Looking for that riverside bungalow? Saylom Guesthouse fits the bill and it’s right at the top of the stairs from the boat landing.
The property does get a fair amount of walk-ins based on location alone. When the boat arrives, the owner, who speaks some English and French, says hello to potential guests as they reach the top of the steps and that’s as pushy as it gets in Muang Ngoi. Luckily, the wooden fan-cooled bungalows are worth considering as they are clean and tidy. A good indication of this is the bedside table, which is neatly stocked with bottled water, toilet paper, air-freshener, rolled towels, an ashtray and bars of soap.
Our bungalow had a king sized bed—something couples or tall solo travellers will definitely appreciate—topped with clean white cotton linens and a mosquito net. A front window lets in some fresh air and natural light, and the light bulb is brighter than those usually found in the average Lao wood bungalow. The bathroom is enormous and also clean, with electric heated shower of mediocre pressure and Western toilet. Everything in our room functioned well—well, except for the WiFi, which is not unusual for Muang Ngoi.
To seal the deal, the front porch (either concrete or wood, depending on which bungalow you get) has a hammock, clothesline and partial view of the river. Hopefully you’ll have time to enjoy both. Many tourists only stay one night, which is why the check out time is strictly 10:00, booting guests out so they can turnaround the room for the next batch of arrivals.
Nicksa’s Place, located closer to the end of the main street, has a far superior view, an attached restaurant and is slightly cheaper. Lattanavongsa Guesthouse, which is also close to the boat landing stairs, is better value since it offers more privacy, green space and excellent gas-fuelled hot showers. For a solidly built bricks and mortar room, head to Lerdkeo Guesthouse. However, Saylom Guesthouse does make a decent case for throwing down the pack at the first accommodation you come across so you can start relaxing, which is at the top of the list of priorities in Muang Ngoi.
Address: At the top of the boat landing stairs, immediately on the righthand side
T: (071) 2243 0931;
Coordinates (for GPS): 102º40'26.51" E, 20º42'37.56" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: Under US$10
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Bungalow fan private bathroom||100,000 kip||100,000 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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