I definitely had a great birthday trip last June backpacking to Vietnam and Cambodia. Was staying there for 15 days, many of my friends asked me the total budget I spent and most of them were shocked it didn’t really cost you much, in fact it was much cheaper than the budget we normally spend in Bali J
Staying in dorm rooms is great when you’re traveling solo. It’s cheap, around $ 6 – 7 per night, plus you can always make new friends ( Isn’t it why we’re all traveling ? ) Except I don’t really like it when they put me in the top bunk, I had to climb up the ladders but anyway, I had great nights when I was staying in Koniko Backpackers Hostel in Ho Chi Minh City. Koniko is a new hostel located in Bui Vien street – a backpacker district in Ho Chi Minh - very clean, the receptionist lady was very friendly and helpful, free internet access, lockers, AC, $1 breakfast, and you just have to across the street to enjoy some cheap cold beers and local food.
The same thing when I was in Pnom Penh and Siem Reap – Cambodia. Since I haven’t booked any hostel when I arrived there, I wanted to try what it would be like if I ask the tuk tuk driver to find me a backpacker hostel, ( I knew they would scam me, but seriously what’s the worse thing could happen ? ). Out from Mekong Express Bus station in Siem Reap – 2 km away from Siem Reap backpacker’s district, I asked Jackie my tuk tuk driver if he knew any clean backpacker’s hostel. Then he took me to this old hostel ( sorry I forgot the hostel’s name ), $15 for a night, no AC, my room was in the corner of 4th floor in their second building. They have 2 separate buildings, and this building I was staying in way too quiet and dark. I didn’t see anyone but only me. After changed my clothes I decided to walk around the neighbor, buy shampoo and late lunch. While my mind still thinking about what’s the worst thing could happen to me staying in an old building, I talked to my best friend Ana Dupont on facebook and she said “you gotta trust your feeling. If you don’t feel any comfortable, then move and find another hostel. Safety is always number one, darling.” Ana was right, then I grabbed my bag, returned the key to the receptionist, she gave me back $7 and I walked to the Wat Bo Road Street 22 which not so far from Pub Street or Backpackers area, find Bun Kao Guesthouse ( www.bunkaoguesthouse.com ). $ 6 only for a single room, $ 4 for dorm rooms. What a sweet deal ! I decided to take a single room, was staying there for 3 nights.
Done with Siem Reap and Cambodia, I caught a bus back to Ho Chi Minh City then Mui Ne - beach area 6 hours bus drive from Ho Chi Minh. Staying in Mui Ne Backpackers Resorts four 4 days. Another $ 6 per night, with a perfect beach view and sun lounges. Took a half day tour on my second day for only $ 8 to White and Red sand dunes, fairy stream and fisherman’s village, then the rest I didn’t do anything but relaxing on the beach, you know – the joy of laziness.
Mui Ne Backpackers Resort in Mui Ne.
$6 per night in dorm rooms at Mui Ne Backpackers Resort with a perfect beach view and my fave sun lounges.
Speaking about transportation, I walked everywhere in Ho Chi Minh, Pnom Penh, Siem Reap and Mui Ne. Enjoy walking and taking my times trying new food, taking pictures, talk to local people. But of course if you’re too lazy to walk, take tuk tuk to show you around Siem Reap and Pnom Penh. Meanwhile for food, Vietnam and Cambodia have many western restaurants with different range of price, or if you’re kind of people who loves traveling for culinary / local food, of course they’re much cheaper than the western one. Do not missed the the happy hours( 3pm to 9pm ) in Pnom Penh, all the drinks costs $1 - $2. Sitting in a café or rooftop bar, either read books or do people-watching while sipping your cheap cocktails or beers, oh heaven !!
$ 3 breakkie at Pnom Penh before catching my 8 am bus to Siem Reap.
$1.50 Mekong Mud ( mix of kahlua, baileys, cocoa powder, tastes like White Russian )