Picture the scene. You have just emerged relatively unscathed from a most uncomfortable journey in a jeep where you have been accompanied by 31 other souls (I counted them), assorted poultry and what appeared like half the GDP of the country. You have survived a trip across one of the great rivers of the world on a "car ferry" that is three boats lashed together and apparently held together by very little more than a few dodgy spot welds and the power of prayer. You emerge, slightly stunned at the far side to be greeted by an unusually rotund Lao man, with his T-shirt tied up crop top style exposing his ample belly. He approaches you and speaks in reasonably good English but prefaces every sentence with a semi-maniacal laugh that hints at some sort of complete lunacy.
Bowing to the peer pressure of your fellow travellers (not something I am generally prone to), you listen to his blandishments of "good room, hot water, good price, nice view etc." and he takes you off through a totally unknown town and drives straight into the front of a building. I don't mean he drove into a wall or anything but he parked the thing inside. To say this place looked like a semi-derelict junk shop would be to do it a favour. His next move is to usher you down a narrow alleyway that looks like it harbours all sorts of unseen menace and certainly best avoided after dark, even for a large man like myself. Here's the test. At this point, what do you do? Grab your stuff and run screaming? If you did, and I wouldn't have blamed you, you would be doing yourself a great disservice as this is one of the many great little backpacker places in Lao.
Let me take you through it slowly. He is obviously tipped off by the jeep drivers or boatmen when there are travellers coming. He meets you at the port because his place, which is one of not too many, is a bit of a hike from the port. He laughs in that odd way because he seems to be one of the jolliest men I have ever met, he really is just permanently happy. I am reasonably adept at reading people, and if this is an act, the man should be on the stage. Why the front of the place is in such disarray is anyone's guess, maybe he just likes it that way, but he runs an extremely efficient operation from the apparent chaos there. I wanted a scooter no problem and none of the form-filling and passport depositing normally associated with that activity here. He wheeled out the bike, gave me the keys, told me not to bother filling it up again, gave me a helmet and told me to drive slowly in town.
Down to the basics. The fan room was en-suite with hot water and spotlessly clean if basic. There are a range of options available to suit all pockets. My room was 40,000 kip. Note that there is a 1,000 kip price rise during the Wat Phou festival, which had just finished. To the rear of the premises is the restaurant / communal area which has pleasant river views and the food is good (see seperate tip). To be honest, apart from the noodle shops which all seem to close very early, this appears to be one of the few eating options in town. The only slight downside are the legions of insects that seem to inhabit the banks of the Mekong all along it's length.
I wanted to go to Don Det the next day and gave him the appropriate amount. We were having such a laugh at the time he forgot to give me a ticket, as much my fault as his. The next day, after re-crossing the river, I discovered this omission somewhat to my chagrin. I had a word with the boatman who had brought us across. He whipped a mobile (cell) 'phone out of the pocket of his ragged shorts, called the proprieter and I was put on to explain what the problem was. Problem, what problem? The minibus driver was his son, and the thing was sorted in about two minutes flat. That is just the way Lao works. If this seems like a bit of a rambling way to construct a tip for a guesthouse, I apologise but these things are all part and parcel of staying at a place, and I can only relate my own experiences.
Don't judge the book by it's cover, this place is worth staying at.
Hard to know where to begin. That this place is unique is undoubted, I suppose you should read the main text of the tip for the full story.
This guesthouse offers clean rooms and good facilities together with great view of Mekong river.The room rate are :
-Single room with fan and share bathroom for 15,000 kip
-Double room with fan and share bathroom for 15,000 kip
-Double room with fan and private bathroom for 25,000 kip
-Double room with air-con,fridge and private bathroom for 100,000 kip /400 bahts
I 've checked some rooms and chose to stayed in the last price,the room was not so big but ok. For room with fan, all 're in old wooden house and they have a public terrace with great view of Mae Khong.
The guesthouse offer a big balcony and restaurant with great view of Mekong river.
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