Comfy digs by the canal
Popular with families and flashpackers, Lamphu Tree House remains a comfortable choice with old-style Thai elegance and a quiet canal-side location.
The long-running and reliable property is not an actual treehouse built into the branches of a tree, but you will find the broad red leaves of old umbrella trees draped over the canal out front. The design relies on Thai silks, wooden Buddha images, terracotta floors and teakwood recycled from old houses, all tastefully laid out over a pair of modern concrete buildings.
Even the low-end rooms are outfitted with reconditioned teak walls, spotless tile floors and soft beds. Bathrooms are modern, with separated shower stalls and ceramic basin sinks situated just outside the bathroom doors in most rooms. Note that the cheapest standards have no windows or balconies and are set in a separate building behind the original. While we prefer the front building, other rooms in the second building go for the same rates but are equipped with newer appliances and more windows.
A narrow balcony in the small standard that we checked out faces an attractive old house—better than a concrete wall but with no real view. Across the hall, the slightly larger and pricier deluxe has a balcony overlooking the pool, though both of these balconies were bare of furnishings. All rooms are equipped with LCD TVs, fridges, air-con and desks.
Deluxe rooms bag you more space and canal views, while a handful of suites come with temple-style wall murals to go with Jacuzzi tubs, larger balconies with tables, separate sitting areas, polished dark-wood floors, fretted teak walls and truly beautiful woodcarvings. These are set on upper floors, with almost floor-to-ceiling windows affording views over the canal and rooftops. The suites represent good midrange value, and extra beds are available for families.
On the open-sided ground floor, a spacious common area includes a lounge, full bar, shared computers and restaurant where complimentary buffet breakfasts are served. A narrow plunge pool is squeezed in next to a patio with only four cushioned loungers—you will find more inviting pools at places like Navalai River Resort and Hotel De Moc. We’ve always found the uniformed staff to be helpful and professional.
Set a few steps down a canal-side walkway, Lamphu Tree’s setting embodies the laidback side of old Bangkok. A handful of restaurants and Thai massage shops dot the immediate area, while Khao San Road is around 15 minutes to the south on foot. You can keep strolling west along the canal to reach another clutch of eating and drinking options on and around Samsen Road.
The somewhat tricky to find location is 30 metres from Saphan Wanchat, the bridge spanning Rop Krung Canal (aka Khlong Banglamphu) near the corner of Phra Sumen Road and Phrachathipatai Road. Cars cannot drive directly to the property. If you’re having trouble explaining this to a taxi driver, ask to be let off at Wat Bowornniwet, from where you can walk east up Phra Sumen Road for 200 metres before turning left over the bridge, and then taking the stairs off the north side to find the walkway. If you only tell a taxi driver “Lamphu Tree House,” there’s a good chance you’ll end up on Rambuttri Road or Soi Rambuttri.
Also be careful not to confuse Lamphu Tree House with Lamphu House, a quality budget guesthouse down on Soi Rambuttri. Across the canal and a little further west stands the newer Korbua House, which has a similar setup and rooms fetching similar rates.
Address: 155 Wanchat Bridge (on canal-side lane just off Prachatipatai Rd), Bangkok
T: (02) 282 0991-2 ; F: (02) 282 0993
Coordinates (for GPS): 100º30'9.13" E, 13º45'37.24" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: 1,500B to 4,000B
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Standard double room|
1,650 baht with a window
|1,300 baht||1,300 baht|
|Deluxe double room|
2,500 baht for a larger room
|1,850 baht||1,850 baht|
Several options up to 4,500 baht
|3,500 baht||3,500 baht|
David Luekens first came to Thailand in 2005 when Thai friends from his former home of Burlington, Vermont led him on a life-changing trip. Based in Thailand since 2011, he spends much of his time eating in Bangkok street markets and island hopping the Andaman Sea.
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