An Phu buses between Saigon and Nha Trang – on the open bus route – stop and start from here, so it’s a backpacker hub. But a well run one. The US$8 fan-cooled rooms are good value, with flat bamboo ceilings, fake terra-cotta floors, a ceiling fan and small porch. It’s an extra US$2 for a TV. Higher-priced ones, including the slightly overpriced air-conditioned ones, are closer to the water – the cheapies look over the entry road. The restaurant is busy at bus times, but not bad.
Tel 062-847-320, 0903-964-389; 56 Huynh Thuc Khang; rooms with fan US$8-12, rooms with AC US$20 & US$25

A fine US$18 choice, the Lucy has simple side-by-side brick bungalows. The fan-cooled ones are actually slightly nicer than the air-conditioned ones, and have terra cotta–style floors and traditional blankets on the beds. All have vaulted bamboo ceilings and porches. Unlike the US$8 rooms at Thai Hoa next door, you get a nice small pool, and nicer bamboo umbrellas and lounge chairs on the beach. Rooms look onto a lawn with a gazebo fooseball. Hard to justify cost of seaside rooms (US$40 & US$45), but the US$18 is good.
Tel 062-847-801;; Km 2, Ham Tien; rooms with fan US$18, rooms with AC US$25, rooms by pool/beach US$40/45

It’s a skinny spot, with just five stone cottages back-to-back along the narrow path to the water. All have terra-cotta floors, summer-camp bedspreads, and a small porch. It’s a bit plainish — not dreamy really – but a good deal for the buck. The sitting area by the front – with seats and billiards (and seven puppies at last count) – is bigger than you’d expect for such a teensy place.
Tel 062-847-271; 74 Nguyen Dinh Chieu St; rooms US$20 & US$25

The simple Nhan Hoa makes no promises it can’t keep – no fancy landscaping at the front gate with disappointingly simple rooms inside. The friendly 31-room guesthouse is what you see – clean, basic, boxy tile-floor rooms in a thicket of palms on the beach, midway between Thai Hoa and the main strip. The US$12 rooms are fine deals, with little balconies overlooking a small pool. Others aren’t really worth the extra. All have AC and TV.
Tel 062-847-371; 128 Nguyen Dinh Chieu St, Km 15; rooms US$12, US$20 & US$27

A rare cheapie amidst the mid-range hotels and roadside eateries, Bao Quynh’s beachfront is, alas, angled and small, and the bungalows lack much ambience inside the nice porches. But gosh it’s cheap, very clean, staff are sweet, there’s a pool and there’s caged birds that (per staff’s reassurances) ‘don’t bite – they’re caged.’ Free breakfast. Opened in 2004.
Tel 062-741-007;; 26 Nguyen Dinh Chieu St; rooms US$19-25, bungalows US$28-$35

A back-up budget choice, the Rach Dua is next to Wax beach club. Has 26 simple, jungle-style bungalows with AC and a pool.
Tel 062-847-001; 68 Nguyen Dinh Chieu St; rooms US$20 & US$25

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