Traveling to Laos from Thailand, we find that most things, especially foods and transportation are much more expansive there. It is not easy to find a decent cheap room as well but we did and hence would like to share the information with you guys.
As budget travelers, we understand that accommodation can take a huge chunk on traveling budget and paying too much for a room to just sleep and rest after a long day out is such a pain.
These are the rooms that we personally stayed in so we can vouch for it. There are others with similar prices but we wont add it here cause we are not entirely sure how the place is.
1. Chindamay Guesthouse, Vientiane
This one came in-front of our eyes just at the right moment. We didn’t book any room prior to traveling because we thought lets be adventures. When we got to the Central bus station in Vientiane and the tuk-tuk driver asked for 40,000kip ($5) to get to the city centre, our moods turned sour. As we are not familiar with Vientiane and have been on the road for almost 24hours by then, we gave it. We checked earlier about the backpackers area and asked the tuk-tuk driver to drop us off at Sihom Street. Luckily there are many guesthouses there but unfortunately they are all ridiculously expansive, especially for backpackers standard! One staff at Dream Hostel told us that 160,000kip ($20) is a standard price for a double room in Vientiane and maybe the cheapest you can find. We were like f**k it, that cant be true and brace ourselves to walk further down the street. Thank God we have downsized our backpacks to a carry-on ones. Or else, die.
At the end of Sihom Street, there stood Chindamay Guesthouse. Naz remembered reading good review about this guesthouse online so we were so excited seeing the building that we almost burst into tears. We went in, asked for a double room with fan and private bathroom with hot shower – and the staff at the counter said yes, it is available. We thanked the Universe. We asked if we could see the room first and Ching (the staff) gave us keys for 3 rooms so we can choose whichever one we like. We feel in love with him right away.
We chose a room on the 3rd floor. Nice and breezy and okay internet connection. One thing though, they do not have a lift so you gonna have to climb up all those stairs to get to your room, but it is not that bad. Good exercise.
The room costs us $8.50 a night.
2. Keosimoon Guesthouse, Vang Vieng
This is a gem, tucked in the quieter part of Vang Vieng but not that far away from the madness. For $8 a night, we got our own freaking chalet yo! Comes with a double bed, fan and private bathroom with hot shower. The owner are Siphan and his wife, Gail. Siphan practically built the guesthouse by his bare hands. He is helped by his wife Gail, who is in charged of housekeeping, making sure the place is clean and tidy. Their 2 teenage sons also helped around whenever needed.
Keosimoon is about 10mins walk from the main centre of Vang Vieng and it is a nice relax walk on the main road. And if you walk 2mins towards the back of the guesthouse you would reach a magical land. The riverside surrounded by green mountains as far as your eyes can see. The place is an absolute beauty. We could just lay down on the river rocks and stare at the clouds and mountains all day.
$8 a night for a chalet, we cannot emphasise that enough.
3. Symsomphone Guesthouse, Luang Prabang
This one is the most expansive we paid in Laos, but then Luang Prabang being a UNESCO Heritage City, is all very touristy. Very posh, very French with it many colonial buildings in the city centre. But it is also very picturesque, surrounded by river on both sides of the city. Luang Prabang nestled at the confluence of Mekong River and Nam Khan river.
Symsomphone is just by the river, on a small quirky lane full of guesthouses. It takes about 10-15mins walk to the posher area of town and the night market (where it is possible to find cheap foods)
With $10 a night, we got a double room with fan and separate bathroom with hot shower. It is not a good deal compared to the rooms in Vientiane and Vang Vieng but again as mentioned earlier, Luang Prabang is on the pricey side. Though the room is okay, but the guesthouse has relatively fast internet, free bananas and free black tea for you to consume day in day out, so it is not that bad.
Run by Papa and Mama Somphone, with help from their son, daughters and son-in-law. Yeap, it is a family affairs.
$10 a night + free bananas