I will be in Chiang Mai (Thailand) for a conference, and afterwards I need to find a place to go and do some writing on a book I am working on. Thus, I am looking for a good place to chill for about 10 days, with internet connection, but also good connection with the people and culture. I was thinking Luang Prabang (if other ideas come to mind, shoot). Ideally, I would like a quaint guesthouse in LP where there is good interaction with the local people, etc. Suggestions welcome. Thanks.
#1 sgchaplowe has been a member since 12/11/2012. Posts: 2
Hi, Luang Prabang is a fantastic place to chill out. There are so many decent guesthouses and hotels there you will be spoilt for choice. The area that I know is around the Royal Palace - must have at least 200 gh/hotels within a 500 meters radius. Generally the area north-east of the Palace is more touristy and has a high concentration of restaurants, pubs, cafes and what nots, south-west to the Palace is a liitle more quiet but no less charming, and both are in walking distance to the river (refer map). I have only stayed at the Somjith GH (south-west to the Palace) - I like it though a little basic at less than USD 10. You can ask the tuk tuk to get you there and take a look. If you don't like it, there are 20 more in the same alley and some are more chic than Somjith. Or check out the higher-class Luang Prabang River Lodge which has a river view and is nearer to the Palace.
since you are already in Northern Thailand, why not consider to spend the 10 days in many charming little towns there? Chiang Rai, Pai, Mea Salong, and Mae Hong Son are just among the few places that pop up in my mind. Also to point out to you that travelling from CM to LP would take 2 days on the slow boat - but then again, it is a very nice trip and you'd have lots of time to think and write in the boat.
#2 chopin has been a member since 28/4/2007. Posts: 154
Thanks for taking the time to reply, Chopin. I am debating your suggestion about just staying in northern Thailand. I was in LP a couple years ago and thought it was a gem. But it has been over 20 years since I have been to northern Thailand. There is a flight from Chiang Mai to LP, so I can get there in less than a day. Thus, travel time, whether to LP or a northern Thailand town is about the same. Wondering if the latter have guest houses with decent internet connection as I will need to do some online research for my writing. I will do a little searching on the internet. Appreciate your input, and hope you are enjoying your travels. SGC
#3 sgchaplowe has been a member since 12/11/2012. Posts: 2
During my travels through Laos so far, I find Luang Prabang the most difficult to get interaction with the local people. A top spot for what you're looking for would be to head to Nong Khiaw and get a bungalow on the river with WiFi. It's more laid back there and more opportunity to hang out with locals.
Hi SGC, unlike mooball, I find Laotians everywhere are nice and easy to interact, but relatively LP is a bigger town with hordes of tourists, the people there might have gotten too used to tourists. So a more rural or less touristy place might be what you want. Nong Khiaw - haven't been to, but it sounds nice from what I read.
About internet, no worries, all towns that have a presence of tourists will have it, even wifi is free at almost all the guesthouses or hotels in those areas.
Either Northern Thailand or Laos will not be wrong
Enjoy your stay!
#5 chopin has been a member since 28/4/2007. Posts: 154
What's the internet like in Nong Khiaw these days? It was shocking last year. Very pretty, and nice people despite their very limited English; similar in that respect to LPB which of course also many more expats and foreign travellers of all types to chat with.
If my priorities were conversation with friendly English speaking locals, pretty rural areas and decent wifi, I'd think Pai was a decent and very convenient option unless you hate hippies (or if it's Thai tourist season). Or stay in Chiang Mai - it seems to tick your boxes
#6 enigmatic has been a member since 14/4/2011. Posts: 84
The internet in Nong Khiaw is OK. It's best if you use 3g on your phone or usb stick because most guesthouses are too spread out to allow in-room wifi, but many guesthouses allow use of wifi in the reception area. As well, a few cafes have free wifi. It's good enough for what 95% of people need.
I found interaction with local people quite easy too. I got in contact with a lot of kids from school on the market. They go there for having lunch and talking to tourists to train some english. And of course, LP is a wonderfull time to chill and of course it has just the right athmosphere to do some writing.
But if you wanna get off the beaten path, you could go to Phayao in northern Thailand. A small town at a nice and big lake. Almost no international tourists and really quiet. The green bus from Chiang Mai stops their after a 4 hour drive. So easily to get their. If you wanna have safe internet, get a 3g card. With true it is 350 Baht per 1 GB prepaid. The aircard you can get for around 800 Baht.
#8 freiburger has been a member since 27/12/2012. Posts: 125
I also spent a few days in Luang Prabang following a conference in Chiang Mai some years ago - beautiful colonial buildings and a fantastic atmosphere and - probably through its French heritage - the best coffee and bread I came across in SE Asia! Getting there is a bit of a hassle unless you fly - there are direct flights from Chiang Mai most days I think. An alternative - and one suggested earlier - is Pai . I went there for a couple of days and ended up staying for a whole month - ostensibly to write but mostly I just dozed in a hammock on the porch of my hut. Pai is (was) a one main street sort of town full of art galleries, coffee shops and other vaguely alternative lifestyle features. The town is situated about halfway between Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son on the Burma border. It's about a four hour bus ride from Chiang Mai's Arcade bus station or three hour in a tourist minibus picking up from Chiang Mai hotels. The drive through the mountains takes in some very windy roads (front seat and/or travel sickness tablets recommended). Pai has loads of accommodation but it's worth finding somewhere 10 minutes walk away from the main town (such as it is) as it's so much quieter at night. I stayed in a place called the Sun Hut and...well...as I said, I ended up staying a whole month. So LP or Pai??? Either, really. Good luck with the writing.
#9 southseamark has been a member since 27/12/2012. Posts: 1
Thus, biking time, whether to LP or a arctic Thailand boondocks is about the same. Wondering if the closing accept bedfellow houses with appropriate internet affiliation as I will charge to do some online analysis for my writing.
#10 mariajames has been a member since 29/9/2012. Posts: 57