Vietnam can be a difficult country to travel around. New on the backpacking scene, Vietnam can appear as a cheap alternative to them more ‘touristy’ Thailand, but in fact, the lack of infrastructure can mean you end up spending more money. With transport being a significant money-eater in Vietnam, finding a reasonably priced place to stay is crucial to avoid blowing your budget quicker than you planned.

North Vietnam is home to three beautiful locations and is a great place to start when looking to devour everything the country has to offer. Spanning from the stunning rice terrace coating scenery in Sapa to the urban jungle of Hanoi to the Never-Never Land archipelago of Halong Bay, North Vietnam is one of the most geographical diverse and breath-takingly astounding places to visit in South East Asia.

But with over sixteen hours to travel to get from one side to the other, you’re bound to need a good bed for the night and perhaps a little company. With this in mind, taking the hostel route is always appears promising, but with a vast selection to choose form, it can be hard to know where to get the most for your money, try some of these hostels in Vietnam:

Pinocchio Hostel – Sapa

Sapa is home to some of the most exquisite sights in the world, with awe-inspiring mountains dressed in rolling mist, notorious steeped rice terraces and magnificent waterfalls. Despite the tendency for rain, Sapa is worth the ten hour trip from Hanoi just to experience Vietnam’s natural wonders at their rawest. Sapa is also a place where Vietnamese culture is still very much ingrained in the people and traditionally dressed market sellers can be found roaming the streets. It is a place where tradition and culture meet the magnitude of nature.

Nestled in the heart of Sapa is Pinocchio Hostel, a comfortably snug establishment which possesses 6 bed dormitory on the top floor. Despite the mountainous climb to reach it, the hike is worth it as the room boasts an enormous window on one side of the room, providing a panoramic view of the drop below and the mountains in the distance.

Each person is provided with a towel, soap, shampoo, a toothbrush and toothpaste and locker space under the bed; small luxuries often not offered the budget traveler. There are two showers on offer, heated by coals, which the hostel staff will light whenever you would like a shower. The room also features a real fireplace to light fires for the cold winter months, keeping the room nice and toasty. All this comes at an absolute bargain of $5.

Additional services offered include motorbike rental and help to organize voluntary work in a local teaching program for young people.

Hanoi Backpackers Hostel 2 – Hanoi

The more modern version of its older counterpart, Hanoi Backpacker’s Hostel 2 is located in the Old Quarter of the city, providing the capacity for wandering in the beauty of Vietnamese tradition. An extremely Western orientated establishment, the hostel has the backpacking process down to a tee, and has one of the best and most efficient services available to backpackers in South East Asia. Each customer has their own bed for the small price of around $6.50 a night, which includes locker space and free breakfast.

The bar provides extra Western food options which are a little overpriced but extremely delicious and a colorful array of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Activities are run every night including a beer pong competition on Mondays all the way through to a barbecue and free beer on Sundays. Every night the hostel runs a bar crawl around The Old Quarter.

Hanoi Backpackers’ Hostel runs a series of organized tours to the surrounding areas, including Halong Bay and Sapa. Although they may appear slightly overpriced, they’re extremely comprehensive packages and provide the propensity for adventures which may be difficult to organize single handedly like ‘deserted island’ nights away and boat tours.

The greatest thing about Hanoi Backpackers’ Hostel is the atmosphere. With over a hundred beds there are so many different types of people to choose from. All the staff are well-trained, spontaneous yet responsible and always ready to lend a hand.

Le Pont – Cat Ba Island

Le Pont is a small hostel tucked away off the main street on Cat Ba Island. Due to the growing interest in Halong Bay as a tourist destination, Cat Ba has become more rowdy than it was in previous years, yet Le Pont is a great remedy to the more outgoing establishments on the beachfront.

With a well air conditioned dorm room, offering 12 beds and a television, Le Pont is basic yet clean, fresh and efficient. With locker space for every customer, there are no worries about security and at only £5 a night, it’s a total bargain.

The manager, Mr Jim, runs his own boat tours for $25 for a whole day which include kayaking, a cave visit, a beach visit, traditional Vietnamese lunch and even a free beer! Although the price appears steep at first, it is very representative of all competition and is well worth the money as Halong Bay is more than just a site for sore eyes!