Of Dorms, Bed Bugs & Our Double Room Ensuite With Bunk Beds
As mentioned earlier, Eco Backpacker’s Hostel
is located on the same street, just several metres away from the FUTA (Phuong Trang) Express Buslines Terminal in District 1
. If you have read my previous blog post, our FUTA (Phuong Trang) express bus travelling from Mui Ne to Saigon (HCMC)
stopped us at the respective terminal. To read our journey on the bright orange double-decker express sleeper bus
, click here
From there, we walked towards the hostel in less than a minute and checked-in to our room with ease. Initially, my sister and I wanted to stay in the female dormitory
, but after reading the reviews left by travellers mentioning about the presence of bed bugs in the dormitory
, we decided to skip the dormitory altogether and booked a private room
instead. Do not say I did not warn you beforehand of the bed bugs problem in the dormitory
! You have been warned accordingly.
Although I did not have an encounter with the bed bugs
, my sister on the other hand was unfortunate enough to develop a red, swollen and itchy patch of skin on her left leg (that we suspect must have been the work of the pesky bed bugs
) after spending a night in the room. That said, besides the dormitories, there is a high possibility that bed bugs lurk in the private rooms
Our double room ensuite with bunk beds
was just as described in the descriptions given on the website (Booking.Com). The room is fairly spacious with a large bunk bed, has a window for ventilation and a spacious bathroom with hot/cold shower. Both upper and lower bed has its own reading light (mine was kind of broken) and a safety storage compartment. There is air-conditioning and a television fixed on the wall too. Apart from the kind of broken reading light and possible bed bugs issue, we were quite happy with the room.
Our huge bunk beds in the double ensuite room at Eco Backpacker's Hostel, HCMC
Each bed has its own reading light and storage compartment
The amenities in the double ensuite room at Eco Backpacker's Hostel, HCMC
Hot/cold shower in the spacious ensuite bathroom of our double room
Access Card Security Feature & Occasional Power Trips!
Getting in, out and around Eco Backpacker’s Hostel requires an access card that will allow its owner to operate the lift, open the doors and gain access to our respective rooms/dormitories. That good safety measure helps my sister and I to feel safe and secure at the hostel.
Apart from that, there is one experience that I would like to share. During our stay at the hostel, we experienced a sudden blackout that lasted for about 10-15 minutes. A check with the staff on duty at the reception counter revealed that the cause of the blackout was a minor power trip.
I was told by him to go to the electrical power box located on Level 1 (if I remember correctly) and turn on the switch that tripped. I did as told, thus the electrical power was restored. From there, I found out that power trips are a common thing at the hostel. Be sure to take note of it when staying at Eco Backpacker’s Hostel. It is not a huge problem, but it will surprise unwary guests.
The common area of Eco Backpacker's Hostel, HCMC
In the background is the relatively small kitchen/pantry of the hostel
The common area where breakfast is served at Eco Backpacker's Hostel
Of coffee, tea and fresh fruits for breakfast
In A Nutshell
One thing my sister and I like about Eco Backpacker’s Hostel is its friendly and helpful reception. Helpful maps, directions and advices were given to us when we asked for help. Wifi was free, but breakfast comes with a price of $2 per person (7am – 10am). Free flow of beer (7pm – 8pm) comes at a price of $1 per person. Luggage storage and a shower after check-out are available for a fee.
We even managed to have a candlelight budget dinner of pasta and cheesecake on the rooftop of the hostel; candlelight thanks to the total darkness we experienced while we were there. It was either the motion detector lighting was not working or the fact that we could not find the switch anywhere, thus we assumed it was motion sensor lighting (that malfunctioned). It could not be that the rooftop was closed because we asked the staff at the reception before going up to the rooftop and she said it was open. Anyway, we enjoyed our dinner and Saigon’s amazing city skyline view nonetheless.
P/S: The elevator in the building will not take us all the way up to the rooftop. We will have to walk a storey up on foot and climb up a set of stairs to reach the rooftop area of the hostel. The metal stairs leading to the rooftop is steep and narrow. Those who are afraid of heights might find it a challenging feat. Kindly exercise caution when making your way up or down the rooftop.
Breathtaking Saigon (HCMC) skyline at night from the rooftop of Eco Backpacker's Hostel
Up next: Sightseeing in Saigon (HCMC) on foot – covering Ben Thanh Market, Pham Ngu Lao Street, the Independence Palace, Central Post Office, Notre-Dame Basilica, and Ho Chi Minh City Hall and Ho Chi Minh Square