There’s some excellent budget accommodation available and one mid-market lodge. Most guesthouses operate on a first come, first serve basis. It’s a laidback locale, the kind of place you plan to spend a day but end up staying much longer.
French-owned Fandee Guesthouse is another Tad Lo top budget pick. Lined up in rows, the simple wooden bungalows are standalone structures and each come with a window, hot water shower, front porch and hammock, this in addition to the backpacker basics (bed, mosquito net, fan). While everything remains quite natural and rustic, flair has been added in the form of colourful polkadot bed sheets,... Read our full review of Fandee Guesthouse.
Palamei is a popular budget guesthouse, no doubt because of the caring family who own it, the cheap comfortable rooms and nightly family-style feast. Rooms with shared bathroom are basic, weathered affairs. Paying a little extra definitely delivers an upgrade as these rooms are newer and have a private bathroom which is well-lit and spacious, so large it has a partitioned off shower area, hot... Read our full review of Palamei Guesthouse.
Riverfront bungalows are a staple in Laos and Sailomyen fulfils this need in Tad Lo. Rustic huts dot the riverbanks and are built on stilts with a wooden platform and bamboo thatch walls. The inside is tidy and has a sturdy bed with built in shelf, an extra side table, fan, mosquito net, an electrical outlet, light and a balcony with the requisite hammock. It's really this balcony you... Read our full review of Sailomyen Guesthouse.
Tad Lo Lodge is the best accommodation in town, especially now that Saise Resort has gone downhill—it’s solidly mid-market, comfortable yet by no means luxurious with rustic bungalows that feel like cottages. The cottages dot an expansive leafy property, the shade from the many trees providing a respite from the heat but it can also make the interiors feel a bit dark. Cream and natural... Read our full review of Tadlo Lodge.
Mama Pap is by far the cheapest place to sleep in Tad Lo—the dorm with the queen size mattress is priced per bed, not per person, however, you do get what you pay for. On the upper floor of the family home, one large communal room with a raised roof has a row of mattresses on the floor. Colourful floral curtains divide each for privacy. It’s ultra basic—mattress, mosquito net—and... Read our full review of Mama Pap Homestay.
The Travelfish newsletter is sent out every Monday and is jammed full of free advice for travel in Southeast Asia. You can see past issues here.