Guest houses and hostels

On this page I intend to keep track of the guesthouses and hostels where we stay along the way so others can either stay away from the bad ones or go themselves to the good ones.  I’ll use the 5* rating system below.

***** Greatly exceeded our expectation
**** Exceeded our expectation
*** We got what we paid for
** Hardly worth it
* Stay away

South East Asia

ThailandCambodiaVietnamLaos

Central Asia

Hong KongChina


Thailand

Bangkok, Khao San Rd. – Charoendee ***.  The room was clean and the reception area was cozy and the location is perfect, right in the middle of Khao San Rd.  760 Baht for a double room with A/C and a hot shower is not too bad for this location.  We would probably stay there again if we end up on Khao San Rd. again.

Koh Tao – Freedom Beach **.  After a very long walk from the pier we arrived at Freedom Beach after having looked at two other places.  The bungalow was ok, it was one of those not yet renovated.  The view was amazing and the snorkelling great.  The have a good restaurant and are in the middle of renovating the whole place.  We paid 500 Baht for the bungalow with fan and cold shower.  Might be the best location but we should have gone for a better bungalow but unfortunately they were full.

Koh Phangan, Haad Kruad – Haad Gruad Resort ****.  We got a free taxi from Thong Sala so we went for it.  Unfortunately we got the last bungalow and it was their worst.  We paid 350 Baht for fan and hot shower, which is quite cheap but we wanted a nicer bungalow so we went to Haad Yao after one night.  They had a lot of nicer bungalows that looked fantastic and the place is nice if you have a scooter but we should have gotten to Ao Mae Haad sooner.

Koh Phangan, Haad Yao – Silver Beach Bungalows ***.  There are two ladies competing for the guests at Silver Beach Bungalows.  We got a bungalow that was either A/C for 900 or fan for 700 Baht.  We opted for fan and were quite happy.  The bungalow was right on the beach but the surroundings weren’t that great.  We checked at all the other places and this was the best deal around.  Next time we would either check all the places again or more likely head straight to Ao Mae Haad.

Koh Phangan, Ao Mae Haad – Island View Cabana *****.  We rented a great little bungalow with fan for 500 Baht.  The bungalow was clean and nice, the restaurant and the massage was great  and the surroundings were astonishing and everything is priced a bit lower than in other places on the island.  We hope to stay there again for sure, one of our favourite places on this trip.

Koh Samui, Na Thon – Nathon Residence ****.  A very nice hotel close to the main shopping area and the night (food) market in Nathon.  The room was clean and quite large.  It had A/C, hot shower and a fridge for 550 Baht.  A very nice hotel that we would definitely recommend to anyone.

Khao Sok National Park – Bamboo Bungalows **.  The bungalow at Bamboo Bungalows looked very very nice in the beginning but the bathroom was horrible and we were visited by spiders, ants and a mouse during the night.  If you like that kind of stuff then great but if not there are plenty of other options in the neighbourhood.  I think we paid 500 or 600 Baht but we should have looked at other options.  Next time we would at least check the other options.

Ao Nang (Krabi) – Seebeer Guesthouse ***.  The prices in Ao Nang seemed to be quite high and too few budget options available.  We therefore decided to try a double room with fan and a shared bathroom.  The room and the restroom was very clean and the old Chinese couple were very nice.  They hardly spoke any English though so we needed to go elsewhere for direction and other help.  We paid 450 Baht and were quite happy.  We wouldn’t go to Ao Nang again but if so, the Seebeer is a nice, cheap option.

Ranong – The Asian Hotel **.  We came into Ranong after dark and there was a long walk from the bus station to the downtown area.  Being tired we took the first hotel we saw.  It was far from nice and we should have opted for the guesthouse across from 7Eleven a little bit further down the road, which was much nicer and even cheaper.  We paid 260 Baht for a double room with a cold shower.

Bangkok, Siam Square – Muangphol Mansion **.  A big big hotel close to Wendy house.  Plenty of rooms available and a good location.  We got a A/C room for 800 Baht.  The room was just OK and the free WiFi only worked occasionally.  We should have looked further.

Aranyaprathet – Market Hotel ***.  We slept there one night before crossing to border to Cambodia.  The room was descent but the main attraction is the cozy restaurant area with free WiFi.  We paid 300 Baht for a double room with a fan and were happy with that.  We would be happy to stay there again if we are passing by.

Chang Mai – Libra Guest House ****. Libra guest house came highly recommended so we were looking forward to the experience.  Libra is perfectly located within the old quarter, a short walk from the sunday market and about 15 minutes from the night bazaar.  The staff were very helpful, spoke perfect english and the food was really good.  We had a double room with a hot shower and a fan for 300 baht – a very good deal.  The last night we stayed in a room with a cold shower for 200 baht.  That room was a bit smaller and more basic, maybe good for one person.  We will surely be staying there next time we are in town – but in the bigger room.

Cambodia

Siem Reap – Mitri Guesthouse ****.  We stayed 5 nights at Mitri Guesthouse in Siem Reap.  We bumped into the guesthouse after being turned away by a few full ones and were in for a pleasant surprise.  Mitri is situated midway between the old market and the night market, up an unsuspecting dirt road.  The staff was very friendly and the place had a nice atmosphere.  There is a cheap but good restaurant at the guesthouse, free internet and the rooms are quite nice.  We paid $7 a night for a double fan room with hot water and fan and it was well worth it.  We would stay there again for sure.

Phenom Penh – Fairytale Guesthouse ****.  We wanted to stay at the Sunday guesthouse but that was full.  We were referred to the Fairytale next door.  There we got a great A/C room for $13, the best room so far.  Everything was as it was supposed to be and we even got a Cambodian scarf as a present.

Phenom Penh – Sunday Guesthouse ***.  After the great room at the guest house next door, our room at the Sunday Guesthouse didn’t seem too fancy and the band practising for the Chinese New Year didn’t help either.  To be fair the room was clean and we only paid $8 for a double fan room so we couldn’t complain.  Next time we would at least look at other options and if it is hot and humid – just go straight next door for the A/C that wasn’t that expensive.

Sihanoukville – Sunday Guesthouse ***.  This is a sister guesthouse of the one in Phnom Penh.  It is quite new and everything looked nice and moderately clean.  Our biggest problem was the location, it is a 7-10 minute walk to the beach and I’m sure we could have gotten a similar deal closer to the beach but we got a free transport from the bus station and were only staying 2 nights so it was OK.  Next time I would pay slightly more (if needed) to be closer to the beach but the guest house was ok.

Vietnam

Long Beach, Phu Quoc – The Lounge ***.  After the host went crazy after a night of boozing, apparently hitting his girlfriend, I can’t recommend this place to anyone unless the Frenchman is gone.  The girlfriend and her mother were very nice but the bungalow was nothing special.  We paid $15 for a bungalow with fan and hot shower, which is an OK deal I guess (minus the crazy host).

Dalat – 171 Hotel ***.  Finding the Dreams hotel below full for the night we headed up the street to 171 Hotel, which had the only free room in the street.  We got a room that could have fitted four and paid $25 so the deal was not too bad except that we were only two.  The hotel was ok and the room was nice.  The only problem were some noisy teenagers staying there, screaming in the night and doing teenage stuff.  Conclusion, ok if Dreams I and Drams II are full.

Dalat – Dreams Hotel *****. Easily the best hotel so far.  The staff was extra helpful, the breakfast was absolutely wonderful, the room was very clean and cozy and the location perfect.  We had a  double room with a hot shower (no fan nor A/C needed in Dalat) and the wonderful breakfast included for $20.  This is THE place to stay in Dalat and we would come to Dalat again just to stay at the Dreams if for nothing else.

Nha Trang – Pho Bien Hotel ***.  Recommended by Lonely Planed.  Nice and clean hotel very close to the beach and the main tourist area with the restaurants and bars.  The room was clean and spacious with hot shower and A/C for $12 for the night.  A very good value and we would surely stay there again.

Hoi An – Huy Hoang II ***. This was an OK hotel.  The location is perfect, right by the market in the Old Town and that is its main attraction.  The service was nothing special and the room was ok – relatively clean, double bed with a fan for $12.  If you want budget accommodation with the perfect location, this is the place.  We would probably stay here again.

Hue – Phu An Hotel ****. The bus from Hoi An stopped right out side so we decided to give it a try after figuring out where exactly we were and the location ended up being excellent, quite close to the citadel and the emperor’s palace. The hotel is new with all new rooms. We got a double A/C room for $12 and were very happy.  As I said, the room was new, cozy and super clean.  A very good place to stay if in Hue.

Halong Bay – Boat & Holiday View Hotel on Cat Ba Island ****. Both the boat and htel were excellent. Very cozy and a lot of space. Since both were a part of a package I don’t really know the price.

Hanoi – Hanoi Guesthouse ***. A small guest-house near the East Gate of the Old Quarters. The room was relatively clean, had A/C and hot shower and was only $10 with breakfast. The main asset of this guest-house is the super helpful staff that is ready to help you with anything.

Laos

Luang Prabang – Sokdee Guest House ***.  We looked around in the middle of town and found an OK room with hot shower, relatively clean and included WiFi in the room for 120,000 Kip, which we negotiated down to 100,000 Kip – the standard rate for the location.  The room was quite simple but had a nice garden with chairs and tables so we took it.  We would probably stay there again but they have a lot of similar ones in the neighbourhood.

Vang Vieng – Somphathiai Guest House ***.  It was the first guest house we looked at and the room was big and clean with a hot shower for 60,000 Kip so we just took it.  Not the coziest or anything but fine to sleep in and was right down town.  We would surly go there again if in town for a couple of days.

Vientiane – Phonepaseuth Guesthouse *.  For 100,000 Kip a night it surely wasn’t worth it.  The room was small and windowless and the sheets were dirty – but free WiFi was a plus.  We didn’t want to look further for one night though.  When we went to sleep we discovered that the room had bed bugs and we weren’t too happy.  Ended up paying 50,000 Kip but still, that is too much for a room with bed bugs.  The first stay away warning!

Hong Kong

Hong Kong – Causway Bay – Marlboro Hostel **.  We had our eyes on a different hostel in the same street but couldn’t find it.  We were lucky that an old lady saw us and directed us to this one.  At the reception we were told that the price was 370 HKD which was more than we wanted to pay.  We checked out the room anyway and it wasn’t anything special.  The room was very small but reasonably clean.  We managed to haggle the price down to 300 HKD, which I guess it an OK price in this area.  Even though the location was great I doubt that we would stay there again.

China

Beijing – Beijing Forbidden City Hostel ***.  We found this hostel on hostelworld.com.  Location was perfect for us, close to the Forbidden City and Tienanmen Square.  The rooms were windowless but clean and nice.  The hostel has a restaurant and a service desk that sells train and tour tickets.  We had a double room for 160 Yuan.  If we will stay in the same district when we return to Beijing we’ll stay at the Forbidden City Hostel again for sure.

Shanghai – Le Tour Traveler’s Rest Youth Hostel ****.  A really nice hostel with a great location close to Nanjing Road and Jing’an temple subway station.  The rooms were very nice and clean and the common area were very nice.  Helpful staff that speaks good English.  We had a double room for 210 Yuan, which is OK for the expensive Shanghai.  When we return, we’d love to stay there again.

Hongzhou – 4 Eyes Backpackers Youth Hostel ***.  The rooms were nice and clean but the hostel was a bit run down.  The location is very good if you want to bike or walk to the west lake but a bit away from the main city centre.  We paid 170 Yuan for a double room.  Even though it was not that bad, I’m not sure we would stay there again.

Nanjing – Jin’s Inn ***.

10 responses

17 02 2010
New "Hostels and Guesthouses" page « Orn's Travel Blog

[...] » New "Hostels and Guesthouses" page February 9, 2010 I just created a Hostels and Guest houses page with reviews of all the places we have stayed in.  The idea was to help people that are [...]

20 02 2012
andhrapradeshhostels

search engine for hostels in Andhra Pradesh Hostels. You can search for Boy’s Hostels, Girls Hostels,
Female Hostels, Male Hostels, Working Womens Hostels, Working Mens Hostels

Andhra Pradesh Hostels

31 05 2010
How much does it cost to backpack in Asia? « Orn's Travel Blog

[...] Guest houses and hostels [...]

2 01 2011
2010 in review « Orn's Travel Blog

[...] Guest houses and hostels [...]

19 09 2011
Guest house Cotswolds

A brilliant list of guest houses. Thanks for these, I’m sure they will come in handy to world travellers!

4 12 2011
Canklefish

Only one *review, you seem to have gotten lucky. Too bad about the bed bugs though, that can be tragic. Seems that Vietnam has some pretty nice places.

Great resource for hostel information

28 12 2011
John

It really looks like you guys had a fantastic trip. I have done some of China but have not yet done Cambodia or Vietnam. Would love to be able to do them some time and have noted your page for future reference.
It would have been lovely if you could have included a couple of photo’s as well.

24 09 2013
Jessywilson

Looks like new approvement in hostels. I would prefer now in this stage.

10 11 2013
Abi Samra

Just after some advice, my husband and I are travelling around south east Asia for 5 months from next March and we’re looking to stay in private double rooms in hostels. How far in advanced do you have to book those or can we just turn up on the day? As although we obviously have a rough route planned, we don’t know exact dates of when we’ll be in each town etc. any advice would be much appreciated!

11 11 2013
othordarson

We only booked the first couple of nights in Bangkok and for the rest of the journey we only turned up on the day. That worked out perfectly for us.

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