Decent budget option
The long-running River Guest House remains a reasonable option for backpackers seeking a cheap room in an old-style setup with the bonus of a riverside patio.
Standing four storeys with stairs accessing all rooms, the featureless concrete building has a ground-floor common room opening to tables and potted plants set beneath fairy lights by the river. Some who have stayed here complained about staff and cleanliness, but the soft-spoken guy who most recently (in early 2018) showed us around was helpful and, though dated, the rooms appeared to be kept up well enough for the budget prices.
Since our last visit the guesthouse added air-con to all rooms, even the cramped single editions with no windows, decoration or furnishings apart from tiny desks and thin spring beds. These rely on small tiled wet bathrooms with hot water and there’s only one per floor, so you may need to wait for the shower.
The low-end “double” rooms are actually best suited to solo travellers thanks to beds that are narrower than typical double beds—in fact they’re only a little wider than your average single bed. In these, the heads of beds are squeezed into nooks in a setup that leaves a fair amount of open space on the tile floors. You also get a desk, small hot-water bathroom and one window.
Couples should opt for a slightly larger room with a normal-sized double bed in one of the rooms facing the river. Digs with two single beds are also available. Decoration is absent in all of the utilitarian rooms but we think the value is reasonable, especially considering that The River is the only old-style guesthouse we came across in Chanthaburi.
Free WiFi and cold drinks are available on the ground floor, and staff can arrange motorbike rental along with minibus pick up and day trips by songthaew to outlying attractions. It’s the only place to stay in Chan where we saw these and other travel services advertised in plain view.
The location towards the southern end of town is solid, placing you a stone’s throw from the gem market and a half-kilometre from the fresh markets, old town and cathedral. Just beware that noise from the adjacent bridge, which gets its share of traffic, is audible in rooms on that side of the building.
A few doors up the street heading away from the river sits Traveller Hostel, a newer spot offering tiny single rooms with air-con and shared bathrooms starting at 450 baht. It’s also worth a look, though we still prefer The River thanks to the riverside patio and more breathing room. There’s also the Muangchan Hotel, an old, utilitarian spot with very little English spoken and rooms starting at around 300 baht on Benchamarachutit Road.
Address: 3/5-8 Si Chan Rd, Chanthaburi
T: (090) 936 7499 ; (090) 828 5019;
Coordinates (for GPS): 102º6'55.05" E, 12º36'22.16" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: Under 600B
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Sgl air-con private bathroom|
Also for 500 baht. Listed for 1-2 guests but best for solo travellers.
|390 baht||390 baht|
|Triple air-con private bathroom||450 baht||450 baht|
|Dbl air-con private bathroom||590 baht||590 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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