Homestay vibe with river views
The charming 28 Rachabutr Hostel is the only choice in Ubon Ratchathani if you seek a small, backpacker-friendly hostel with a homestay vibe and river views. Thankfully, it’s a good one.
Opened in 2013 and named after its address on this centrally located road, 28 Rachabutr occupies a 60-year-old house within sight of the Moon River. Owner Vanida has lived here all her life, and she was quick to show us framed photos of her parents and herself as a youngster, hung proudly from the walls. She told us that this was among the very first cement houses to be built in Ubon.
The ground-floor common room with high ceilings also features a wooden statue of Kuan Yin, antique Chinese vases and a few benches and Thai-style pillows for hanging out. Vanida is a spunky one despite her venerable age; we arrived to find her jestfully “scolding” an American guest for mispronouncing a Thai word. She also provides a homely venue for travellers to meet and research the local travel options through a set of brochures and maps.
Reached by a narrow stairway, a handful of mostly private rooms are scattered over the upper two floors. In between you’ll find small but clean shared hot-water bathroom facilities (one on each floor) to go with a Buddha shrine and dining-room table set over the original hardwood floors. Shared terraces on both of the upper floors come with tables for soaking in the Moon River views. A guest told us that the free WiFi worked fine throughout the building.
The cheapest options are fan-cooled dorms, available in male- or female-only and with a few thin mattresses on the floor or cot-style beds. The one that we saw on the upper floor felt steamy in the late afternoon despite its eight side-by-side windows affording broad views of the river.
Next up you have a few double fan rooms, including an interesting top-floor version with direct river views and a door that opens onto one of the shared terraces. The air-con room that we checked out was considerably larger, with a heavy wooden table and decent spring bed. All rooms come at least with a small table, moveable fan and several windows. Some have rattan floor mats or traditional Thai cushions set on classy dark-wood daybeds.
If judging by the rooms alone, the nearby Sri Isan Hotel offers slightly better value at similar air-con rates thanks to extras like TVs and private bathrooms. On the other hand, 28 Rachabut is a lot brighter, with a more intimate backpacker setting and better common spaces. This is the only place to stay in Ubon where you can relax on an open-air terrace while watching the river slide by.
The hostel’s central location is another selling point — an easy walk from the night market, Thung Si Muang Park, the National Museum and several worthwhile temples. After dark, head around the corner for a beer at one of the laid-back riverside bars. Do however expect some early-morning noise from the road, where large trucks offload supplies to the adjacent wholesale market.
Address: 28 Ratchabutr Rd, Ubon Ratchathani
T: (089) 144 3789;
Coordinates (for GPS): 104º51'33.15" E, 15º13'27.11" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: Under 600B
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Dorm fan cooled||200 baht||200 baht|
|Dbl air-con share bathroom||350 baht||350 baht|
|Dbl air-con private bathroom||450 baht||450 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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