Though Pham Ngu Lao is technical only one street, the name normally refer to the whole backpacker ghetto area southeast of Pham Ngu Lao street. When independent travelling was slowly picking up in Vietnam, residences in the Pham Ngu Lao neighborhood were renting out cheap room illegally. Today the block constrained by the streets Pham Ngu Lao, Bui Vien, Hem 28 Bui Vien and Do Quang Dau is chockablock with cheap hotels, cafes, tour agents, counterfeit DVD venders, fake outdoor equipment shops, bars and persistent photocopied-books sellers. Every night confused backpackers get dropped off here by the many open tours and buses from Cambodia, but it only takes a moment to feel at home here among gangsters, hustlers, and friends. It is a vibrant madness with a strong flavor of Vietnam, which is only outdone by Khao San in Bangkok and maybe Kuta Beach in Bali in terms of backpacker density.