Photo: Pretty valleys around Mae Salong.

Photo of Shin Sane Guest House and BungalowsShin Sane Guest House and Bungalows

Best budget option in Mae Salong

Next to morning market, Mae Salong T: (053) 765 026, (087) 185 1978

Shin Sane Guest House and Bungalows

Our rating:

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When Shin Sane opened in 1970 no roads led to or from here and Mae Salong was still a KMT military base and not more than nominally part of Thailand.

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Photo of Shin Sane Guest House and Bungalows
Across the valley lay Khun Sa’s camp and the hills were covered in poppy fields. It must have been a wild place! This was in the heart of the real Golden Triangle, not the bunch of T-shirt vendors in a coach park it’s become today. Of course, the guesthouse has had a few paint jobs over the years and they’ve added some concrete bungalows in the small yard out back, but you get the impression it probably hasn’t changed much otherwise, and the old wooden building certainly oozes atmosphere. It’s an odd construction too, with part of the building forming a wooden bridge over the street that actually passes under, or through, the guesthouse itself. It’s even still cobbled and we’d swear on a misty evening you can make out an opium ladened, mule train passing through.

It is basic and these days it’s motorbikes on their way to the (early) morning market that pass under your room but you do have the option of their bungalows, which are quiet and comfortable enough. Bungalows have attached bathrooms with hot showers, fans and small balconies though decoration is at a minimum. But who needs Lanna bedcovers and power showers when you’re staying in a historic monument? The rooms are very simple, with little more than a bed but they are clean and shared bathrooms all come with hot showers.

Though there are a couple of tables in front of what passes for a reception area, their cafe and main seating area is located across the cobbled street overlooking the main road. Food’s simple and cheap but it’s a fine spot to sit early morning with a coffee watching the locals on their way to and from market. If you’re in the rooms out front it is noisy so you’ll be up early anyway! A nice touch is free use of the guesthouse’s washing machine.

There is some information on the wall and their trekking map (free for guests, 10 baht for non-guests) is invaluable if you’re planning on getting into the hinterland a little. They also have motorbikes for rent for 200 baht per day. It goes without saying that the owner has plenty of local information and good English is spoken too. They don’t make ’em like this anymore!

Note Shin Sane has undergone significant renovations since this review and prices have increased—please take the prices below as a general guide until we revisit the property in early to mid 2018. Thanks!


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Walk-in rates at Shin Sane Guest House and Bungalows

Type of room
Type of room, low and high season prices
Dbl fan share bathroom
300 baht
300 baht
Bungalow fan private bathroom
600 baht
600 baht
Room: Dbl fan share bathroom, low season: 300 baht, high season 300 baht. Notes:
Room: Bungalow fan private bathroom, low season: 600 baht, high season 600 baht. Notes:

Where is Shin Sane Guest House and Bungalows

Shin Sane Guest House and Bungalows
Next to morning market, Mae Salong
T: (053) 765 026, (087) 185 1978
Coordinates (for GPS): 99º37'31.95" E, 20º9'56.39" N
Room rates: Under 600B

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