Budget-friendly garden bungalows
The four semi-detached wooden bungalows at Phonevilai Guesthouse are set around a private green garden.
The rooms are a mix of old and new, are massive and some have two double beds and a curtained front wall of glass that allows in a generous amount of natural light. Rooms have a solid roof, fan, mosquito nets over the bed, bedside lamp and plug, WiFi and a front porch with a hammock.
No longer the new kid on the block, Phonevilai is showing its age a bit, most obviously in the bathroom as we spied mildewed tiles. On the upside, the bathrooms do have hot water shower, a Western toilet and the shower area is partitioned so that not everything gets wet, a rarity for budget accommodation in Laos. Phonevilai is also one of the few places we saw that didn’t provide a top sheet or have a duvet cover—we assume you could ask for another sheet if you wanted one.
Though the property is on the riverside, there is no river view from the rooms. It’s a pity because at least the last bungalow of the row could have been turned around to face the mountains and river. All of the buildings line a pleasant patch of lawn with some garden, table, chairs and bomb shells-turned-garden art. Unfortunately, in 2018 the bungalows also faced a half built set of rooms that were an eyesore and it seemed like the project had been paused indefinitely.
The newer bungalows in Muang Ngoi outshine Phonevilai. Lerdkeo’s bunglows are not wooden, and same priced Nicksa’s Place has a great view. The selling point is that Phonevilai is one of the cheapest in town and those on a tight budget will find it fine for a night or two. To find it, at the top of the boat landing stairs head right, walking down the main street for 100 metres.
Address: 100 m from boat landing, turn right at top of stairs
T: (020) 2386 3740;
Coordinates (for GPS): 102º40'27.87" E, 20º42'34.65" 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|
50,000 kip for a single
|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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