Megacities…you either love them or hate them. We happen to love them but we love staying in a place that makes you feel like you are in a small village in the country. Nguyen Shack is that little place in Ho Chin Minh, Vietnam.
Located in District 1 in Saigon, the hustle and bustle was everywhere around us. When our taxi first arrived it pulled up out the front of a small alley and for a minute I thought the driver was lost. In broken English, he pointed and said ‘down there’. We all piled out of the car and made our way down the little alley.
We had never stayed at a homestay before and I was not sure of what to expect. Nguyen Shack is like rocking up to your friend’s house and asking for a place to sleep. It’s not a problem and space will be found for you. It is warm, friendly and it’s just like home.
Check-in was really easy and only took a few minutes. You can sit down on one of the seats and wait until it is done. You do need your passport to check in as well.
We were checked in and ready to go to our room within a few minutes.
In the lobby area, you will find many bottles of fruits and medicinal herbs soaking in alcohol on one side and a big variety of coffee and herbal tea on the other side, all that are a part of Drink Vietnam that is also housed here. You can ask the guys and they will help you chose a drink that will help you with any troubles you are having or they will make you an amazing cup of coffee.
Here you will also have your breakfast in the morning or a snack. There is a small fridge where you can buy a cold drink if you have run out in your mini bar.
Our room layout
We had a large room with a queen sized bed with a bunk for the girls. There were plenty of power points for us and there was a bamboo table and chairs for Mark to work from. In the mornings he would go down to the lobby and work there so we could sleep.
Breakfast is served in the lobby area and you can have a different array of things from Bahn Mi to fresh fruit. You just have to let the guys know and they will get it for you. When you book your room at Nguyen Shack breakfast is included in your price.
The breakfast is of a good size and there is plenty of variety for you to choose from. We loved the breakfast that was made for us every day as it filled us up and got us going for the day.
Some of the breakfast items available were:
- Banh Mi
- Bread with spreads *peanut butter, Nutella, jam
- Chicken noodle soup
- Fresh fruit
There is other food that Tam and Son can prepare for you throughout the day. Prices start at 39,000VND for a chicken Bahn Mi.
Please check out the menu and if you have plans to eat in during the night just talk to Tam and Son about what you want and they will guide you on what they are able to make for you from the extensive menu.
Tam and Son
After travelling for the amount of time we have you can get lonely and, to be honest sick of the people you are travelling with. it was so nice to come home from a day out and have Son and Tam ask you how your day was or what did you do. I love a good chat and a laugh and they both delivered that every day of our stay.
I highly recommend staying here if you are a solo traveller and in need of a rest. Tam and Son will look after you and make sure you have all you need, as well as some people to talk to. I love listening to people s stories when I travel and I loved a chat with these guys.
This is a brilliant idea that is done to perfection here at Nguyen Shack Ho Chin Minh City. There is a copy of the book in every room and it is a little life saver. It is a book with all the information you will need for your stay ay Nguyen Shack. It is a general city guide but as well there is information about things that are in walking distance of here which is brilliant.
Instead of wandering aimlessly on our first night we had an address for a great Banh Mi shop and we had dinner in under 15 minutes sorted which for us is fantastic. Since then we have tried out some of their other recommendations in the book which have turned out to be great as well.
Located in the lobby of the Nguyen Shack is Drink Vietnam. You will see jugs and jugs of liquids in all different colours lining the walls. These are all different types of traditional Vietnamese medicines that can be combined in an endless combination of flavours to discover the different taste of Vietnam.
Are there other Nguyen Shacks in Vietnam?
You are in luck. There are another 4 Nguyen Shacks dotted throughout Vietnam in some other beautiful places that will suit any sort of style you want.
Nguyen Shack – Phong Nha
This Nguyen Shack is 2km out of Phong Nha. It is an eco-resort with 8 small huts and 18 rustic wooden cabins located on the side of a lake surrounded by beautiful mountains.
Here you can relax by the pool and have an amazing dinner by the lake. This is the perfect spot for anyone to explore the Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park.
Nguyen Shack – Ninh Binh
Only 15 minutes from Ninh Binh here you can book a bungalow next to the Nyguyen Shack’s private lake surrounded by mountains. It is the perfect place to relax, visit rice fields, explore Mua Cave and enjoy a boat tour with Tam Coc and Trang An.
Nguyen Shack – Can Tho
With views over the Mekong Delta, you can just relax out on the balcony of your private bungalow surrounded by the fruit and vegetable garden that is on site.
While you are visiting don’t forget to ask about the local bike ride through the town to get a real look of local Vietnamese life. If bike riding is not for you ask about the early morning visit to the floating market or a boat tour in the afternoon.
We thoroughly enjoyed our time at Nguyen Shack in Saigon. Our time in Vietnam was cut short due to illness but we plan on coming back and enjoying the other properties that Nguyen Shack has.
For more information and bookings click here for the Nguyen Shack website
How to get to Ho Chi Minh City
The Tân Sơn Nhất Airport is located with the city of Ho Chi Minh. There is a city surrounding the airport on all sides. This makes for amazing views as you take off and land.
The airport is serviced by leading Asian carriers Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar Pacific and Air Asia. For all your Ho Chi Minh City flights, we recommend using Skyscanner.
Vietnam has an extensive train network that runs along the coast of Vietnam for Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi and on into China. Taking an overnight train is a popular way to travel to Ho Chi Minh City from the North.
We recommend 12go Asia for all your train and bus tickets for Asia. You can check prices and book tickets through the banner underneath.
Money in Vietnam
The official currency of Vietnam is the Dong. The Vietnamese Dong comes in notes of 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000, 100,000, 200,000, 500,000₫. ATM’s are easily located on the most street in the city and tourist areas. The ATM will serve up 500,000 bills which won’t make you popular with retailers when you hand these over.
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More about the Author
Bec Wyld is a mother, wife and once reluctant traveller. Bec has been to over 30 countries across the globe. I have planned and stressed in all of these places. Becs writing can be found on Wyld Family Travel and as a guest poster and contributor on many other travel websites including Lonely Planet Kids