Clean and simple
73/11 Chaofa West Road, Chalong, Phuket T: (076) 281 325, (076) 280 103
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Found in a white four-storey house a few kilometres north of Chalong Pier, Na Na Chart Phuket hostel is a clean and simple place ideal for budget-minded travellers to Phuket looking to make their base in Ao Chalong.
In an area that has mostly flashpacker to mid-range accommodation, Na Na Chart Phuket is a notable exception. Set back from the busy four-lane Chaofa West Road that connects Chalong to Phuket Town, the hostel (formerly named Phuket International Youth Hostel) is surprisingly peaceful with a large back garden area to relax in. A common area on the ground floor offers some lounge and dining seating and a small TV, which appears to be used mostly by the staff.
All the rooms are upstairs over three levels, with a mix of standard fan rooms with two single beds to a three-bed room with air-con, plus a seven-bed dormitory. Each level has a shared bathroom with two showers. The showers are found in the same cubicles as the toilets, making for a convenient yet soggy way to do all your bathroom business in one location. Some showers have hot water, some don’t.
On our visit in January 2014, we were given rates of 150 baht per bed for the seven-bed dorm, 400 baht for the standard two-bed fan room and 750 baht for the air-con three-bed room, breakfast included, and were told these rates remained the same throughout the year. We found slightly better rates online at Agoda.
The rooms are sparsely furnished with only metal-frame beds and wooden wardrobes, and are almost aggressively cheerful with the walls splashed in bright pink, blue or green shades. Guest lockers are found at the reception area, and free WiFi is available throughout.
The reception desk is open all day till about 22:00 and there’s a phone number provided for after-hours service. Staff here can arrange tours and transport. The house maid who showed us around was friendly enough but had a wry, no-nonsense edge — this might put some people off but we found it entertaining.
Here’s a small exchange we had as we looked at the two-bed standard room:
* “Could we please have a look at some other rooms?” “They’re all like this one.”
* “May we take a photo of the room?” “No. You can see photos on our website.”
* “How many rooms are there here at the hostel?” “I don’t know. I just clean the rooms, I don’t count them.”
Fair enough, perhaps she’s had too many travel bloggers tromping through lately. And we can’t fault her focus on the cleaning since the bathrooms and tile floors were spotless.
Na Na Chart’s location is nothing to write home about, but it’s convenient for local sightseeing to nearby Wat Chalong and the Big Buddha, as well as for those planning diving or island-hopping boat trips launching from Chalong Pier.
There’s not much within easy walking distance aside from a German sausage shop next door and few ho-hum local rice and noodle stands, so you’ll need to arrange transport or hire a car or motorbike to get around. You could also catch the blue songthaew buses that run between Phuket Town and Ao Chalong, Kata-Karon beaches and Nai Harn beach along Chaofa West Road, but these run in daytime hours only.
If you’re looking to upgrade to a flashier budget option in the Ao Chalong area, Shanti Lodge is just a few hundred metres away. It’s worth visiting for its excellent restaurant, even if you don’t stay there.
Na Na Chart Phuket is one of a chain of budget hostels licensed by the Thailand Youth Hostel Association, with other Na Na Chart branches found in Bangkok, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chiang Mai and elsewhere around Thailand. If you pick up a brochure at the hostel, you’ll find a discount coupon that offers 15 per cent off the regular price for all the hostels in the chain.
By Lana Willocks
Last updated on 3rd February, 2016.