There’s plenty of room at Namchai, a large guesthouse just a block south of the main tourist strip, with rooms spread across two buildings.
Potential guests can choose from cheap and decent rooms in the older building at the front of the property, the rooms accessed via an exterior wraparound walkway, or there are more expensive rooms within the newer building to the rear. The newer building is a clear upgrade and travellers seeking larger, more modern rooms may be willing to shell out the extra 20,000 kip.
Rooms have tile floors, solid walls, security bar-clad windows that can be opened for fresh air, WiFi, table and stools, box TV, fan and optional air-con. The wetroom bathrooms, which sport electric showers, are a bit of a squeeze, smaller than they should be given the spacious size of the rest of the room. Rooms set at the front of the buildings get full sun and are especially bright.
Upon first impression, Namchai Guesthouse seems to tick all the right boxes but during our stay, we experienced some minor aggravations and nuisances. The corners had large dust bunnies and our bathroom drain was uncleared. We returned to our room one day and the door was wide open. The owner blamed it on a new housekeeper and luckily, a passerby didn’t take advantage as nothing including our laptop or passport had been taken. This innocent mistake could have happened at any guesthouse but it was annoying nonetheless.
The uncomfortable polyester-cotton blend mattress sheet is a crime, since even the cheapest of guesthouses in Laos use cotton sheets. Namchai doesn’t sell tours, book bus tickets or have any helpful information. Instead, guests need to visit another guesthouse or travel agency on the main street.
Our experience was unlucky yet the place still has some redeeming qualities and is worth considering. Namchai Guesthouse will appeal to the traveller who wants to be close to but does not want to stay on the main strip, where accommodation tends to be older and tightly packed into a small space. Expect an average, low key stay, a place travellers can zip in and out of unbothered.
Address: One street south of main road (behind Nice Guesthouse)
T: (061) 312 095; (020) 2234 0546;
Coordinates (for GPS): 103º13'7.86" E, 19º26'58.49" 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.
|Standard double room|
|60,000 kip||60,000 kip|
|Superior double room|
Fan-cooled in new building
|80,000 kip||80,000 kip|
|Deluxe double room|
|100,000 kip||100,000 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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