True riverside bungalows, unobstructed view
Ban Lao Sunset Guesthouse is one of the few budget accommodation in Nong Kiaow with true riverfront bungalows and unobstructed view.
That means no looking at the back of another guesthouse or bungalows positioned at a weird angle to get a slice of sightline to the river. The stilted bungalows at Ban Lao Sunset Guesthouse cantilever along the riverbanks and the location is terrific.
The bungalows are simple but this isn’t your average shack—expect solid wooden floor boards, thatch walls and a proper roof. They’re equipped with a mosquito net, fan, window, bedside table and a basic private tile and concrete bathroom with electric heated shower. Bungalows are either individual or in blocks of two. All have a porch with hammock, an increasingly rare treat since people appear to have stopped building bungalows in favour of modern buildings.
Speaking of modern buildings, Ban Lao Sunset Guesthouse have added their own, a building block that sits behind the bungalows. Though many will find nighttime temperatures in Nong Kiaow tolerable without air-con, if you need it than this is one of the few non-high end hotels to offer it. The building is typical new guesthouse, comfort over charm. Rooms have an overhead rotating fan, bedside table and plug, a hot water bathroom with a separate shower area so the whole bathroom doesn’t get wet. There’s also a balcony with chair. Rooms 201, 202 and 101 have a river view, otherwise you’re looking at the back of the bungalows and restaurant. You do pay a premium for the air-con. If you don’t care about air-con and seeing the scenery from the room, Meexai Guesthouse just behind is half the price and almost as comfortable.
True to the name, guests will see sunset on this side and their onsite restaurant terrace, which is where bungalow guests can get WiFi, is one of the best places in town to catch it. Of course, you need not be staying here to enjoy the restaurant, it’s an added bonus all the same.
In terms of staff, it seems to be a one man and one woman show, and the friendly proprietor speaks English and French and is a great source for local information. This place is more expensive and would be a splurge for budget travellers. It’s all about that Nam Ou view.
Address: Ban Sophoun
T: (071) 810 033; (020) 5557 1033;
Coordinates (for GPS): 102º36'58.02" E, 20º34'9.36" 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.
|Bungalow fan private bathroom||150,000 kip||250,000 kip|
|Dbl air-con private bathroom||200,000 kip||300,000 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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