Though conveniently close to the boat landing and on the same side of the river as the bus station, Sengdao Chittavong is often overlooked as backpackers immediately head across the bridge to the main cluster of accommodation. Well pause for a second, because this guesthouse offers oodles more space and overall represents good value.
Unlike the claustrophobic mosaic of buildings found at Sunrise Guesthouse directly across the river, Sengdao has a spacious plot of flat land, a tidy lawn and garden interspersed with bungalows that are set far enough from the road so that traffic noise is not an issue.
There’s a choice of bamboo, wooden or concrete, the latter is at the river and has TV and air-con. As for the bamboo and wooden bungalows, some face the river, some back onto the back of house which is also home to some noisy roosters, some are off in the trees—you really have to just show up and choose what floats your boat from what’s available. Some are in significantly better condition than others and if you are picky about bathrooms, it’s worth looking at a few rooms. One we saw was fine, another was looking very tired.
You may assume that the concrete riverfront bungalows would be the first choice, but we’re baffled why they didn’t build it with a balcony. Instead, they’ve opted for almost floor to ceiling bay windows and stuck the entrance to the side with nowhere to sit outside. Sure, the view from inside is pleasant but somewhere to sit al fresco would have made such a difference.
Instead, we prefer the bungalows and at the price point, budget travellers will probably feel the same. They are set back from the river and there is no grand view, however, they are more in tune with the relaxed natural surrounds. The bamboo and wooden bungalows have a porch, electricity and fan.
The interior is simple and tidy, the space warmed up by bamboo thatch/wood and light from the window. Beds have mosquito nets, there’s table and a chair, while the basic tile and concrete bathroom has an electric heated shower and western toilet. A towel is provided.
Like almost every guesthouse in town, there’s an attached restaurant which has WiFi and a view of the bridge and river. There’s no English spoken so communication may be an issue and don’t expect help or travel advice.
Address: North end of the bridge
T: (030) 923 7089; (020) 5537 9677;
Coordinates (for GPS): 102º36'55.52" E, 20º34'18.22" 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||8,000 kip||80,000 kip|
|Bungalow 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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