The ultimate jungle-bum rafthouses
The Bamboo House has evolved a lot since the days when it had nothing but a few rundown rafthouses on a tranquil stretch of the River Khwae Yai.
Budget travellers can still grab a rundown woven bamboo raft room with a thin mattress on the floor, portable fan and porches with a couple of chairs. Guests staying in these use shared cold-water bathrooms set up on the lawn. Families also have what looked to be a promising rafthouse option with air-con, fridge, ensuite bathroom and multiple beds in a large floating house painted pastel pink. This was full during our last visit and should be reserved ahead of time.
If you prefer to be on land, you could opt for a large and clean bungalow with woven bamboo walls, thatch roof, floor cushions on the porch, comfy bed, fridge and attached hot-water wet bathroom. These types of freestanding bungalows are common in the islands but unusual in Kanchanaburi, and we like them even if the price is a little high. They face the lawn; from the porch you’ll have to turn your head to see the river.
You could save cash without sacrificing comfort by taking one of the newest rooms in a two-floor concrete building connected to reception at the back of the property. These are spacious, spotless and modern, sporting TVs, fridges and wet bathrooms along with wooden chairs on river-view porches. Ask for one as far away from reception as possible.
Built around a lawn tumbling down to the river, Bamboo House has one of the most relaxing settings of any place to stay in Kanchanaburi, and the Death Railway Bridge is only a few hundred metres away. Though welcoming enough, the receptionist was not enthusiastic about showing us rooms. WiFi is free but patchy. Rates include breakfast; we’d ask to skip it for a reduced rate.
Right next to Bamboo House is the smaller Bamboo Ya (T: (081) 487 944), which has smaller and more affordable air-con bungalows made of concrete and equipped with fridge and TV. Rooms over there start at around 600 baht and you could easily check out both places before deciding.
By David Luekens
Last updated on 4th February, 2017.
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