For cheap meals, accommodation and markets in the center of Ho Chi Minh City, look no further than Pham Ngu Lao. It is known by Vietnamese locals as “khu tay ba lo”, which translates to “Backpacker’s area.” If you are a traveler on a budget, Pham Ngu Lao is the place to be.
Pham Ngu Lao is named after a celebrated military general from the 13th century. Tourists, and even locals, flock to its bustling open air and indoor markets. Buy clothing, electronics and souvenirs for extremely cheap prices. Bargaining is part of the shopping experience at Vietnamese markets, so come prepared to haggle with vendors.
Find a huge range of budget accommodation options within Pham Ngu Lao. Because of this, room rates are easily negotiable and you never have to settle for a subpar room. Cable television, Wi-Fi and other luxury amenities are available in most places. Note that the best deals on rooms can be found in the alleyways that connect the main streets.
Pham Ngu Lao offers just about any kind of food imaginable, from local fare to more mainstream dishes. Stop at a cart for some street food or pop into a café for a tea. Many pho eateries are open around the clock so you can enjoy some noodles after a late night on the town. Visit the area’s bars and clubs for cheap beer, cocktails and live music.
The district of Pham Ngu Lao comprises two parallel streets, plus several interconnecting alleyways. It is located in District 1, the central area of Ho Chi Minh City. Parks, markets and many of the city’s major landmarks are within easy walking distance. In less than 15 minutes, you can reach the War Remnants Museum, Notre Dame Basilica and Reunification Palace.