If travellers don’t mind the out of the way location and staying away from the tourist strip, Pukyo Guesthouse, some three kilometres from downtown Phonsavan, is quieter and more relaxing than any guesthouse in town.
Most of the relaxation will be done in the backyard, which boasts a seasonal above–ground swimming pool, picnic tables and a sala hut with cushions, hammock and a view over the town sprawl. The building’s living/dining room is also open to guests, an airy space with soaring ceilings, big communal table and a small bar.
The Lao-Belgian couple running Pukyo offer five bright, clean and inviting rooms in a large modern Lao home. Some rooms have access to the balcony, all have sizeable windows, desk, bedside plugs, mirror, WiFi and fan. The downside is the size of the ensuite private bathrooms—we saw two and both were quite tiny, requiring manoeuvring to get the door closed and showering over the toilet, difficult for larger folk. On the upside, the small bathroom means more space in the room.
Being so far out of town has challenges and unless you have your own motorbike or bicycle, it’s not easy to pop into town or enjoy a late night out. The owners try to make things convenient as a simple breakfast and pick up is included.
There’s free coffee, tea and fruit all day, and a shuttle to/from town for a fee. Motorbike rentals are available and Pukyo is a few kilometres closer to the jars than from town. They can also arrange Plain of Jars tours, bus tickets, their price including transport to the bus station.
Best of all, Pukyo Guesthouse provides the homestay feel that is lacking with guesthouses in town. The family is friendly and helpful. English, Dutch and Lao is spoken.
Address: 56 Saylom Village, 3 km from Phonsavan’s centre
T: (020) 5955 6275;
Coordinates (for GPS): 103º10'56.8" E, 19º26'53.16" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: US$20 to 50
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Standard double room|
US$, $34 for a triple, $40 for a quad
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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