The bed of an old, broken-down Mazda pick-up truck serves as a big flower pot in front of Sai Thong's reception shack, setting the mood for this chilled out jungle retreat.
It was the first basic bungalow operation to appear on the inland hill road and remains one of the best. Blended into the forested hillside, small stilted bamboo-and-wood huts have nothing more than fans, basic cold-water bathrooms, firm mattresses on the floor, mosquito nets, thin blankets, a couple of pillows and small front porches -- we're talking basic digs here. The Thai couple who run the place are laid-back creative types who can speak pretty good English. They close up and head to the mainland for much of the low season, though they’ll be happy to put you up at a discounted rate if they’re around. It's a bit of a hike from here to the beach and you’ll want some mosquito repellent.
Type of room, low and high season prices
Room: Bungalow fan private bathroom, low season: closed or n/a, high season 300 baht. Notes: 400 baht for two people
On the hill road to Railay, Ao Tonsai
Room rates: Under 600B