snacks and things like toothpaste and deodorant whenever you need it. It will say in the accommodation description whether such a store is close by or not.
3. Price of accommodation
All accommodation in Vietnam is very cheap so you can spend your usual budget and get much more than usual (bar, swimming pool, restaurant, cleaning service etc) or you could reduce your budget and get something perfectly adequate, so you can then spend your money on other things such as tours and food!
You can use sites such as TripAdvisor, Booking.com and Hostelworld to compare prices but as with all places, you still get what you pay for. If you just book the cheapest thing you can find, it will offer you just that- a cheap (friendly) service but with definite limitations.
4. Reviews of accommodation
Don’t always read what the owners write about their hostel. Getting inside knowledge from previous customers is a great way to minimise surprises. For example, you might prefer to know beforehand that the hot water doesn’t work, or that the bar is only open until 9pm or that the food in the restaurant is actually terrible! A big complaint from a lot of foreigners is about the friendliness of the staff (or lack of). So any place that says it has really friendly and helpful staff is definitely a great place to start in my opinion and will really help add to the enjoyment of your Vietnamese adventure.
To get your Vietnam Visa on arrival and book your trip to Vietnam get in touch today to find out more.