Most popular backpacker option
Soe Brothers is Hpa-an’s most popular backpacker pick.
It has a pleasantly turned out interior, with clean and well maintained rooms and communal bathrooms.
The set up of Soe Brothers begins with a cramped reception run by a helpful old Burmese gentleman and where every inch of wall space is coated with maps, bus timetables and print-outs of day-tour itineraries. It bears more than a passing resemblance to that of neighbouring Mawlamyine’s Breeze Guesthouse.
The rooms have varnished wood clad walls and scrubbed tile floors, and though they do lack decor and some of the bathroom-less options can be pretty pokey, what can you expect when rates start at $7? Rooms go from fan with shared bathroom -- a good option if you’re on a tight budget -- up to flashier air-con, ensuite bathroom options with balconies. The former are clean and represent the cheapest deal in town, but as the $25 air-con choice doesn’t include breakfast we think there are better deals around town. What passes for a lobby is located on the first floor, up a narrow flight of stairs, while communal bathrooms are located back down a rear flight of narrow stairs which makes heading for a pee in the middle of the night a hassle.
Soe Brothers’ location is good, directly opposite the town police station on the corner of Zay Tan and Thit Sar Streets and just a stone’s throw from the old market. Being so close to the market means early mornings can get rather noisy so light sleepers shouldn’t forget ear plugs. The communal areas are a small sitting room on the first floor and a balcony on the second. They have a fridge for cold drinks and while no breakfast is included the Shwe Thadar tea shop next door knocks up a good cheap breakfast, even if their coffee is limited to 3-in-1.
Soe’s run the cheapest day tours in town as well as organising bicycle and motorbike hire for 2,000 and 6,000 kyat per day respectively. Tours can get very busy in high season. Bus tickets are generally priced slightly lower here than at other hotels and guesthouses -- of course you don’t need to stay here to buy a ticket or tour.
Soe Brothers have opened a second location which they say will concentrate on the flashpacker market, so expect air-con rooms with ensuite bathrooms.
Address: 2/146 Thit Sar St, Hpa-an
T: (058) 21372, (094) 771 823, (094) 500 0850;
Coordinates (for GPS): 97º38'1.72" E, 16º53'25.82" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: Under US$20
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Sgl fan share bathroom||US$7||US$7|
|Dbl fan share bathroom|
|Dbl air-con share bathroom||US$16||US$16|
|Dbl air-con private bathroom|
$25 with balcony.
Based in Chiang Mai, Mark Ord has been travelling Southeast Asia for over two decades and first crossed paths with Travelfish on Ko Lipe in the early 1990s.
Our top 10 places to stay in and around Hpa-an