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“Fine hostel, horrible tour”

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Vietnam Backpacker Hostels - The Original
Ranked #26 of 342 Speciality Lodging in Hanoi
Certificate of Excellence
Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
50 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Fine hostel, horrible tour”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 July 2012

We stayed here for a few nights at the beginning of our trip through Southeast Asia. Private rooms were spacious and pretty comfortable. The hostel is pretty clean, the breakfast is pretty good, and the staff is very friendly (although communication was sometimes a little tricky). We were happy staying here, and the way I've distributed points below are a reflection of our experience in Hanoi, at the hostel.

I was much less into the tour of Halong Bay. The tour offered by HBH is a party tour, which would have been cool if the two guys running it had been less vile. I don't know how many times we saw one of these guys naked in two days, but it was way too many (I'd go into more graphic detail about the things they did, but TA probably wouldn't post it). Both guys were burnt out and boring, and neither of them did a very good job getting these parties started (they spent most of the day getting wasted). More importantly, they didn't make anyone feel very comfortable. Had I been on the tour by myself, or with girlfriends, and not with my boyfriend, I would have actually felt pretty unsafe. Seriously. It was that bad.

Other aspects of the tour were not great either. We were there in January, and it rained a lot (our friends went on the same tour in October and had a much better time). The rain made for a squishy night in the indoor common area of the boat (watching our guide get naked), and a pretty soggy one on the island. Cabins are open air, even in January, and so our mattresses and covers were damp. I slept in every single piece of clothing I'd brought with me. Food is also pretty disgusting. Overall, disappointing.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank acdubs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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820 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (107)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 July 2012

This place is great, if you are young and into the drinking tour of SE Asia. Most people are not over age of 22ish, and lots of gap year types also. They offer good dorms but the vibe is very insular, foreigners hanging only with foreigners, and the evenings closely resemble a university frat party.

The food is actually quite good and reasonably priced, and the place is clean, despite my experience one morning of watching a member of the kitchen staff repeatedly sneezing and wiping her nose while wiping the cutlery. The staff are friendly and helpful too.

Convenient place to start, but be warned that if you are an actual traveller (not on drunk tour) and over 25 you will likely find this place tiresome and more high school dance than Hanoi.

  • Stayed June 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Traveldrea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
24 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 June 2012

We stayed slightly longer than planned due to the Halong Bay trip being full but still had a blast - rooms are clean and comfy - staff are great and the Halong Bay Tour is one of my best experiences yet!!!! Also made new friends who'll we'll def see again - soon!!!!

Room Tip: This is a party hostel - expect little quiet - thats what we wanted!!!
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
Thank Ana R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oslo, Norway
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 June 2012

I had a bed in a dorm, it was comfortable with a bathroom in the dorm and breakfast included (perfect for me because I'm not crazy about Vietnamese street food...) There is a bar and a kitchen. Fun if you want to meet people and party but also nice if you want a good night sleep, the dorm room was quiet at night. Location is great, in the same street you can pick and choose from many travel agencies happy to take you to Ha Long bay or Sapa, book open bus tickets, or whatever way you want to travel. They also have a place in Hue which is just as fun as the one in Ha Noi:)

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Karin B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Guelph, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 June 2012

I enjoyed my stay at Hanoi Backpackers Hostel (ma may); however I would say the private room is overpriced at 40/night. I found much cheaper accomodation for similar room quality once I was settled into Hanoi. However, Hanoi Backpackers Hostel definitely wins for their social scene (bar downstairs, large lounge/computer area, tours to Halong bay, etc). The travel desk was also very helpful in booking transportation. If you are interested in meeting other young backpackers and partying, this is the spot for you. We also did the Halong Bay tour, which was well organized but again more of a party scene. As my boyfriend & I were not quite as keen on the party scene, I personally would have preferred to stay at a different hostel/hotel given the price.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Pow_999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cusco, Peru
Level Contributor
144 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 127 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 June 2012

Depending on how long you've been in Asia, you will love or hate Hanoi Backpackers. It's a standard mega hostel that you'd find in SA or Europe. Big bar, loads of activities, pub crawls, travel agency, and decent breakfast. Beds are comfortable and lockers are huge. Their new location is a bit more modern and spacious, but travelers will prefer the original. The travel and pub crawl folks were great, but the front-desk staff at the annex were incompetent. Hendo, Paul (Pete?), and Cesar made my trip incredible!

The real selling point of Hanoi Backpackers is their Halong Bay trip. This is a significant step above the other trips being sold around town at a fraction of the cost. Halong Bay (in good weather) is a trip that you will never forget. So fork over the extra cash for the following reasons:

- Party boat with fun backpackers - vs. - Chinese families with kids
- Amazing food for all (even vegetarians) vs Basic meals
- Private island with banana boat and huts vs. CatBa island
- Tons of kayaks in good shape, plus the chance to jump off the top of the boat

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Vinay R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
63 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 June 2012

Great place if you're on the younger backpacker scene - but make sure it's what you want before you check in - I think a lot of the poor reviews are from people who expect small, quiet dorms in a simple place. This isn't what backpackers is trying to be!

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Matto123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Vietnam Backpacker Hostels - The Original

Property: Vietnam Backpacker Hostels - The Original
Address: 48 Ngo Huyen Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi 10000, Vietnam
Region: Vietnam > Hanoi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #26 of 342 Speciality Lodging in Hanoi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2 star — Vietnam Backpacker Hostels - The Original 2*
Number of rooms: 23
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Also Known As:
Hanoi Backpackers Hotel Hanoi
Backpackers Hostel Hotel Hanoi
Backpackers Hostel Hanoi

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