One of the better budget spots
The long-running Blue Star remains a strong backpacker choice in a relatively quiet location. While it’s missing a rafthouse option, the log bungalows and standard rooms in a couple of concrete buildings offer a wide range of choices.
Our favourites are the bungalows set on stilts and reached by footpaths raised above a swampy lagoon filled with tropical palms and flowers. These are far from new but it’s hard to complain about a little grunge in the bathrooms when prices start at just 200 baht. The cheapest editions come with firm beds, linoleum walls, screened windows, portable fans and cold-water bathrooms that are private but situated a few steps outside of the rooms, outhouse style. An extra 100 baht bags you a taller stilted bungalow that puts you high above the property.
Though the value isn’t as good as the fan rooms, larger air-con bungalows with wooden interior walls and hot-water ensuite bathrooms are not bad choices either. Those who aren’t into the rustic design can go for a darker but newer room with choice of fan or air-con in a two-floor concrete bungalow set closer to reception. The priciest of these bags you a fridge and wide LCD TV with English channels. The only rooms to avoid are the two cave-like air-con rooms with no real windows in the main stonewall building below reception.
We like the back-to-nature bungalow setup, but you don’t get a true river view due to a riverine island adjacent to the property, and mosquitos can be an issue. Offering tour and transport bookings along with info on exploring the area, Blue Star has one of the more present staffs of any budget guesthouse in town. They join travellers at tables and loungers in a small garden area near reception, where WiFi supposedly works.
Neighbouring Sam’s House is another old-school spot with a very similar setup but slightly noisier location; you could head over there if Blue Star is full.
By David Luekens
Last updated on 4th February, 2017.
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