Ho Chi Minh City; a city with more than 10 million motor bikes and the vibrant economic driver of the country. In all the chaos and the size it comes with, The Common Room Project is your small oasis.
The infobox on The Common Room Project
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Advantage of the Location of The Common Room Project
The location is simply perfect, no doubt about that. It is not located in the popular district 1, but nearby. This is what makes it perfect. TCRP is surrounded by local shops, cafés and restaurants. You can mingle with the locals and easily find food and drinks for decent prices.
On top of that, you can jump into an UBER and be in the hustle and bustle of the backpacker area in less than 10 minutes. But, we’ve to warn you: The backpacker district around Bui Vien Street is packed, crowded and absolutely overrated. This is our own, honest opinion.
Around the corner of TCRP you can find a delicious street food vendors, selling noodles and crab soup, vegetarian restaurants and cafés. Just ask the team for whatever you are looking for, they know their area well!
What about Cu Chi Minh Tunnels and the popular War Museum?
You have to take public transport or a tour to the Cu Chi Tunnels. Ask the reception for help about this. They can recommend a super cool tour we joined as well.
We really recommend taking a tour as the guide will share some curious and shocking facts on the American-Vietnam War.
As for the War Museum; hop into an UBER. It costs you around $1 and takes around 15 minutes to get there.The Common Room Project, The Common Room Project, Nguyễn Trãi, Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
All room types at The Common Room Project
Private Room Types available: 5-Bed Private Suite with Balcony, Double Room
Shared Room Types available: 10-Bed Dorm, 14-Bed Dorm
Not sure what room to pick? Our guides will help you to decide:
Guide to hostels
We care about you and your hostel experience. Therefore, we created the ultimate guide to hostels, covering all topics around hosteling.
This is our review of The Common Room Project.
From the moment we heard about this accommodation, we were excited about it. It all started with a video and its continuity with lasting memories and friendships.
We included the video as well.
We are Hostelgeeks, your independent shortcut to the world’s best hostels, the 5 Star Hostels.
We traveled to Ho Chi Minh City to check out The Common Room Project for you.
Here is a list:
- Nha Trang: CCASA Hostel
- Da Nang: Memory Hostel
- Tam Coc: Tam Coc Bungalows and Hostels
- Cat Ba Island: Woodstock Beach Camp
The Common Room Project in a review
The Common Room Project, or TCRP for short, is located in a small side street.
It is perfect to have a relaxing good night sleep, away from the noise and traffic of the busy streets of Saigon.
The entrance is surrounded by healthy, green plants.
One glimpse is enough to realize you’ve arrived at a hip, stylish place.
The floor tiles in the entrance area circle around the vintage garden table and even from the entrance you can see through the entire ground floor.
The open space concept unites reception with a stylish lounge and sofa, bold community table and the open kitchen at the end.
Let’s kick off our shoes and start walking around The Common Room Project.
There must be a reason for this curious name? And did someone say roof-top terrace?
Let’s find out in this detailed review the Common Room Project.
1. Love Child
Locally managed and started from scratch, the Common Room is a love-child.
As many stories with unique quality hostels begin, the owner loved to travel. He enjoyed the social lifestyle of a hostel and the quality of boutique-style hotels.
How about combining them?
Nowadays, that’s simple.
The result is fantastic.
The hostel teamed up with local tour providers.
You can get a pick-up transport to visit the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, north of Saigon.
Are these worth it to visit? That is a big yes!
You will find many more tour offers around the hostel such as motorbike tours and tours to the Mekong Delta.
The black board tells you the latest news and rumors – worth keeping an eye on!
When on the staircase, look up!
There is one curious thing to do inside TCRP: When on the staircase, look up.
You will see the fish from below, swimming in their tank on the roof-top terrace.
They are quite big.
One of the fishes is a Crocodile fish. So it‘s better that you don’t try to cuddle it.
But no worries, it’s not dangerous.
2. Full of Style: The Design
Seriously, it really takes one quick glimpse.
The Common Room Project is a design-conscious hostel.
The house feels like a home, an oasis. Comfy sofas decorate the corners of the lounge and natural elements like wood and plants play a major part in the interior.
How about we show you some amazing shots?
We walk up the staircase to have a look for the rooms. Every floor has a private room on the left and a shared one on the right hand side. The choice is not easy, that’s for sure.
On your way up you walk passed graffiti and vintage paintings of Vietnam and old Ho Chi Minh City.
The private rooms on the left-hand side come in incredible quality, with fresh flowers.
The rooms are spacious and the mattresses are dangerously comfortable, you may wanna spend too much time here.
The glass wall in the bathroom is another highlight; another luxury touch. One of the rooms even features a cute, wooden desk.
So, what about the dorms, you’re wondering?
The dorms are expectedly stylish.
There are two basic types of dorms to choose from. The bunk-bed style room comes with black, iron bunk beds.
The, let’s call it single-bed dorm, has only single-beds and is separated into two levels.
You can walk up the wide ladder. Let us show you how this looks.
Read: Hostel room types, what are the differences?
3. Unique? A video is the answer
There are many things to point out making TCRP the #1 hostel in town.
Have you ever stayed at a hostel you just enjoy from the first until the last moment?
Well, it’s likely when staying at the 5 Star Hostels.
This love child of hostel combines a community feeling with stylish, comfortable facilities in high quality.
What else do you need?!
But, what is the best way to express what The Common Room is all about?
The answer is this video:
Here you can find 22 more videos of the best hostels in the world.
4. Community First
The Common Room is all about being a community.
You just saw it in the video.
It starts when you have to take off your shoes before entering. This simple gesture gives you the feeling of entering a home rather than paid accommodation.
Another big plus is the long, wooden community table.
A community table?
This is the magic facility so many social hostels have in common, for instance:
There are two major hot spots to mingle at TCRP.
The big common area on the ground floor with its community table, board games, and the roof top terrace equipped with a bar.
Especially the ground floor is the place to hang out to meet and greet. You have to pass by this area to get to your rooms. So it is inevitable to give-and-get a quick hi.
The community dinner is something you should never skip.
Keep an eye on the black board, because the team organizes the dinner when enough people are interested and around.
The food is tasty and they even serve local specialties like rice wine.
Vegetarian? Let the team know beforehand. They’ll plan accordingly.
Last but not least, the guests and the team love to hang out and go out. There are special nights-out where the hostel unite the guests to go out for a drink.
5. Give-and-get a quick hi
We already mentioned the staff. We always love to underline the importance of great people running the place.
It makes and always will make a major difference in the overall experience.
The staff are there to help you, to give you on-hand tips and recommendations in the city.
Whether you want to know where to eat in the area or how to get around; Laura and her team really know the city.
They give you their best insider tips for Saigon.
This is how we ended up in the coolest market in Ho Chi Minh City.
Curious? Have a look at Vuon Chuoi Market. Go there before 10am and try some local food there. An absolute hidden gem!
Saigon vs. Ho Chi Minh City?
For the traveler who has not been here, this might be quite confusing.
What is the name of the city: Ho Chi Minh or Saigon?
You will most likely hear both names during your stay in Vietnam. But no worries, it is very simple:
Saigon and Ho Chi Minh City are the same city!
Since 1976 the official name is Ho Chi Minh City. Yet, it is commonly known as Saigon. Even the airport code is SGN (Saigon).
Additionally, HCMC is the written version of the city. Once you type it 10 times, you will understand. Read more on that matter on Wikipedia.
Things to Do in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC)
We get it, Ho Chi Minh City can be overwhelming.
Especially for those who may temporary suffer jet lag.
With more than 10 million motorbikes and a minimum humidity tax of 60%, you might feel it difficult to go out of your hostel. But, we recommend you to go and explore the city and the surroundings.
We list here things to do in Ho Chi Minh so you can get inspired.
But think about this: Ho Chi Minh City has many hidden places that still need to be discovered by travelers (and locals). A building that looks like a simple working place can hide the best speakeasy in the city.
Keep reading to discover it. This is our list on things to do in Ho Chi Minh City:
1. Ben Thanh Market
Ben Thanh Market is the most popular market. There you will find everything you want to buy: shoes, clothes, backpacks, Vietnamese Coffee, rice…
Remember to bargain any price, even if you are happy with the price, it is part of the game.
2. Local Market: Cho Vuon Chuoi
A local market that Laura, from The Common Room Project team, recommended us. Here, you can see the real Vietnam.
Food, clothes, and bustle daily life, mixed with, of course, motorbikes. Pay attention, the motorbikes won’t stop and the streets are narrow.
3. Museum of Traditional Vietnamese Medicine
Housed in a traditional building, the Museum of traditional Vietnamese Medicine offers an in-deep look to the Vietnamese Medicine.
Vietnamese Medicine is heavily influenced by Chinese philosophy.
4. Food, Vietnamese food
We must admit, we love Vietnamese food!
In Ho Chi Minh, you can find food everywhere: street food Stalls, restaurants, Banh Mi stalls, markets, vegetarian restaurants (Com Chay), cafés…
If you don’t want to miss any local specialty, we recommend you to join a Saigon street food tour. Have a look at this street food tour with motorbike – PURE FUN!
We are sure you will gain weight during your Vietnam trip. Enjoy your meal!
5. Refresh at a swimming pool
With the humidity in the city, a swimming pool sounds so refreshing!
Well, some Hotels have a swimming pool, and it is not necessary to sleep on the hotels to use the swimming pool.
Normally, there is an entrance fee, so make sure you ask in advance what does this fee include to avoid any surprise.
Silverland Yen Hotel
Just a 6-minute walk to Ben Thanh Market, Silverland Yen Hotel features an infinity swimming Pool and Sauna.
Intercontinental Asiana Saigon
Located in District 1, Intercontinental Asiana Saigon is a luxurious accommodation with leisure facilities, including a swimming pool.
Good to know: expect a high fee to be able to use the swimming pool.
Located in District 5, China town area in Ho Chi Minh City is quite interesting to see. You will find many markets, shops, temples, and pagodas.
Good to know: If you are in Ho Chi Minh during the Chinese New Year, Chinatown is a must.
Ho Chi Minh City rooftop bar’s are a must while you are in the city. Enjoy the views from one of the Skybars the city has to offer with a drink on your hand.
- Chill: this was our favorite, as you can still see the traffic from the rooftop bar. We recommend going for sunset and see how the colors in the city change. After 12, it turns to a dancing club.
- Glow: offering drinks in in a beach club atmosphere, this Skybar attracts well-dressed expats and locals looking to dance.
- EON Heli Bar: Located in the Bixteco Financial Tower, it is the highest Skybar in Ho Chi Minh city.
- The View Rooftop bar: located in the backpacker’s street, Bui Vien Street. This rooftop bar is located in the 9th floor of Duc Vuong Hotel. It is known for being one of the cheapest skybar in the city.
8. Ho Chi Minh State Garden
One of the main streets where many venues are held. This brings us to…
9. Nguyen Hue Boulevard
Along this boulevard, there are some colour fountains, as well as many shops, restaurants and cafés. If there is an event in the city, the most probable is that will happen here.
We recommend going to 42, Nguyen Hue Boulevard, pick a restaurant or café in the upper floors with street view, and sit with a drink. Take your time to admire the fountains, the people walking around, and the vendors who play hide and seek with the policemen.
10. Cinema Time
Yes movie lovers, it is possible to watch a movie in English in the city!
And the cinema has air conditioning, a plus to consider in this warm city.
Actually, bring warm clothes because it is going to be cold inside.
You can check the cinema schedule here.
11. Saigon Opera House
The Saigon Opera House is located in a French Colonial building in the heart of Saigon.
Many people say, this is where east meets west.
You can simply visit it or buy a ticket for one of the cultural shows, like the Dar Vietnamese Tribal circus and acrobatics show
12. Notre Dame Cathedral
Notre Dame Cathedral is one of the few remaining strongholds of Catholicism in Vietnam.
Vietnam being a largely Buddhist country, this Cathedral is interesting for many foreigners. It can only be seen from the outside.
13. Saigon Central Post Office
Located in the heart of HCMC, this building fascinates many visitors. You can see a mixture of Gothic, Renaissance and French influences.
It is one of the oldest buildings in the city.
14. Vietnamese Coffee
If you are a Coffee lover, Vietnam will be your paradise. Even if you are not, you will love Vietnamese coffee!
Matt loves coffee, so during our travels we do always find design Cafés with tasty coffee. To find these nice Cafés can be tricky, as many places are hidden in buildings which do look like as an office.
Hereby our favorite coffee places:
We are sure the city has many, many more. Feel free to add your favorite on the comments below.
15. Saigon Botanical Gardens
Near the history museum, the Botanical Gardens are the place to stroll with giant tropical trees. there is also a zoo, but it is not in good conditions.
We are sure, there are many speakeasy in Ho Chi Minh City, but we do have a favorite.
Hidden on a residential block, you can find an unique space which offers sophisticated and tasty cocktails, great design, and live music.
Snuffbox aims to offer chilled vibes and high-quality drinks. And it certainly does.
17. Party time!
For those looking for party, HCMC won’t let you down. There are many bars and discos around the city.
Go to a skybar like Chill or party like a Local, meaning… KARAOKE!
18. Jade Emperor Pagoda
Built in the 20th Century by a community of Cantonese, Jade Emperor Pagoda is one of the 5 most important pagodas in Ho Chi Minh City.
19. Live Music
In Ho Chi Minh City, you will find many live music events. Whatever your taste is, you will find it, we are sure of that. Our recommendation?
Go to Inidka, known as the House of curiosity. It is a place to chill, work, create, eat, and drink. The vibes are simply amazing.
You can check their events in Indika Facebook site.
20. Backpacker’s Street
Just a s many other big cities, like Bangkok, many things happen around the Backpacker street. In Ho Chi Minh, the backpacker street is Bui Vien Street.
If you are curious, go and see. Personally, we found it totally overrated and busy, very busy.
21. Pink Cathedral
Known as Lady Pink for many people, Tan Dinh Church is a church built during the french colonial period.
It is the second largest church in Ho Chi Minh City, after Saigon Notre Dame Basilica.
22. War Remnants Museum
The most visited museum in town and one of the most famous war museums worldwide.
The war remnants museum contains exhibitions from the war period.
Bear in mind, the War Museum do close from 12 to 13:30. If you happen to be in the area, there are restaurants and cafés.
23. Cu Chi tunnels
We already mentioned it: you should visit the Cu Chi Tunnels.
Having a guide, will help you get many details and facts about the tunnels. You can book in advance a Cu Chi Tunnels tour here.
24. A Motorbike ride
We could not finish this list of things to do without a Motorbike ride.
Traffic is crazy, and it can be fun to experience! Yet can it also be scary.
With more than 8 million bikes, the fastest way to move around the city is with Motorbike-taxis, called Xe-Om.
We would recommend you to take a deep breath and give it a try. Think about it: how many time would you be able to do ride along HCMC? And these guys certainly have the experience to ride in such a crazy city.
But how to get a taxi without getting ripped off? Here our trick, which is also valid for ordering car taxis.
Get the app called Grab on your cell phone and ask for a Motorbike Grab to get a ride. The app is free. With Grab, you do not have to discuss starting and finishing point, as you will mark it on the map. Neither the price, they indicate an approximate price, so you will know beforehand how much your ride will cost.
You can avoid district 1 if you feel overwhelmed by the city traffic. But we encourage you, a motor ride is a real experience!
More you need to know about Vietnam
We wrote up more articles during our 3 months trip in Vietnam.
On our journey from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, we have experienced so many wonderful things.
For a starter, read all travel tips and 27 Best Things to do in Vietnam
Our travel tips Vietnam here:
- 24 BEST Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City/ Saigon (including understanding the cities history and name)
- a list of 41 cool things to do in Hanoi
- a guide to Sa Pa Vietnam – how to get there and have a great time with the locals villagers
- last but not least, a guide how to find coffee shops in Da Nang
Promo Code for The Common Room Project
Fancy a promo code for The Common Room Project? Who doesn't?!
Now, there is no easy way to say this: Currently we do not have a valid discount for The Common Room Project. We are working on getting more promotional codes for The Common Room Project in Ho Chi Minh City and all the other top hostels we reviewed for you.
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How to book The Common Room Project?
You were looking for the absolute BEST hostels in Ho Chi Minh City? You just found it! The Common Room Project is the top place we recommend to our friends, family and to you!
Good to know: For many travelers Hostelworld is the #1 platform to book hostels. It is a trusted and safe reservation platform.
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Hostel Packing List
It is time to see what you should pack in your backpack or suitcase. Make sure you always pick a quality hostel, it totally reduces the things you need to pack. Here is our ultimate hostel packing list. It features 23 items you should really throw in your backpack.The most important things to pack are:
- eye mask
- key chain flashlight
- the right backpack, the Nomatic (our review of Nomatic here) or Lowe Alpine Lightflite 45 Pack
- packing cubes
- generic padlock (fitting all locker types)
- quick-dry travel towel
- universal power adapter
- travel-sized toiletries
Update February, 2019: How to find flight deals to Ho Chi Minh City?
Still looking for cheap flights to Ho Chi Minh City? We LOVE Kiwi.com.
You can search here with a so-called "radius search". It is incredible easy to find sweet flight deals to Ho Chi Minh City and area.
Read our full review of Kiwi.com here