Airbnb is huge and continues to grow at a massive rate.
It’s particularly big in Asia in countries such as Thailand and Vietnam, probably due to the lack of regulation there allowing locals to let whatever they like. This doesn’t mean bad quality accommodation however. There are lots of rooms to choose from as the market heats up and becomes more competitive.
I’ve used Airbnb in many countries in Asia and find that the quality of rooms on offer continues to grow rapidly. I tend to find that it varies from being slightly cheaper than a hotel to a lot cheaper depending on which part of Asia you’re in.
When traveling around Vietnam and Asia I tend to chose Airbnb over traditional hotels most of the time now. I find that having an apartment (condo) style place to stay often with a kitchen is preferable to a hotel room, especially as I like to cook my own food.
I still conduct the basic checks such as asking the owner if the apartment is ‘girl friendly’ and of course checking that I won’t be put into a room next to 92 year old uncle Nguyen for two weeks.
Airbnb has taken over Thailand and if you do a quick search for Bangkok on Airbnb you’ll notice that there are hundreds of nice condos available for around $30 per night complete with pool and gym. Stretch the budget a little more up to $50 a night and you’ll get something very central and of high quality. Compare this to countries like the Philippines where hotel and room places are a lot higher.
During my recent stay in Bangkok I got a reasonably central condo for $28 a night. Ok the bed was hard but apart form that the stay was very pleasant. In fact I didn’t even meet the owner, they just left the keys with the security guy downstairs for me to collect and return. Easy.
Thailand really shines with its accommodation and is still a lot better than Vietnam especially in the Airbnb department. Vietnam however does have cheaper hotels and you can pick up a decent room for $15 in District one, Ho Chi Minh city easily. You’d find getting a decent room this cheap more difficult in the centre of Bangkok.
The one issue with Airbnb is that you don’t get usually get any meals provided with your stay. I personally don’t find this an issue as i like to cook and Asia has some great cheap eats normally right on your doorstep wherever you are.
Vietnam is slightly lacking in decent Airbnb options but the market is growing rapidly.
I usually always find something acceptable after browsing the listings for a few minutes. A lot of Airbnb vendors will let you rent a place for a month or longer, often with a 50% discount for stays over two weeks. This can be a good option, as you will probably have bills included in this as well. I still think that for stays longer than a month it’s better to get an apartment however for shorter stays and flexibility Airbnb can’t be beaten.