You’d think a transit hub town on two beautiful rivers would have plenty of accommodation featuring bungalows and hammocks on the water. Unfortunately not in Muang Khua. Manotham Guesthouse is the closest thing to it with a wooden building on the banks of the Nam Phak river, accessible by crossing the pedestrian suspension bridge.
The building is made of wooden boards stained dark and it contains simple rooms with just a hard bed, mosquito net, table, fan, a lightbulb, additional lighting coming from a small window to the river. There is a tiny, basic ensuite bathroom with western toilet (bucket flush) and cold bucket shower—if you need hot water, there is a shared hot water shower room.
Unfortunately there’s no balcony or hammock attached to the room, just a narrow communal space and a view at the end of it—hey, it’s better than nothing as the setting is beautiful and it deserves at least a few minutes of gazing.
The general feel of Manotham is pleasant and the owner will often invite guests to eat dinner with the family for a small amount and when a large enough group is staying, will offer a cheap banquet complete with lao-lao, tea and water—we met other travellers who found this to be their highlight of Muang Khua. The atmosphere can be convivial and social if there are other guests.
There’s nothing flashy about Manotham except that they do have WiFi. If you need brightly lit rooms or solid soundproof walls, then head to a modern building like Manhchay or Chaleunsouk Guesthouse. Manotham is top spot with a small village feel, and this guesthouse can turn a usually forgettable layover in Muang Khua to a great one.
Address: Across the wooden bridge on other side of Namphak, Muang Khua
T: (020) 5588 0058;
Coordinates (for GPS): 102º30'21.11" E, 21º4'45.4" 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.
|Dbl fan private bathroom||60,000 kip||60,000 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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