Still friendly after all these years
We’ve long had a soft spot for Tamarind thanks to the sweet woman who has greeted us with a smile at reception on several visits over the years. Offering rooms in a rafthouse and a two-floor concrete building, the guesthouse is still a worthy alternative to Jolly Frog or Blue Star if you prefer a more homely atmosphere near the nightlife.
The old rafthouses with woven bamboo walls have seen better days, but that can be said about similar rooms at most other cheap guesthouses. They come with hard beds raised off wood floors, wall-mounted fans and private bathrooms, which are small enough to ensure that bucket-flush toilets will get drenched by the hot-water shower. Porches with a couple of chairs are great for dangling your feet in the water. Be ready for stairs if going for a rafthouse.
Up on land, rooms in the main building have pink walls, tile floors, a single window and choice of fan or air-con. These are well kept and equipped with firm beds on log frames along with old TVs that we wouldn’t expect to work. As with most of Kanchanaburi’s cheap guesthouses, the free WiFi can be temperamental. Some noise from the nearby bars should be expected after dark.
Drawing mostly couples and solo travellers, Tamarind lacks the social scene of Jolly Frog and is a better choice if you simply want a cheap riverside place to sleep. A large open-sided common area extends behind the restaurant and has a few lounge chairs with river views, but there’s no restaurant or bar and the whole place is sparsely furnished.
If Tamarind is full you could walk over to T&T Guesthouse, another veteran family-run joint with more basic rooms for a little cheaper in rafthouses and on land. There’s also the nearby Sugar Cane Guesthouse, which has rooms that aren’t as well kept as at Tamarind, but with the addition of a restaurant.
Address: 29/1 Mae Nam Khwae Rd, Kanchanaburi
T: (089) 837 7256; (034) 518 790;
Coordinates (for GPS): 99º31'12.69" E, 14º1'57.78" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: Under 600B
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Bungalow fan private bathroom|
|350 baht||350 baht|
|Dbl fan private bathroom|
Rafthouse or building
|350 baht||350 baht|
|Bungalow air-con private bathroom|
|500 baht||500 baht|
|Dbl air-con private bathroom||550 baht||550 baht|
|Deluxe double room||700 baht||700 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.
Our top 10 places to stay in and around Kanchanaburi