Ban Narai River Guesthouse

Ban Narai River Guesthouse

Seriously cute

More on Chiang Mai

If anywhere fits the cliche of being a hidden gem, cute little Ban Narai River Guesthouse tucked away on the banks of the Ping River is it, but as using that descriptor is against editorial policy we won't say that.

Travelfish says:

The extremely pleasant and informative owner clearly recognises he’s onto a good thing, with the rooms, we think, a few hundred baht overpriced, so if you think of it as a pricey budget option rather than a flashpacker joint, you should be pleased.

Just follow the signs. : Mark Ord.
Just follow the signs. Photo: Mark Ord

They do offer a small low season discount and with word of mouth acting fast since they opened in 2016, and only six rooms to fill anyway, you can see their argument. Service is excellent, atmosphere is cosy and there’s nothing much wrong with the simple rooms, but you are paying extra for the location.

Ban Narai basically consists of a riverside, tree-bordered lawn with a single-storey room block and tiny cafe on one side. Access is by a narrow alley off Charoen Prathet Soi 2, so in the small array of alleys situated between busy Charoen Prathet and the Ping River. The garden must be pretty much next door to Galare’s and the entrance is fortunately well signposted.

Rooms all in a row. : Mark Ord.
Rooms all in a row. Photo: Mark Ord

The winding alley is lined with pot plants and printed information boards explaining the area’s history, which is a nice touch. The wonderfully located plot of land has been in the family’s possession for generations and we’d hazard a guess that the guesthouse project is perhaps the owner’s retirement hobby.

The six rooms are contained within a single-storey, white painted wood and concrete block at the rear of the lawn. A wide communal wooden balcony with chairs and Isaan cushions faces the river. Interiors are white and turquoise, clean and bright, though simple. All come with ensuite bathroom, hot shower and air-con, with mattresses are directly on the floor.

What every room needs. : Mark Ord.
What every room needs. Photo: Mark Ord

You are a hike from the Old City, but a rental shop directly at the end of the soi on Charoen Prathet has bicycles and motorbikes and Worarot Market or the night bazaar are only five minutes’ walk away.

Delightful and well worth a bit extra, with only six rooms and a burgeoning reputation you’ll be lucky to snare a room in high season—book well in advance.

Contact details for Ban Narai River Guesthouse

Address: 11/5 Charoen Prathet Soi 2, Chang Klan
T: (094) 612 1112; (081) 595 0678;  
Email: bannaraiguesthouse@gmail.com
Web: https://www.facebook.com/BanNaraiRiverGuesthouse/
Coordinates (for GPS): 99º0'15.21" E, 18º47'10.28" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: 600B to 1,500B

Room rates

What we were quoted as a walk-in.

Dbl air-con private bathroom 800 baht 900 baht

Reviewed by

Based in Chiang Mai, Mark Ord has been travelling Southeast Asia for over two decades and first crossed paths with Travelfish on Ko Lipe in the early 1990s.

From US$29


Provided by Travelfish partner Agoda. Prefer Booking? Click here.


Our top 10 places to stay in and around Chiang Mai

Awana House
Awana House

Flashpacker standards, budget rates

From 400 baht Walk-in

Diva Guesthouse
Diva Guesthouse

Some of the cutest budget rooms in town

From 120 baht Walk-in

Ma Guesthouse
Ma Guesthouse

Like staying at your Chiang Mai granny’s place

From 500 baht Walk-in

Bed (Phrasingh)
Bed (Phrasingh)

Spot on midrange address

US$60 with Agoda

Galare Guesthouse
Galare Guesthouse

Long-running flashpacker favourite

US$14 with Agoda

Raming Lodge
Raming Lodge

Well situated for night life

US$30 with Agoda

Chiang Mai Thai House
Chiang Mai Thai House

Excellent value for money

US$29 with Agoda

The 3 Sis
The 3 Sis

Simple but effective

From 1,500 baht Walk-in

Karinthip Village
Karinthip Village

Great pool and garden setting

US$56 with Agoda