Ho Chi Minh Backpacker Area Guide

Ho Chi Minh Backpacker Area Guide

I. Where is Ho Chi Minh Backpacker Area located?

II. History of Ho Chi Minh Backpacker Area

III. How to reach Ho Chi Minh Backpacker Area from Tan Son Nhat airport?

IV. Where to stay in Ho Chi Minh Backpacker Area?

V. What and where to eat and drink in Ho Chi Minh Backpacker Area?

VI. Shopping and other services

VII. How to be safe in Ho Chi Minh Backpacker Area

I. Where is Ho Chi Minh Backpacker Area located?

Ho Chi Minh Backpacker Area (or Saigon Backpacker Area) comprises tens of back alleys and lanes through the thoroughfares including Pham Ngu Lao, Bui Vien, De Tham, and Do Quang Dau Streets in Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. The area is located about 6.5 km southeast of Tan Son Nhat International Airport. It is easy and fast to reach many tourist attractions in the backpacker area. For example, it is only 700 m from Notre Dame Cathedral, Saigon Central Post Office, and Independence Palace, 400 m from Ben Thanh Market, 900 m from Nguyen Hue Walking Street, 5.5 km from Cho Lon (Saigon China Town).

II. History of Ho Chi Minh Backpacker Area

Pham Ngu Lao Street was home to headquarters of papers and government offices of  Vietnam Cong Hoa before 1975. At that time, the population density of the area was sparse, the life was peaceful and quiet. Since the 1980s, the area around Pham Ngu Lao Street, also called Ho Chi Minh Backpacker Area or Saigon Backpacker Area, has become a tourism hub with many accommodations and restaurants for backpackers. In 1986, the government allowed international commercial trade, international tourists started visiting Vietnam, including Ho Chi Minh City. To serve the demands, Saigon people have established hotels, restaurants, tour agencies, laundries, and many more in the area. In 1993, “Lonely Planet” – the famous travel guide book introduced Bui Vien Street. It was a life-changing milestone brought everything here to a whole new level. The area has been turned into a multicultural area filled with endless parties and noise.

In the past, Pham Ngu Lao and De Tham Streets are home to bus companies and travel agencies such as Phuong Trang Bus, The Sinh Tourist, Hanh Tourist. The main streets and even the alleyways are overwhelmed with hotels, restaurants, cafe, bars, and pubs.

In the recent, Pham Ngu Lao Street has become a lovely street, lined with numerous hotels, travel agencies, restaurants, and coffee shops on one side and the green 23/9 Park with a newly built complex of shopping mall, food court, and an outdoor stage on the other side. De Tham Street is lined with bus companies, pubs, and bars. Bui Vien Street is the most bustling with tons of things to do. Bui Vien and its alleys filled with hotels, massage, tattoo, bars, pubs, restaurants, coffee shops, street food stalls and full of people drinking beer right on the street at night. Bui Vien Walking Street has been pedestrianized and opened to the public on 20th August 2017. Motorized vehicles are not allowed from 19:00 to 2:00 on weekends. The street has become an outdoor stage for art performances, music performances including traditional music performances pleasing both Vietnamese people and foreigners.  Since then, Ho Chi Minh Backpacker Area has attracted more and more tourists and Saigon people.

Ho Chi Minh Backpacker Area Guide

Ho Chi Minh Backpacker Area Guide

III. How to reach Ho Chi Minh Backpacker Area from Tan Son Nhat airport?

How to reach Ho Chi Minh Backpacker Area from Tan Son Nhat airport could not be missed int this Ho Chi Minh Backpacker Area Guide. Let me introduce to you some ways to reach the backpacker area and you can choose the best for youself.

1. By taxi

Plus:

  • Only you and your partners on the taxi so that it is comfortable and fast. It takes about 35 minutes to drive during non-rush hour.

Minus:

  • The price is higher in comparison to the transfer by bus. It costs 150,000 – 200,000 VND (6.5 – 9 USD) for the transfer by 4-seat taxi;
  • It may take a long time waiting at the airport;
  • You may encounter taxi scams;
  • Most of the taxi drivers are non-speaking English.

Tips: Mai Linh Taxi and Vinasun Taxi with good services (polite drivers, reliable taxi fares, good cars) are 2 best choices.

2. By bus

Plus:

  • Low price, about 6,000 – 40,000 VND (0.25 – 1.75 USD);
  • High-quality and air-conditioned bus;
  • English speaking staffs.

Minus:

  • It takes longer time driving from the airport to the backpacker area, about 30 – 50 minutes because of the bus stops;
  • The interval between 2 buses is about 30 minutes.
  • The buses do not work 24/24. It means that you can not catch a bus during non-operating hours.

Tips:

  • Yellow airport bus #109 and bus #49 with English speaking staffs, high-quality buses are 2 best choices; Operating time of the bus is from 5:30 to 0:30 on the next day; These 2 buses can be caught at Column 12 of International Terminal or Column 18,19 of Domestic Terminal;
  • The bus #109 ends at 23/9 Park which is just a few minutes walk from the Backpacker Area. The ticket costs 20,000 VND (1 USD);
  • Especially the bus #49 stops at hotels on its way and does not charge for your luggage. The ticket costs 40,000 VND (1.75 USD);
  • Public green bus # 152 is the cheapest but the service is worse, the staffs do not speak English.The ticket costs 6,000 VND (0.25 USD). Operating time of the bus is from 5:30 to 18:45.

3. By Grab Car

Plus:

  • The price is lower in comparison to taxi fare, it costs around 100,000 VND or 4.5 USD;
  • Private car, good car;
  • No scams.

Minus:

  • It is hard to contact with non-English speaking drivers to let him know where you are at the airport;
  • You must download the Grab Application onto your smartphone and learn how to use it.

4. By private car

Plus:

  • It is the fastest, most convenient way to reach the city center from the airport. The drive lasts about 30 minutes during non-rush hour;
  • Polite driver, sometimes English speaking driver or guide.

Minus:

  • The most expensive choice, the price is from 350,000 VND (15 USD).

Tips:

  • Book the transfer with your hotel or trusted travel agencies;
  • You can book with Athena Travel Vietnam; Phone/Whatsapp: +84909190247.

5. By motorbike

Plus:

  • It is fast to reach the city center from the airport in the rush hour because motorbike is the most effective means of transportation in the city;
  • You can see the sites on the way on the back of the motorbike.
  • Low price, around 50,000 VND (1.75 USD).

Minus:

  • It is hard to catch a motorbike at the airport as a foreigner who could not speak Vietnamese.

Tips:

  • Booking a Ho Chi Minh Motorbike Tour, including pick up at the airport is a good choice if you do not have much luggage with you.

Read more about the bus fares, roadmaps, operating time, and more information at:

How to go to Ho Chi Minh Backpacker Area from Tan Son Nhat Airport?

How to reach the center of Ho Chi Minh City from Tan Son Nhat Airport?

IV. Where to stay in Ho Chi Minh Backpacker Area?

The area is overwhelmed with budget hotels, guesthouses, and hostels. How to choose the best place to stay among hundreds of accommodations? I hope my list of the accommodations below will help you as much as possible:

1. 3-star hotels in Ho Chi Minh Backpacker Area:

C Central Hotel Bui Vien, 216 De Tham Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City; Website: http://www.ccentralhotels.com/bui-vien-hotel.html; Price from 49 USD.

Prague Hotel, 175/10-12 Pham Ngu Lao Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City; Website: http://praguehotelvn.com; Price from 44 USD.

Duc Vuong Hotel, 195 Bui Vien Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City; Website: http://ducvuonghotel.com; Price from 31 USD.

Elios Hotel, 223 Pham Ngu Lao Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City; Website: http://www.elioshotel.vn; Price from 32 USD.

2. 2-star hotels/hostels in Ho Chi Minh Backpacker Area:

Bich Duyen Hotel, 283/4 Pham Ngu Lao Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City; Website: http://bichduyenhotel.net; Price from 19 USD.

Sunny Guest House, 241/33 Pham Ngu Lao Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, Ho Chi Minh City; Website: http://sunnyguesthouse.com; Price from 21 USD.

Saigon Inn Hotel, 265/7/55 Pham Ngu Lao Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, Ho Chi Minh City; Facebook: Click here; Price from 19 USD.

Long Hostel, 373/10 Pham Ngu Lao Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, Ho Chi Minh City; Price from 15 USD.

3. 1-star hotels/hostels in Ho Chi Minh Backpacker Area:

Saigon Marvel Hostel, 47 Do Quang Dau Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, Ho Chi Minh City; Price from 6 USD.

Ha Vy Hotel, 16 – 18 Do Quang Dau Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, Ho Chi Minh City; Price from 15 USD.

New Saigon Hostel, 270 Bui Vien Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, Ho Chi Minh City; Price from 6 USD.

Vintage Hostel Saigon, 80 Bui Vien Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, Ho Chi Minh City; Price from 10 USD.

Read more about 19 Best hotels in Ho Chi Minh Backpacker Area

V. What and where to eat and drink in Ho Chi Minh Backpacker Area?

1. Local street foods

Local street foods is an important part of Saigon as well as the backpacker area. Most of the street food stalls are open after the dark and they are abundant in Bui Vien Street. The smell of the foods spreading in the air can win the heart of any tourists and the amazing taste of Vietnamese local street food can satisfy most of them.

1.1. BBQ

There is a wide range of BBQ including seafood (octopus, squid, shrimp), goat, beef, pork, chicken wings, chicken claws, ostrich, deer, fishes, sausage, organs, vegetables (okra, pepper) for your choice. Some foods are cut into pieces and placed on wooden/bamboo sticks. You just choose the uncooked foods, then wait for a few minutes to let them be grilled.

Best places to enjoy BBQ in Bui Vien Street:

  • BBQ Saigon Night – Lang Nuong Nho Ba Sau, 135 Bui Vien Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City; Opening hours: 17:00 – 5:00 (on the next day); Prices: 10,000 – 120,000 VND.
  • Quan Nuong Co Le or BBQ 198, 198 Bui Vien Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City; Opening hours: 17:00 – 22:00; Prices: 10,000 – 200,000 VND.

1.2. Dried foods

Dried squid is a favorite beer food in Bui Vien. There are many methods to cook dried squid: grilling, frying with fish sauce, frying with butter, toasting with salt and chili. Sweet-smelling, sweet-tasty, tender-chewy dried squid can make you eat more and more. The price is from 50,000 VND/1 grilled dried squid. Dried squid is usually sold at moving carts in the street.

1.3. Snail, scallop, ocean crab pincers

Snail eating is a culture in Saigon and it is worth trying in the backpacker area. At snail restaurants in the city, you can see how the cooks stir-fry, charcoal-grill, roast, or steam snails, scallops, and ocean crab pincers. You also learn how to use bamboo sticks to get the snail meat from the shells or use special tools to break the ocean crab pincers in order to eat the meat inside the shell easily. These foods are usually served with Vietnamese mint (“rau răm”), chili sauce, dipping fish sauce, and other special dips. However, it has been said that the prices at snail restaurants/stalls in Bui Vien are higher than other places such as Vinh Khanh Snail Street in District 4, snail restaurants on To Hien Thanh Street, District 10.

Where to eat snails, scallops, and ocean crab pincers in Bui Vien?

Oc Bui Vien a snail stall at the crossroads of Cong Quynh Street and Bui Vien Street, at the opposite of In The Pub, 20 Bui Vien Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City; Opening hours: 17:00 – 2:00 on the next day; Prices: 30,000 – 110,000 VND.

1.4. Tofu pudding

Tofu pudding is a smooth and extremely tender dessert made from soybeans, usually served hot or cold with ginger syrup. A portion of Tofu pudding can warm and satisfy your stomach in the evening.

Where to eat Tofu pudding in Bui Vien?

Bui Vien hot tofu pudding, 167 Bui Vien Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City; at the crossroads of Bui Vien and Do Quang Dau Street; Opening hours: 16:00 – 22:00 on the next day; Prices: 6,000 – 11,000 VND.

1.5. Rainbow Pho roll

Pho beef noodle soup has been famous around the world as the national dish of Vietnam. In Bui Vien, you have a big chance to enjoy a specialty food from Pho – Rainbow Pho roll. Instead of cutting the thin Pho sheets into Pho noodles and serve them with broth and toppings, Mr. Hai Thien uses Pho sheets to wrap pork, shrimp, vegetables, and herbs into rolls which are served with special dipping sauces. He also uses juices or extracts of vegetables and fruits to the dough to add flavors to the Pho wrap.

Where to eat Rainbow Pho Roll?

Hai Thien Pho Roll or Pho Cuon Hai Thien, 14 Bui Vien Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City; Opening hours: 9:00 – 21:00 on the next day; Prices: 35,000 – 55,000 VND.

Read more about menus and prices HERE.

2. Top restaurants

2.1. Pepperonis

Location: 111 Bui Vien Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City;

Opening hours: 8:30 – 23:00;

Prices: 35,000 – 220,000;

What to eat? – Italian foods.

Website: http://pepperonis.com.vn

2.2. Mumtaz

Location: 226 Bui Vien Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City;

Opening hours: 7:00 – 23:30;

Prices: 500,000 – 1,000,000 VND;

What to eat? – Indian foods.

Review on TripAdvisor: click HERE

2.3. BaBa’s Kitchen

Location: 164 Bui Vien Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City;

Opening hours: 11:00 – 23:30;

Prices: 55,000 – 110,000 VND;

What to eat? – Indian foods.

Website: http://www.babaskitchen.in/saigon

2.4. Spice India

Location: 97 Bui Vien Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City;

Opening hours: 1:00 – 22:00;

Prices: 35,000 – 120,000 VND;

What to eat? – Indian foods.

Website: http://spiceindia.com.vn

2.5. Tom Yum Yum

Location: 207 Bui Vien Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City;

Opening hours: 16:00 – 22:00;

Prices: 100,000 – 275,000 VND;

What to eat? – Thai foods.

Review on TripAdvisor: click HERE

2.6. Ngo Ri

Location: 16 Bui Vien Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City;

Opening hours: 9:30 – 14:00; 17:00 – 23:00

Prices: 120,000 – 330,000 VND;

What to eat? – Thai foods.

Website: http://www.coriander-ngo-ri.com/

2.7. King Kebab

Location: 230 Bui Vien Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City;

Opening hours: 11:15 – 23:59;

Prices: 40,000 – 50,000 VND;

What to eat? – kebab.

Review on TripAdvisor: click HERE

2.8. Five Oysters

Location: 234 Bui Vien Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City;

Opening hours: 8:00 – 23:00;

Prices: 35,000 – 110,000 VND;

What to eat? – authentic Vietnamese foods.

Website: http://www.fiveoysters.com/

2.9. La Casa

Location: 40A/1 Bui Vien Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City;

Opening hours: 9:00 – 23:00 on the next day;

Prices: 35,000 – 275,000 VND;

What to eat? – Mexican, Spanish, Italian, Vietnamese, Thai foods.

3. Coffee & Smoothies

3.1. Cong Ca Phe or Cong Cafe

Location: 127 – 129 Bui Vien Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City;

Opening hours: 00:00 – 23:59;

Prices: 30,000 – 100,000 VND.

What to drink? – Black coffee, Coffee with condensed milk/fresh milk/cream and ginger, Coconut milk with coffee/young green rice/cocao/chocolate/mung bean, tea with kumquat and honey/orange and cinnamon/peach and passion fruit/milk and ginger, smoothies (carrot), juices (ambarella, orange, lime, passion fruit, watermelon).

Website: http://congcaphe.com/

Ho Chi Minh Backpacker Area Guide

3.2. Goc Ha Noi or Hanoi Corner

Location: 165/3 Bui Vien Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City;

Opening hours: 9:00 – 23:00;

Prices: 29,000 – 35,000 VND.

What to drink? – Black coffee, Coffee milk, Egg coffee, Egg cocoa, Teas.

3.3. Nha Co 3 Lau (House Has 3 Floors)

Location: Floor 3rd, Apartment Building 155, 157 Bui Vien Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City;

Opening hours: 10:00 – 22:00;

Prices: 18,000 – 40,000 VND.

What to drink? – Black coffee, Coffee milk, Egg coffee, Egg cocoa, Matcha Egg, Matcha Latte, Vietnamese preserved lemon, Teas.

3.4. Ut Lanh Cafe

Location: 283/37 Pham Ngu Lao Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City;

Opening hours: 10:00 – 22:00;

Prices: 18,000 – 40,000 VND.

What to drink? – Black coffee, Coffee milk, Latte, Soybean milk, Cocoa milk, Hue milk, Vietnamese preserved lemon, Tamarind drink, Soft drink, Teas, other drinks, and snacks.

3.5. Five Boys Smoothies

Location: 84/7 Bui Vien Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City;

Opening hours: 8:00 – 10:30;

Prices: 20,000 – 70,000 VND;

What to drink? – Smoothies from fresh local seasonal fruits topped with slices of fruits, Fresh fruit salad, Coffee and milk, Juices, coconut water. You can choose some smoothies or juices from one fruit or two kinds of fruit, or the special all fruits mixed smoothies. The fruits include passion fruit, mango, orange, sapodilla, guava, avocado, banana, dragon fruit, pineapple, papaya, strawberries, durian, watermelon, soursops, apple, carrot, grape, star apple, kiwi, jackfruit, mangosteen.

What to eat? – Grilled chicken gizzard, Grilled chicken feet (claws), Grilled pork rib, Grilled okra skewer, Grilled octopus, Grilled chicken wing.

4. Drinking culture and beers

Vietnamese people like to drink beer on the streets after dark so that many beer restaurants are full of people sitting in front of the restaurants, sometimes right on the pavements, drinking, and eating. Bui Vien Street is the most bustling and noisy at night, with people from different countries in the world, sitting on small chairs around small tables on the pavement, sip some beers, usually Saigon beers, talk leisurely, or simply making friends. It is the unique drinking culture which should not be missed by any backpacker or tourists coming to visit the city. One of the highlights is that the price of beer is low, from 11,000 VND. You can find a seat and grab some cheap beers easily on Bui Vien. I would like to recommend Beer Bui Vien – Cold Beer.

Beer Bui Vien – Cold Beer

Location: 71 Bui Vien Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City;

Opening hours: 9:00 – 22:00;

Prices: 11,000 – 110,000 VND;

What to drink? – Saigon beer red/green, Beer Larue, Heneiken, other beers and alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, juices.

What to eat? – Deep fried egg fish, Grilled Japanese Tuna Fish, Deep-fried Chicken, Deep-fried basa fish, Grilled octopus, Grilled chicken feet, Grilled chicken gizzard, Grilled chicken wings, Breaded seafood, Grilled “ho lo”, Grilled sausage, Grilled okra, Deep-fried tofu, Salted soybean crispy, Fried fish ball, French fried, Fried spring roll, Mushroom fish cake, Fried breadfruit, Beef fried chopped steaks & chips, Fish stomach stuffed with flounder.

5. Bars and pubs

5.1. Boheme Pub

Location: 28/2A Bui Vien Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City;

Opening hours: 19:00 – 2:00 on the next day;

Prices: 50,000 – 750,000 VND;

What to drink? – a wide range of alcoholic beverages including many good beers, soft drinks, juices.

What to eat? – Western foods and Vietnamese foods including grilled, stir-fried, deep-fried, steamed dishes which go well with alcohol beverages, mixed fruits.

5.2. Sahara Beer Club

Location: 111 – 113 Bui Vien Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City;

Opening hours: 18:00 – 00:00 on the next day;

Prices: 50,000 – 3,690,000 VND;

What to drink? – a wide range of alcoholic beverages including more than 100 whiskey, cocktails, beers, soft drinks, juices.

What to eat? – Grilled, stir-fried, deep-fried dishes from seafood, meat, potato, chicken wings, duck meat, duck tongue, sausage, salad dishes which go well with alcoholic beverages, mixed fruits.

VI. Shopping and other services

1. Convenience stores

Although there are tens of convenience stores in the area. I would like to recommend to not buy at the stores without fixed prices but buy at the stores from famous convenience chains such as Circle K, B’s Mart, Family Mart. At these convenience stores, you can find popular convenience goods, drinks (soft drinks, coffee, tea), snacks, fast foods (hamburger, sausage, instant noodles, fried chicken, steamed wheat flour cake, pyramidal rice cake stuffed with pork and wood ear), ice cream.

B’s Mart, 76 – 78 Bui Vien Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City;

Circle K, 50 Bui Vien Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City;

Circle K, 28/8 Bui Vien Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City;

Vinmart +, 176 Bui Vien Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City;

FamilyMart, 234 De Tham, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.

2. Tailor shops

2.1. Nam Silk

Location:

3 Bui Vien Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City;

236 De Tham Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City;

Website: http://namsilk.com/

Specialized in shirts (from 42 USD), suit (from 209 USD), Ao dai (280 USD), skirt, dress, blouse, Muslim women clothes, fabrics, uniform.

2.2. Tailor Vinh (since 1969)

Location:

31 Bui Vien Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City;

239 Tran Hung Dao Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City;

Opening hours: 8:00 – 21:00;

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VinhTailorSaigon/

Specialized in tuxedo, jacket, trousers, vest, shirt, overcoat, fabrics

2.3. Tailor Suit Sy Tan (since 1958)

Location: 107 Bui Vien Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City;

Opening hours: 9:00 – 17:00;

Website: http://sytantailor.com

Specialized in shirt, men suit, male uniform, wedding dress, female uniform

They also sell clothing, souvenirs, and paintings in the area and you can wander around the shops and find some good items. However, you should go to Ben Thanh Market, Saigon Central Post Office for souvenirs, Tran Phu Street for paintings, and many other shopping centers in Saigon instead of being stuck in the area for shopping.

3. Tour agencies

Ho Chi Minh Backpacker Area is where many famous tour agencies were established. You can book tours, transport tickets, show tickets, and other travel services within a few minutes because tour agencies and tour desks are everywhere in the backpacker area. To avoid to buy overpriced tours and tickets, you can go to the trusted tour agencies listed as below:

3.1. Hanh Cafe

Location: 107 Bui Vien Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City;

Opening hours: 9:00 – 17:00;

3.2. Tuan Travel

Location: 199 Bui Vien Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City;

Opening hours: 24/24; http://namsilk.com/

Website: https://www.tuantravelvietnam.com/

3.3. Kim Travel (since 2002)

Location: 189 De Tham Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City;

Opening hours: 7:30 – 22:00;

Website: https://kimtravel.com/

3.4. The Sinh Tourist (since 1993)

Location: 246 – 248 De Tham Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City;

Opening hours: 6:30 – 22:30;

Website: https://www.thesinhtourist.vn/

3.5. Viet Fun Travel (since 2007)

Location: 28/13 Bui Vien Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City;

Opening hours: 7:30 – 21:30;

Website: https://vietfuntravel.com/

3.6. Phuong Trang Bus (since 2002)

Location of ticket office: 272 De Tham Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City;

Website: https://futabus.vn/

4. Laundries

Do you think that the cost of laundry services at your hotel is too high for you? And you need to find a place to wash and dry your clothes on the trip. Ho Chi Minh Backpacker Area is home to lots of laundromat, 5 best of which are listed as followings:

4.1. Wash & Go Laundromat

Location: 74 Bui Vien Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City;

Opening hours: 9:00 – 20:00;

Website: https://wng.vn/en/homepage/

Prices:

4 – 8 kg/washing machine: 90,000 VND;

1 – 4 kg/washing machine: 35,000 VND;

4 – 8 kg/washing machine: 90,000 VND;

1 – 4 kg/drying machine: 35,000 VND;

Express service within 24 hours: additional 30% charge;

Same day service: additional 50% charge (available before noon, 12pm);

Pick up & delivery service fee: 20,000 VND, free for receipts >150,000 VND.

I would like to recommend this laundromat thanks to the good services and reasonable prices.

Ho Chi Minh Backpacker Area Guide

Ho Chi Minh Backpacker Area Guide

4.2. Ngoi Sao Laundromat

Location: 224 Bui Vien Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City;

Opening hours: 7:00 – 22:00;

Prices: 30,000 – 50,000 VND

4.3. ABC Laundromat

Location: 83 Bui Vien Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City;

Opening hours: 8:00 – 21:00;

Prices: 10,000 – 60,000 VND

4.4. Phu Quy Laundromat

Location: 248 Bui Vien Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City;

Opening hours: 7:00 – 21:00;

Prices: 10,000 – 60,000 VND

5. Massages

Massage is a part of Ho Chi Minh Backpacker Area. What is better than enjoying a massage after a long tired day visiting the city? The prices of massage services in Saigon Backpacker Area are not as high as in other areas of the city. In fact, there are dozens of spas offering massage services and sex services. The followings are 3 best spas offering good services and good prices:

5.1. Piu Piu Spa & Massage

Location: 133 Bui Vien Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City;

Opening hours: 9:00 – 23:00;

Prices: 450,000 – 800,000 VND

Website: https://www.piupiuspa.com/

TripAdvisor: CLICK HERE

5.2. Coco Care Spa

Location: 148/9 Bui Vien Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City;

Opening hours: 9:30 – 23:00;

Prices: 160,000 – 900,000 VND

Website: https://cococare.vn/

TripAdvisor: CLICK HERE

5.3. AAA Spa

Location: 133 Bui Vien Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City;

Opening hours: 9:00 – 23:30;

Prices: 140,000 – 800,000 VND

Website: https://aaaspasaigon.com/

TripAdvisor: CLICK HERE

6. Barber shops and Hair Salon

Haircuts and hairstyles are very cheap in Vietnam, especially in Ho Chi Minh Backpacker Area. In this area, there are many good places for you to make your hair looks great. Some of the barber shops and hair salons in the backpacker area are famous among locals and tourists. Why not try your haircut and hairstyle? It is one of the cheapest and interesting things to do in the backpacker area.

6.1. Le Khai Barber Shop

Location: 86A Cong Quynh Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City;

Opening hours: 9:00 – 20:00;

Prices: 30,000 – 150,000 VND

Website: https://barber-shop-le-khai.business.site/

TripAdvisor: CLICK HERE

6.2. Trung Hoa Barber Shop

Location: 142 Bui Vien Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City;

Opening hours: 8:00 – 20:00;

Prices: from 50,000 VND.

6.3. Phuong Lai Hairsalon

Location: 185 Cong Quynh Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City;

Opening hours: 9:00 – 19:00;

Prices: 100,000 – 2,000,000 VND

Facebook: CLICK HERE

6.3. Ohama Japan Mode Hair Salon

Location: 262 – 264 Bui Vien Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City;

Opening hours: 9:00 – 22:00;

Prices: 150,000 – 4,500,000 VND

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ohama-Japan-Mode/431251913592468

VII. How to be safe in Ho Chi Minh Backpacker Area

Pickpocket and snatch theft are common in Vietnam as well as the hustling and bustling Ho Chi Minh Backpacker Area. Thieves may follow you for a while before snatching your bag. Most of the tourists assume pickpockets and snatch thieves are sketchy looking men and untidy, but some of them are young boys and women, some of them are well-dressed. Your pocket, money, passport, whole bag, phone, camera can be grabbed by bad guys. Tips to avoid Pickpocket and snatch theft in the backpacker area:

  • Keep your bag across your body, not on one shoulder.
  • Wear your bag on your front, not on your behind or hip.
  • Keep your hand on the bag when you are at busy and crowded places.
  • The smaller your bag, the better it is.
  • Do not bring everything with you in your bag, put valuable items in different hiding places.
  • Do not hold your phone or camera in your hands if you do not use them.
  • Do not sit too near to other customers in bars, pubs, restaurants, or on the street for some foods and drinks.

There are many kinds of people in the area, especially at night. Many of the people from all over the world drink so much and sometimes they could not control or calm themselves. That may lead to being pickpocketed or arguing with bad guys, sometimes seriously. My recommendation is that you should not drink too much and it is better to go with at least one partner.

Vietnam is the place where you should bargain for items without fixed prices at markets, shops, kiosks, or moving carts. Vietnamese sellers usually ask twice or even more than they expect to get. For example, in Bui Vien street, a street food vendor or a seller at a small convenience store may ask a higher price than the real price if his customer is a foreigner. In worse cases, some street food vendors make you pay many times over the real prices after you have eaten the foods. The tip is that you should stay away from stores, street food stalls, laundromats without fixed prices.

Ho Chi Minh Backpacker Area is one of the coolest places for backpackers in Ho Chi Minh – the biggest and busiest city of Vietnam. Backpacker Area is home to reasonably priced accommodations (hotels, guesthouses, motels), restaurants, pubs, bars, cafes, souvenir shops, art galleries, fashion shops, pharmacies, convenience stores, tour agencies, spas, barber shops, hair salons, Bui Vien walking street, and many more which have attracted lots of tourists for their stays, meals, drinks, or just leisure walk. The area is known as a non-sleeping, crowded, and noisy part of the city where a large number of tourists and locals gather to eat, drink and chat together. Ho Chi Minh Backpacker Area is very reminiscent of Khao San Road in Bangkok. For those who love the backpacker area, it is a spectacle of vice that makes you enjoyable and relaxing.

I hope that this Ho Chi Minh Backpacker Area Guide will help you as much as possible to plan your trip to the city. Come and never regret!

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