Like any backpacker, I hosteled my way through South East Asia. 20 years ago there may not have been many hostels, but now there are an abundance of them (guest houses or home stays are sometimes an option as well).
Here is a list of the hostels I stayed at while in Viet Nam.
Hanoi: Vietnam Backpackers (downtown) $8-10 USD/night
Vietnam Backpackers is a hostel chain throughout Viet Nam. In Hanoi they have their Downtown location and Original location. I stayed at the downtown location, but wish I had stayed at the Original. Downtown was definitely a party hostel and pretty rowdy at night. I would have much rather stayed at the more chilled out place (where the wifi actually worked) and just gone to the other to party. Both are in a decent location, though, and walking distance from eachother (about 10 minutes).
Cuc Phuong National Park:
I wish I could remember the name of this place. All I know is we biked 20KM in the jungle to get here. Nothing extravagant, just a place to lay our heads for the night.
Phong Nha: Easy Tiger
I was on a tour so we stayed a few doors down at a hotel, but visited Easy Tiger for dinner and drinks. I talked to many other travelers who did stay there on their journey down Viet Nam and raved about it.
Huė: Vietnam Backpackers – The Imperial $8-10USd/night
Vietnam backpackers has another location in Hue. Again, since I was on the tour we stayed around the corner, but went to backpackers for drinks and breakfast. It didn’t look like a bad place to stay, but if you look around the area it’s possible to get a cheap private room (or double if you have a travel partner)!
Hoi An: Vietnam Backpackers – DK’s House, Phuc Thao Villa, Under the Coconut Tree
Vietnam backpackers has another location here. We spent 1 night there. It’s another party hostel, but much more low key than the others.
My friend and I decided a litttle luxury was deserved for a couple nights so we stayed at a villa for 5,000,000.00 VD a night (roughly $25USD). Phuc Thao Villa.
After that we moved to a hostel/homestay a little out of the city, but right on the beach, called Under the Coconut Tree. We only stayed 1 night, but I would have loved to stay longer (book a few days in advance as it is growing in popularity). Problably my favorite place we stayed in all of Viet Nam.
Mui Ne: Backpacker Village $5-8 USD/night
We were on a roll with nice hostel selections! This one was more like a resort than a hostel, to be fair. Dorms were minimal, but single beds as opposed to bunks was a nice treat.
Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon): The Hideout Hostel Saigon $8-10 USD/night
I chose this place because it had high ratings on Hostelworld and is small (which I prefer). I met some great people there AND our room had a small balcony with an amazing view of the city.