Central location, charming rooms
The Smile is our favourite of the four similar budget guesthouses set in shophouses where Khong Kha Rd meets Uttarakit, within a stone’s throw of Chao Fah pier and downtown.
All rooms come with moveable fans (no air-con here) and, while spartan, are pleasant and clean. Screened windows that span the lengths of the walls in many rooms are a big advantage. The 300-baht room with shared cold-water bath that we checked out also had a soft bed and framed photos of children splashing in the surf. Great for a small group of backpackers, a spacious and very good-value room on the top floor comes with mattresses on the floor, private hot-water bathroom, loads of natural light and grass mats with cushions. The woman in charge is very friendly and offers guests a couple of chill spaces, including a rooftop with views over the river. If Smile is full (it often is), Nailin Guesthouse offers similarly cheap and simple fan rooms next door. You could also hop across the street and give the tiny Khong Kha Inn a try, or head over to I Talay or Number 7.
By David Luekens
Last updated on 30th April, 2015.