Some reasonable choices
Aranyaprathet offers a fair selection of hotels and guesthouses in town, within walking distance of the border crossing, and along the six-kilometre highway in between. While the area is not exactly inspiring, it beats Poi Pet on the Cambodian side of the border by a long shot.
The actual town of Aranyaprathet hosts the lion’s share of lodgings and we suggest staying around here—the atmosphere is more pleasant than closer to the border and you’ll find a much better selection of food. Songthaews or tuk tuks will take you straight to the border in the morning, so it’s not as though the town is a lot less convenient than the hectic border area.
A few forgettable but convenient budget options overlooking the bus station in town include Mammos Guesthouse and Mob Guesthouse. These and others will serve you a room in the 400 to 600 baht range with air-con, free WiFi and usually some grime in hot-water bathrooms. They’ll do the trick if you arrive late and don’t feel like walking more than a few paces to find a bed.
About a kilometre south of the bus and train stations, Aran Garden 2 is an old hotel with rooms that are simple but adequately kept, each with a ceiling fan and/or air-con, desk, WiFi, springy beds and private bathrooms—hot water in air-con digs and cold in the fan editions. Fan rooms fetch 280 baht for doubles and 320 for triples, while air-con digs range from 390 to 700 baht, with the priciest accommodating four. The hotel also has a car park and a small lounge on the ground floor, where cold beer is available. Staffers we’ve encountered have been welcoming, even if English is not their strong suit.
A little further east past the fresh market, Market Motel has rooms set back from the road in a few motel-style buildings. You can choose between dingy fan-cooled digs for 300 baht, brighter air-con rooms for 440 baht, larger superiors for 550 baht and triples at 660 baht, with the air-con options representing solid value for what you get. Beds are softer than at Aran Garden 2 and WiFi is also free. On our last visit we were somewhat put off by the walled parking stalls that front some rooms, lending the feel (although not exclusively the clientele) of a short-time joint. But the staff are helpful and there’s even a swimming pool.
We had a good stay at My Room by Sermsub, a newish hotel offering bright and spiffy rooms in the 700 to 1,000 baht range. They sport an Egyptian theme to go with comfortable beds raised off lightwood floors, English channels on flatscreen TVs, fridges, coffee/tea facilities, free WiFi that worked well, rain showerheads in the hot-water wet bathrooms, and desks, although we had to move the fridge in order to sit at the desk. Breakfast is included, a billiards table sits beside a shared lawn, and staffers were friendly. The small hotel stands less than a kilometre north of the bus and train stations in town.
Those with more cash to flash could opt for The Velo’s Hotel, another modern spot fronted by a long swimming pool with a tall tube slide among other playthings. There’s also a well-equipped fitness centre and a large BMX pump track consisting of paved lanes with lots of little hills and turns—bikes and helmets are available if you want to give this unusual amenity a try. The rooms are similar to those at My Room by Sermsub but with a bike theme and walk-in showers in larger bathrooms. The 1,500-baht room we inspected was fine, but you could pay an extra 1,000 baht for more space and a terrace opening directly to the pool. Family rooms are also available.
We didn’t inspect places found closer to the border on our last visit to Aran. If you want to stay out there, York Guest House looks promising for its fan rooms starting at around 350 baht, while Tournesol Boutique Hotel’s 900-baht rooms may do the trick if you seek creature comforts and a small pool. Both are found about a kilometre walk from the border off the south side of Suwannason Road, which is the main drag leading back west towards Aran town.
Aran Garden Hotel 2: 110 Ratuthit Rd, Aranyaprathet town; T: (037) 231 070
Mammos Guesthouse: Next to the bus station, Aranyaprathet town; T: (080) 640 0008 ; (081) 865 6740
Market Motel: Ratuthit Rd (just east of the fresh market), Aranyaprathet town; T: (037) 232 302; www.aranyaprathethotel.com
Mob Guesthouse: Next to the bus station, Aranyaprathet town; T: (037) 231 839; (081) 865 6740
My Room by Sermsub: 168 Thanavithee Rd (one km north of train station); T: (037) 609 722; (095) 259 2283; www.myroombysermsub.com
The Velo’s Hotel: 65 Thanavithee Rd, Aranyaprathet town; T: (037) 231 458-9; (095) 507 0575;
Tournesol Boutique Hotel: 479 Suwannason Rd, just west of Rong Khlua Market and the border crossing; T: (037) 230 000; www.tournesolhotel.com
York Guest House: 44 Ladsadonuntid Rd, just west of Rong Khlua Market and the border crossing; T: (084) 599 7449
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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