Friendly vibes in the garden
Another cheap and homely guesthouse run by a personable older woman and her family, the long-running Garden Home remains a go-to choice for those travelling on the tightest of budgets.
To get here you’ll wander down a lane marked along the main road by a big hand-painted sign. Potted plants and flowering bushes join a spirit house and some garden statues as you approach the property, which would feel like a private home were it not for a couple of backpackers typically found sitting around. A caged parrot welcomed us with a “sawasdee ka”.
Most rooms are set on either side of a dim hall that feels drab at first but ends up being welcome, as it helps to keep the fan rooms cool. Some rooms only have windows facing back into this corridor while those facing away from the rest of the house come with a window overlooking the garden. These rooms are available with portable fan or air-con, and in both categories they’re among the cheapest in a town that’s stacked with inexpensive accommodation.
The rooms we checked out hadn’t changed since our last visit, with thin silk blankets placed over hard beds and beaten-down desks in the corners. They have tiled floors and thin wood walls—do keep voices down late at night. The digs are dated but they appeared clean where it counts. Guests share some basic hot-water bathrooms set at the end of the hall.
A couple of pricier (but still darn cheap) rooms are set in front of the hall in what feels more like detached bungalows. These were full on our most recent visit; previously we found them a solid step up in comfort thanks to softer beds, small TVs and ensuite bathrooms. They also bag you more windows overlooking a little garden terrace.
The guesthouse’s namesake garden covers a small lot out the back and appeared a bit overgrown, though it’s not a bad place to sit on a bench and have a smoke while watching the birds. There’s also a small common area with more benches and a Ganesha statue set between the guestrooms and the house where the owner and her family lives.
WiFi is also free, but Garden Home is the kind of old-school spot where we’d want to put down our phone and chat up other backpackers, the owner and, of course, the parrot. The owner and her adult son have always struck us as sincere people who care about their guests.
While the location is convenient and quiet, the one slight annoyance is that you’ll have to keep crossing the busy main road when heading east to the rest of the old town or to the markets further north. On the other hand, Garden Home is the easiest guesthouse to reach if you’re entering Trat town by songthaew from the island piers—in this case drivers can drop you right out front.
If you like the garden thing, Orchid Guesthouse is another solid choice with cheap fan and air-con rooms in an old wood house set in a garden behind the restaurant on Rhak Muang. Also give James a look if you seek a homely spot for an extremely cheap room.
Address: 87/1 Rad-anuson Rd (across the main road from the west end of Thana Charoen Rd), Trat
T: (039) 521 018;
Coordinates (for GPS): 102º30'36.2" E, 12º14'30.88" 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 fan share bathroom||150 baht||150 baht|
|Dbl fan share bathroom||180 baht||180 baht|
|Sgl air-con private bathroom||300 baht||300 baht|
|Dbl air-con private bathroom||350 baht||350 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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