Hanoi: Hanoi Backpackers
Price: About $8 a night, no matter the size of your dorm.
Get There: The original is at 48 Ngo Huyen St, Hoan Kiem; the downtown hostel is at 9 Ma May, Hoan Kiem.
Hanoi Backpackers’ reputation precedes it for all the right reasons. These modern, brightly-coloured establishments are constantly teeming with legends from all over the globe, and seem to have been built to provide three services: partying, bonking and bunking – in that order. In addition to having the best vibe of any hostel I’ve ever stayed at, they offer unlimited wifi and activities galore, from daily walking tours and pub crawls to overnight castaway trips around heavenly Ha’long Bay.
The chilled-out staff are more than willing to steer you in the direction of shit worth doing in the ‘Nam, and are exceptionally friendly; so friendly, in fact, that I’m yet to meet a former guest who hasn’t pashed at least two of them. The original hostel is slightly smaller than its downtown counterpart, and has a rooftop bar where lairy games of beerpong and jenga constantly take place. These frivolities are made all-the-more merry thanks to the 50-cent spirits available during the constantly reoccurring happy hours. Hanoi Backpackers Downtown is where more of the magic happens, with a massive downstairs bar that functions as the starting place for each night’s pub crawl. Stay at either – only a 10-minute walk separates the pair of them, and both locations are prime. You’re guaranteed to have an absolute ball, will actually get served eggs as part of your free breakfast and, if you’re as lucky as I was, may even be gifted with a coral necklace for being an honorary staff member.
Gemma Clarke is the editor-in-chief of Global Hobo. She spends her time contracting tinea in foreign countries, taking afternoon naps in her van and drinking red wine through a (bamboo) straw.