Located in the cluster of budget accommodation just off of Sam Neua’s main roundabout, Phasouk Guesthouse offers excellent value and is one of the most popular places with backpackers as they roll into town.
Phasouk is set in a three storey building with big echoey hallways and modestly sized rooms that have tile floors and solid walls. Though the rooms show some wear and tear, they are comfortable and equipped with a table and chair, box TV, bedside electrical outlet and hooks on the wall. The bed has enough space to walk on either side and is topped with cotton linens (including a duvet cover) and an extra thick blanket for cold nights. Towels are threadbare but clean. Windows have insect screens and curtains. Rooms at the front will boast more natural light since windows are on two walls—and therefore will have more rooster noise in the morning. In room WiFi depends upon the proximity to the router. Each floor has a front balcony with a clothesline guests can make use of.
The private wetroom bathroom is on the small side, which means almost showering over the toilet, something you’ll quickly forget once that blissfully hot, strong shower gets going. Sam Neua is one of the few places in Laos we’ve seen where robust water heaters are standard for budget accommodation—no small electric heater in this bathroom. Guests can enjoy a solid 10 minutes of hot water before it fades to cold and needs time to refill. Incredibly, there’s even hot water available at the sink.
On our favourite topic of hot water, the lobby, which doubles as the family’s living room, has the biggest supply of hot drinking water we’ve ever seen. There’s dispensers and thermoses galore, and the family is happy for guests to take one to the room. In Sam Neua from October to March, it can be difficult to get warm and all the buildings seem built to actually retain the cold like an ice box. But at Phasouk, the inexpensive room rate, free cups of tea and touches like daily housekeeping are enough to give budget travellers a warm feeling, despite no English being spoken.
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Dbl fan private bathroom||70,000 kip||70,000 kip|
Cindy Fan is a Canadian writer/photographer and author of So Many Miles, a website that chronicles the love of adventure, food and culture. After falling in love with sticky rice and Mekong sunsets, in 2011 she uprooted her life in Toronto to live la vida Laos. She’s travelled to over 40 countries and harbours a deep affection for Africa and Southeast Asia. In between jaunts around the world, she calls Laos and Vietnam home where you’ll find her traipsing through rice paddies, standing beside broken-down buses and in villages laughing with the locals.
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