Chiang Saen doesn't offer a huge choice of places to stay. It's a small town, with relatively few overnight visitors, but it does nonetheless have some good options covering just about all budgets. From the cosy homestay-style guesthouse Tata, through a series of midrange, motelish-style places, and up to luxury Mekong side resorts, there'll be something for most style of traveller.
Options are rather scattered around town: down the back streets, out near the Bangkok bus stop, and along the waterfront, so it’s a good idea to clearly work out where you’re staying beforehand to save a lot of wandering around. The old Chiang Saen Guesthouse has definitely seen better days but we’ve included it, partly for old time’s sake, and partly for those who insist on staying somewhere with guesthouse in the name.
Set in a lush, well-tended garden with unobstructed views of the Mekong River, Gin’s Maekhong View Resort is a wonderful spot. With an out of town location it’s peaceful too, but the old town’s north gate is just down the road and Chiang Saen town centre is a mere 10 minutes’ walk away. Garden setting and Mekong backdrop. The resort is a fair deal at any time of year — if this was in... Read our full review of Gin’s Maekhong View Resort and Spa.
We can imagine this garden-style resort was popular when it was first built. Chalets are set in a very nice, large garden; the location is downtown but the place lends an impression of being out in the country, and there's even a swimming pool. The garden and pool still appear well maintained, while staff are friendly. The newer looking air-con rooms in a two-storey block are fine but the chalets... Read our full review of Golden Land Resort.
While nothing particularly special, cheap and cheerful J. Nine offers clean rooms at good prices and is in a convenient location; it gets our vote out of a few similar places dotted around town. It’s the typical kind of local motel-ish layout: a couple of blocks, one single and the other two-storey, on either side of a carpark with a cafe area at the far end. Morning tea and coffee is included... Read our full review of J. Nine.
This spanking new site down the southern section of Sai 1 is the top end when it comes to Chiang Saen’s motel-style, park and sleep, Thai commercial traveller range. It offers clean and comfortable rooms in a two-storey, freshly painted white building. Set around 200 metres off the main drag, the L-shaped building forms two sides of a small carpark. It’s not a large hotel, with only a dozen... Read our full review of Tararin.
Somewhere between a homestay and a guesthouse, Tata is an old wooden house with four ground floor rooms for rent at budget rates. It’s a ramshackle affair, with a cluttered front yard, where the friendly elderly owners seemed to be knocking up some noodles and coffees for passers-by when we stopped by. While not exactly a professional guesthouse set up, accommodation is in individual rooms, so... Read our full review of Tata Homestay.
The only riverfront guesthouse in central Chiang Saen is this longrunning joint, which is decidedly tired around the edges. Fewer backpackers come to Chiang Saen these days, and it’s sadly slid down hill from its 1990s heyday. The garden and exterior are in desperate need of a bit of TLC while you can’t even enter reception as it’s blocked off by the owner’s collection of aggressive pet... Read our full review of Chiang Saen Guesthouse.