Phonsavan’s hostel option
The extremely popular Kong Keo Guesthouse attracts a variety of travellers due to its mix of accommodation that ranges from basic dorms to pricier private rooms and bungalows.
The guesthouse also has a rustic, casual bar/restaurant/courtyard and a fire in a bomb shell on cold evenings, all excellent conduits to meeting and chatting with other guests—Kong Keo will appeal to those seeking a social atmosphere and a place to congregate.
Backpackers on a budget can opt for the utilitarian dorm room with seven single beds. There’s little more than a foot between each bed and one shared toilet/shower for the room. The dorm is as charming as an army bunker, complete with fluorescent lighting, tile floors, a few wall mounted oscillating fans and white walls in need of new coats of paint. On the upside, each bed does have a mosquito net, plug and a headboard containing a lockable storage space. It’s a place to lay down your head after a day of looking at hundreds of stone jars and nothing more.
If needing a private room, Kong Keo has two options, both fan only. The rooms within the guesthouse building are decent but not great value. Rooms are on the small side and without much natural light. It’s a snug fit, just enough room to fit the bed, a table and chair, fan and private bathroom with hot water shower. Consider that a place on the main street, like Nice Guesthouse and Jennida Guesthouse, have bigger, brighter rooms and are 20,000 kip cheaper.
Gone are the wooden bungalows of yore. Kong Keo now has brick bungalows that boast oodles of space, plenty of room for the table and chair set, shelves, bedside tables, a couple of electrical outlets and large ensuite bathroom. The solidly built brick and tile bungalows won’t give a warm, fuzzy feeling, however, they are the joint’s best offering.
Perceptions of the Kong Keo are divided; some will love the atmosphere, some will hate it. A big drawback is that the property is down an empty lane near the local bus station/market. Be aware that this lane is dark at night.
The owner Kong is friendly and seems like a character, a modern day Lao hippie. His tours are also extremely popular and have now grown to include shiny, new white minivan transport, which partly explains why they are so expensive. Feedback on his tours have been positive.
Address: Down lane near Phoukham Garden Bus Station and market
T: (020) 2858 5858;
Coordinates (for GPS): 103º13'16.88" E, 19º27'3.15" 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.
|Dorm fan cooled||40,000 kip||50,000 kip|
|Dbl fan private bathroom||80,000 kip||100,000 kip|
|Bungalow fan private bathroom||120,000 kip||150,000 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.
Provided by Travelfish partner Agoda.
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