Hostels are great if you want to save money, meet fellow travelers and have friendly staff give you secret tips about a city. Ho Chi Minh is known for it’s crazy parties and Lee Hostel is in the heart of party central. It’s also by far the cheapest hostel in the city center. But those are the only good things I have to say about it.
Our main complaint was the attitude of the staff. Hostel World advertises the hostel as having lockers, which they do. What they don’t offer, not even for sale are locks. Most hostels let you store valuable items behind the counter. Sadly, the staff couldn’t care less where we stored our $450 drone. The conversation went like this…
Isaac: “Excuse me, could we please buy a lock?” we asked the young man behind the front desk/bar.
Staff: “No, we don’t sell them,” he replied in a careless tone.
Isaac: “Could you please look after our bag for us?”
Isaac: “Do you know where could buy a lock then?”
Staff: *blank stare, no response*
Isaac: “Do you have any suggestions?”
Staff: *no response*
Me: “This is a $450 drone, can you at least point us in a direction where we might find a store that sells a lock?”
Staff: *no response*
Isaac ended up walking down the street and finding a lock, with no help from anyone at Lee Hostel. Although we were frustrated with them, we had never been rude. But when we said goodbye (in a friendly cheerful tone, I might add) at checkout the next day, a completely different staff member completely ignored us.
In addition to not proving lock for the lockers the rooms didn’t lock and the staff didn’t even check if people walking in and our were guests. But the lack of security and staff rudeness weren’t our only issues with the hostel. The beds, even in a slightly pricier four-bedroom dorm were hard as rocks.
Yes, I know all about hard beds in Asia. I’ve slept on many firm beds in China that weren’t exactly comfortable but also didn’t have me waking up in the middle of the night from back spasms… the Lee Hostel beds are probably the hardest beds I’ve ever experienced. I slept much better on the cold floor of Hanoi airport.
I’m not even going to mention the creaky wobbly bunk beds that shook when anyone in the room breathed, or opened the door or even just thought about rolling over. We stayed in a 12-person room in a hostel in Mui Ne and the bunk-beds there absolutely fine.
I guess I’d still recommend this hostel if all you want is a cheap place to (not) sleep for the night. Or if you’re planning on partying literally all night… because even your passed-out-from-being-drunk body would not appreciate the harder-than-concrete mattresses. How does waking up hungover AND covered in bruises sound?
Oh, and don’t get too excited about the free breakfast that they advertise. It’s just a gross bun that doesn’t even taste like bread. I made the mistake of offering it to a homeless dog. The hungry dog sniffed it, sneezed and looked at me with extreme offense.
If you know me at all, you’ll know that I’m constantly worried about upsetting people and never give bad reviews. If you find me on TripAdvisor you’ll see that I rate almost every place I visit with five stars. I’ve given five stars to hostels that didn’t provide free toilet paper and even a few that had giant cockroaches crawling over my free breakfast.
Summary: don’t stay at Lee Backpacker’s Hostel. There are so many better places to chose from, just read some reviews on TripAdvisor or Hostel World. The great thing about Vietnam is that you don’t need to book accommodation in advance and you can haggle for everything, even hostel prices!