I'm in Chiang Mai at the moment and getting the slow boat to Luang Prabang with my girlfriend on Thursday. I know its a bit late to post this but could anyone recommend a place to stay in Pakbeng that doesnt invove sharing with rats etc as I've heard a few horror stories! If you could give directions for running off the boat too it would be great, thanks!!
#1 Drapes1 has been a member since 13/1/2010. Posts: 7
best map of Pak Beng i've seen: http://hobomaps.com/pakbeng.htm
most accomm is along the asphalt road leading uphill.
no idea what's your budget. stayed in Monsavan GH when it was newly rebuilt in 2006, was 80,000kip/double back then but heard that rates have doubled since. Phetsokxai is further up the scale (last heard in USD20 range) of good places. many new places in Pak Beng that aren't in abovementioned map/guidebooks/websites, & quite a few old places have been renovated/rebuilt, so guidebook reviews can be way outdated.
to avoid rats i'd look for a GH with the most cats :P seriously i'd look for a place that looks newish/well-maintained, & check the room before i hand over any $. concrete is harder than bamboo/wood for rats to chew through. seal up (airtight) all edibles & rats (& roaches) won't have any incentive to visit you & your belongings.
I'm getting worried, are rats really a problem in hotels in Laos? What's the minimum price to pay for at least having minimum chances of sleeping with rats? 15 dolars?
Hoping for good news!
#3 Indoluso has been a member since 22/12/2009. Posts: 133
Pakbeng hotels had a rep for rats a long time ago because everything was so new and the bungaloes were made of bamboo.
Now most places on the main drag are concrete and owned by families who have cats and dogs and all that.
Pakbeng is a midrange tourist gheto the same as anywhere.
#3 I hate rats. In all my years in SEAsia I've only experienced them once in a hotel right next to a bus station in Bankok owned by an ethnicity that wasn't Chinese or Thai. Laos has very nice clean private rooms with en suite bath for $3 off the tourist track. For twice that you even get hot water.
It's reasuring to know that an experienced traveller has only encountered rats once! That's better than good news!
From your personal experience, what's the minimum average price of a clean place with no rats nor cockroaches, nor bedbugs, private bathroom... around SE Asia? 5$ - 10$
Am I aiming to high?
#5 Indoluso has been a member since 22/12/2009. Posts: 133
I don't know. I'm not very traveled or even touristed. For the last 13 years only Thailand, Laos and Yunnan, and even then only sporadicaly.
No place should have any cockroaches or rats or bedbugs. I usually shoot for localy owned. Thai or Lao first choice and back in the day when I got around more, Chinese owned was a good safe choice, especially old Chinese.
Except for big cities I'd think you can find a room for $10 but again, price shouldn't be a factor in looking for clean and safe. Any decent guest house should provide both. Beaches are pricey as are any big tourist draw, world heritage thingies.
Look and see where the Asians are staying, they always like clean and value. The most popular backpacker place is usually worth avoiding. Too busy, not enough time to clean properly, staff is overworked.
Hi guys thanks for all the responses, unfortunately I didnt get a chance to read them before Pakbeng but it all worked out okay! I was actually very pleasantly surprised, we stayed in the Donvilasak guest house, we managed to book it through our hostel in Chiang Kong for 400 baht so that took the pressure off, and when we arrived there was a little Laos guy there with a sign and he took us up to the place (while offering us weed at least 3 times!). The rooms were perfectly fine and some of the restaurants were actually pretty good too so all in all it was a pleasant surprise and a good place to stopover. The guy in the restaurant also said that the village is now on the Luang Prabang electricity grid so they have electricity all the time now.
#7 Drapes1 has been a member since 13/1/2010. Posts: 7
Thanks for the advices Somsai!
Glad to hear about those good news!
#8 Indoluso has been a member since 22/12/2009. Posts: 133