Indoor camping anybody?
Located in a converted four-storey shop-house—opposite the old Edison shopping mall on the short strip between the Wangcome Hotel and Phaholyothin—Norn Nung Len manages to combine a sometimes lively bar with a restaurant, dormitory accommodation and 3rd-floor campsite.
It’s a concept we hadn’t come across before and one that we’re not sure we’d want to try out personally but the gimmick certainly had the backpackers flocking in. Two-person tents are set up on mats on the floor complete with artificial grass and model cartoon cows. They’re not bad as tents go, with room for a small seating area, fan and bedside lamp but they are all very close together and at the end of the day it is just an unusual variation on a dorm. (Note, there were only three and they certainly seemed very popular.)
Still, from the guesthouse’s perspective, tents aren’t expensive and for guests, the novelty value certainly lends itself to a few comedy Instagram posts to the mates back home. There are also more classic dormitories available and indeed, being freshly decorated, very good ones to boot. Bunk beds come with solid new mattresses and clean white linen and the rooms have lockers, air-con and individual electric sockets. Prices are comparable to the tents with four, six and eight bed versions coming with slightly decreasing price tags. There’s a very minimal high season supplement and communal bathrooms looked clean and well-maintained.
So far so good, although, we weren’t convinced by their private rooms which, while boasting air-con and ensuite bathrooms, were dull, gloomy and uninviting. The oddly chosen dark grey colour scheme—both interior and exterior—as well as absence of first-floor windows and low ceilings make the guesthouse rather gloomy throughout, although in the case of the dorms you’d hardly expect much of a view anyway. The funky murals—extending even to bathrooms—are fun but probably add to, rather than detract from, a somewhat all-round claustrophobic feel.
Also coming in dark grey with plenty more cartoon-style murals is an extensive ground floor bar and restaurant area. With a high ceiling and first-floor balconies overlooking it, the dark paint works better in this larger space and it can get lively on a Friday or Saturday evening when live bands set up from 20:00 onwards. The bar does close at 22:00 for the benefit of guests above.
Otherwise, staff members were helpful with good levels of English and there’s tons of tour, trekking and travel info to hand. A good budget offering with a very central location.
Address: 869/108-109 Pemavipat Rd
T: (061) 928 2626;
Coordinates (for GPS): 99º49'58.47" E, 19º54'20.15" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: Under 600B
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
8 bed dorm, slightly more for 6 bed and 4 bed dorms
|220 baht||240 baht|
|Tent||500 baht||600 baht|
|Dbl air-con private bathroom||600 baht||700 baht|
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.
Our top 10 places to stay in and around Chiang Rai