Accommodation: An Phu Apartment
Location: 25/29 Nguyen Binh Khiem Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam
1 Bedroom Studio Apartment
LOYALTY PROGRAM or DEALS USED
Airbnb and Qantas Frequent Flyer
Research and Booking
After a couple of rough stays in District 1 Ho Chi Minh City, Paul and I were in desperate need of quiet accommodation. Yet, we still wanted to be walking distance to shops, bars and restaurants… as well as have easy access to the heart of District 1.
Yet, we didn’t want to stay in a Ho Chi Minh hotel… as we wanted an apartment with cooking facilities for our accommodation this time. So, we decided to check Airbnb Ho Chi Minh City and see what was on the website.
To cut a long story short… it took a little while to find an apartment that ticked most of our boxes.
So, we did something that we wouldn’t normally do… And we booked an apartment that had NO reviews. Plus, we couldn’t find anything else about this apartment on the internet.
What partly helped our decision was that the owner, Phung, was quick to respond to queries. Plus, the the wifi speed he told us was fast.
So in the end, we booked An Phu Apartment on the edge of District 1 in the Ben Nghe ward. Plus, we booked this via the Qantas Airbnb website. Then, we could also earn Qantas Frequent Flyer points.
Travel Tip and Reminder
To earn the Qantas Frequent Flyer points through an Airbnb booking…
You must be on the Qantas website first before you book the Airbnb accommodation. Then, enter your Membership number and Last name. Then you’ll be re-directed to the Airbnb website to make your booking.
An Phu Apartment is in District 1 Ho Chi Minh City, in the Ben Nghe Ward. Within about 5 minutes we could walk to Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe Canal for waterfront serenity.
And a little further on was the local Thi Nghe Market for fresh produce.
There were several restaurants, bars and convenience stores within easy walking distance too.
Plus, if we wanted to get into the heart of District 1 for more Ho Chi Minh City nightlife… then it was only about 2km away. So that was an easy Grab ride into the city center.
Later, I’ll go through in more detail about what’s around An Phu Apartment.
As with some Vietnamese places, it was a little challenging to find An Phu Apartment. While the address of the apartment on paper seemed to be on a main road… it was actually tucked away down a side street.
So to help you find the location, here’s a map with the Apartment pinned on it…
Once we got our luggage out of the Grab car… we hauled our luggage up some steps to the front door.
There was a young gentleman who was at reception. And the timing must have been lost in translation as he was expecting us at 12am, rather than 12pm! Oh dear, no wonder he looked like crap.
Thankfully though, he didn’t give our apartment away to someone else! Yet, I think he would’ve had more apartments available if that was the case.
He was fine about it and was still friendly, pleasant and helpful. As there were no other bookings we could check in early too.
We also found out that the price included cleaning every day… as well as laundry, drinking water and all utilities. So, for AUD $31per night (about USD $22), it was great value… and we stayed there for 11 nights. But wait, there’s more!
Inside An Phu Apartment
Our apartment was on the 4th floor and there were lifts we could take. So this was great as we had large suitcases… and better than hauling them up flights of stairs as we’d done in previous Ho Chi Minh City accommodation.
Once we unlocked the door to our apartment, we were surprised at how big the apartment was for a studio.
The first thing we saw was the kitchen…
There was already a full drum of water there, and the kitchen was really clean.
In the kitchen there items included:
- Electric stove top with two hobs
- Rice cooker
- Pots and pans
- Glasses, wine glasses, cups and saucers
- Plates, bowls, chopsticks and cutlery
- Chopping board and utensils
- Dishwashing detergent and sponge
- Full size fridge, which was cold
It was a well-stocked kitchen, and our first impressions were very positive!
Plus, as we did a bit of cooking, another surprising thing was that there were NO ants during our stay… OMG, that’s rare for South East Asia, let alone in Vietnam apartments!
In the kitchen area was a big table with 2 chairs, and a full-length mirror…
This was another big plus in An Phu Apartment, as even in some of the top hotels we’ve stayed in, this has been lacking!
This apartment was getting better everywhere we turned! Yet, we didn’t want to jinx our positivity!
Plus, there was also a small cupboard, laundry basket, and a couple of bins for trash. And there was lots of cupboard and drawer space in the kitchen area.
The bed was a big size, and it was super comfy as were the pillows. And there were 2 single couches, plus a small table.
There was also bed side table, flat screen TV and a monster air conditioner that worked like a treat! It cooled the entire studio apartment well.
Again, like the kitchen there was lots of cupboard and drawer space to put our things in.
We would’ve liked more coat hangers… CORRECTION, I would’ve liked more coat hangers, Paul wasn’t that fussed! But thinking about it now… if we asked for more I’m sure they would have given us more.
There was also a big desk and a chair, which faced a large window.
This window allowed a lot of natural light to come through to help brighten up the apartment. This was good as there was no window in the kitchen, so we had to turn the lights on when we were using the kitchen area.
Along the window were sheer curtains as well as thick black out curtains. And next to the window was a door, which was locked at all times.
Yet, the one annoyance was that it was a frosted door, so even though we had black out curtains… so in the morning the light would come in and could wake us up.
Yet, lucky we have our trusty eye masks that we take everywhere with us. So we put them on it blocked out the light even in the morning.
But the best part was, it was super quiet! It was so blissful and we could get a good night’s sleep every night. Even the neighborhood residents were quiet in the mornings, which is unusual for Vietnam!
The bathroom is on the left as we walked into the apartment. And we weren’t expecting much, compared to other places we stayed in District 1 Ho Chi Minh City.
So when we looked in the bathroom, here’s what we saw first…
There was big shower area and a little shelf to put personal care items. There was no rain head shower with hand held combination… it was just the hand held shower head.
We could deal with that as the bathroom was super clean.
There was a couple of large towels, 2 hand towels, bath mat, and the super sized industrial type toilet paper. Needless to say, we didn’t run out of toilet paper during our stay… ha ha ha!
Next to the toilet was the basin, hairdryer, bin, and amenities… including liquid soap and shampoo.
The surprising thing again, was that the toothbrushes were actually the good quality ones. Not these cheap, crappy toothbrushes that fall apart after one use!
There was also a big tube of toothpaste, yet we use our own homemade stuff.
We also found after one big night out at the Hard Rock Cafe, there is a large gate at the front of the neighborhood that is locked. This is for extra security, although the gentleman who was there was an elderly man.
We told him we were staying at An Phu Apartment and all was good!
All in all, the condition of the apartment and amenities was exceptional… especially for the price we paid.
Around An Phu Apartment
Our Favorite Vietnamese Cafe For Coffee
Although we bought our own ground coffee to make our own Vietnamese coffee with our filter in the apartment… sometimes it was nice to have someone else make a good coffee for us.
And there are plenty of coffee shops in District 1 near An Phu Apartment. We tried a few but our favorite was Passio Coffee. The one that we would go to was on 25B Nguyen Binh Khiem.
The service was always efficient even when it got busy. The staff are mainly young, yet they were polite and spoke English well.
Our Favorite Local Bar
There are several bars and places to get drinks nearby. Yet, our favorite bar nearby was Fat Ape.
It was a cool bar with a couple of different levels, and lots of outdoor seating for people watching.
Actually, one day when we were sitting drinking some brews… a guy had 5 huge bags of ice on his fall off in front of Fat Ape. Paul ran over to help, but the Vietnamese guy declined the offer.
Then, once we saw him stack the ice back on the back of his bike… we noticed that he didn’t put anything around them to hold them in place. Then he rode off again, and we hoped he only had a short distance to ride!
That aside, it can get really busy at Fat Ape but has a good atmosphere. And the beers were cheap too.
Our Favorite Banh Mi
First of all, let me say BUGGER, BUGGER, BUGGER! I took photos of the place and the banh mi, but I must have accidentally deleted them. Argh, sorry for that.
If I recall, the address is around 4 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, Da Kao, District 1. It’s like a minute or so walk from the Passio Coffee shop I mentioned earlier. And it has a typical banh mi cart in the front of a small shop. I hope you can find it!
Now, while they couldn’t speak much English, they got it in the end what we wanted. As we went there several times they remembered us, and knew what we would want.
We would order vegetarian banh mi with egg, and it was ridiculously cheap at 20,000 VND each (about USD $0.90)! They also made burgers, and had a range of other foods and snacks.
Thi Nghe Market
So to buy fresh produce for cooking and making meals, about a 10 minute wander away was Thi Nghe Market. There weren’t many tourists there, and more of a local market which we prefer.
It had lots of fresh fruit, vegetables, eggs, household goods, meat, packaged goods and plenty more items.
The prices were crazy cheap and it was a great market to go to.
Other things within walking distance to An Phu Apartment was a good big gym, the Thi Nghe Canal, Rubik Zoo… plus food and drinks within Rubik Zoo, convenience stores, electrical stores and more.
An Phu Apartment Wifi Speed
We asked Phung for the wifi speed before we booked his Ho Chi Minh apartment. And he told us that the download wifi speed was 35 mbps and the upload wifi speed was 30 mbps.
Yet, when we got there it was faster than what he told us, which was a bonus!
We were clocking up speeds of up to 55 mbps up and down. So no complaints from us, and it was stable too.
Would We Stay At An Phu Apartment Again?
Yes, it was a pleasant stay. And for the price, the amenities and inclusions were great. On this rare occasion where we stayed in accommodation without any reviews, it was top notch.
The service is exceptional, despite most of the staff not being able to speak English.
Phung is the main contact, and he is helpful and polite. While his English is not fluent, we got by communicating fine during our stay, and he does his best to help.
Plus, although the serviced apartment is in District 1… the location is quiet, and has many conveniences nearby within walking distance. And getting to and from the heart of District 1 is a breeze.
It’d be great if there was a blackout curtain in front of the bedroom door… as the frosted glass couldn’t block the light out. And the icing on top would be a pool or sun lounge area, and a gym.
Yet, without those it was still a great location and superb apartment.
So we definitely recommend An Phu Apartment for a short or long stay, for your trip in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam.
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Note: All of our reviews and comments are our opinions and no-one else’s. Even if we receive complimentary goods or services we share our opinions honestly.