Spring River Resort’s bungalows are great, and it’s the combination of accommodation, smart service and tranquil location that makes this place a winner.
About a kilometre shy of Konglor village, signs for Spring River Resort and a bumpy dirt track lead to a wooden property idyllically sprung up along the banks of the Hinboun River, at the foot of magnificent karst. During your stay you’ll no doubt spend a few minutes on the restaurant terrace admiring how trees and vines manage to cling and wildly grow on the sheer rock walls that loom over the property. You’ll also no doubt take a few cooling dips in the river and listen to bird song.
But before we drift off into riverside daydreaming, the practical info. There are two types of bungalows to choose from. Set in a tidy row at the back of the property, the 10 budget-friendly, bamboo-thatch, garden-view bungalows are simple and in excellent condition. It is all that is needed really, a neat and tidy room with a fan, mosquito net, electric plug and windows. Extra details such as bedside table, box of tissues, chair on the front porch and towel art make this a big step above your regular ol’ backpacker hut. A wooden walkway leads to the bathroom house, which has plenty of showers and loos, so long waits for either are unlikely.
Those with more to spend can snag one of the six solid wooden bungalow with cheerful terracotta roofs and an unobstructed view of the river from the balcony. The interiors are cosy and comfortable: polished wood floor and wainscoting, clean linens, vanity, clothes rack and earthy decorative touches such as bamboo waste baskets and handwoven bed runners. Each room has a double and a single bed, therefore able to accommodate up to three people. The bathroom is more practical than pretty—not a bad thing when it comes to accommodation in Laos. There’s a long wooden countertop and towel rail to make travelling life easier.
Best of all, the resort does the little things right. The staff are sweet and polite. We had a breakfast set and were delighted with the quality, with fresh fruit juice and proper coffee with Lao beans, not juice from a box or instant coffee—no corners cut where so many hotels often do. There’s a small minimart selling snacks and toiletries. Refill your water bottle for less than a dollar. Rent a row boat for 40,000 kip and take a leisurely float on the river. This is the type of place that people book a night and end up staying longer. Book in advance to avoid disappointment.
To find Spring River Resort, when driving into Konglor the signposted turn off is a kilometre before the village. Turn right and follow the dirt track. By road, the resort is three kilometres to the cave entrance, a 25-minute walk or 10,000 kip per person by tuk tuk. The resort can also arrange for a boat to the cave.
Address: Hinboun river, Ban Tiew Village, 2.5 km from Konglor
T: (020) 5963 6111;
Coordinates (for GPS): 104º43'46.77" E, 17º57'33.72" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: US$10 to 20
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Bungalow fan share bathroom|
|120,000 kip||120,000 kip|
|Bungalow fan private bathroom|
Riverside wooden bungalow
|250,000 kip||250,000 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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