Sam Neua’s finest
In a bigger town, Xayphasouk Hotel would be a forgettable, bland local hotel. In Sam Neua, however, it represents the town’s finest offering. It’s where all the government officials and dignitaries would stay when they roll in for those important meetings.
That being said, don’t expect much as it is quite modest, a nondescript modern building on the slope down from the bus station, just before the big roundabout. Like all accommodation in town, it is sterile and lacking in charm except for the effort made with the row of potted plants at the entrance.
The three storey building is relatively new and features a ground floor lobby/restaurant space with floor to ceiling windows. Upstairs are the spacious rooms of white walls, tile floor, windows and solid wood furniture. It’s all very straightforward and generic. There’s a bedside table and plug, a desk, mini fridge, kettle, small wall-mounted flatscreen satellite TV and WiFi. When we inspected in 2018, the white cotton bed linens looked clean, while decorative pillows and a handwoven bed runner spruced things up. Another positive is the bathroom—the room we saw had an enormous one meaning not everything had to get wet. It was kitted with a sturdy looking hot water heater, a towel rack and sink with a countertop. Frosted windows allowed in some natural light.
There’s no question that budget conscious travellers should pass on Xayphasouk in favour of a far cheaper guesthouse like Phasouk or Bounhome. Those seeking more of a hotel-style room, in Sam Neua the choice is limited to Xayphasouk or Chantong. Xayphasouk’s proximity to the bus station is convenient for travellers simply passing through town for a night. And for those who need coffee in the morning, having Yuni Coffee next door is a definite perk. Chantong is cheaper but requires an additional 800 metre walk from the roundabout.
Address: Beside Yuni Coffee, off roundabout in the direction of bus station
Coordinates (for GPS): 104º2'53.82" E, 20º24'44.82" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: US$10 to 20
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Dbl air-con private bathroom||200,000 kip||200,000 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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