We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Oasis in Luang Prabang”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 5 more sites!
Thongbay Guesthouse
Ranked #1 of 272 Luang Prabang B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 10, 2009

I came to Luang Prabang for the 2nd time for friends' wedding. Since I stayed in town last time I wanted to stay somewhere quiet to enjoy the lifestyle that LP is known for. I am really glad that I did, b/c it made my experience in LP more delightful than the last.

The owners are welcoming and friendly. Lai and her husband and son picked me up at the airport in the evening and welcomed me to the guesthouse. Since it was evening they let me have my rest and leave check-in til later. I had dinner there, which was a steamed fish mouse with spices which was quite good and it was nice to relaxe and have couple glasses of chilled white wine in their beautiful tropical garden to wind down.

In the mornings I had breakfast on my veranda overlooking the river which was very enjoyable. And that's where I spent a lot of time just relaxing, reading, watching fishermen and children in the river. It was convenient to get to town, though a very hot bike ride (helped by wearing a traditional palm leaf farmer hat). Otherwise they can call tuk tuks for 20,000 for 1 person ride, or if more than 1 person 10,000 per person. You can negotiate on your own for less than that but I didn't mind having the convenience.

One morning it was buddha day, and Lai's mother and staff kindly let me help them make offerings with banana leaves and different flowers. That was a very special experience for me, and let in some insight to the local culture.

I had other friends staying at the Phu Vao, Grand Luang Prabang, 3 Nagas and other hotels. They are obviously very nice and comfortable and typical of the Asian colonial hotels that I love. I had stayed at the Raffles hotel in Ventiane, it was nice but I think in terms of value and the experience, Thongbay has the rustic charm and it is more personal. I also had friends staying at $10 a night guesthouses with air con, which is less (Thongbay has no aircon though with day time temperature at 38 it wasn't really a problem at night). I would not have traded the experience. You can tell that they care about their guesthouse, the amount of work they put in to nurture their garden for the past 9 years.

I had a great stay, and on the last day Lai was so sweet and presented me with a red scarf. That was a wonderful gesture. My friends that didn't stay at the guesthouse only wish that they did so.

I highly recommend staying here and avoid the throngs of tourists in town.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank HappySwan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (1,044)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

706 - 712 of 1,044 reviews

Reviewed May 9, 2009

Thongbay guesthouse has to be the place place to stay in Laos. During our travels in the country, we didn't find anything that compares with this hotel. We arrived via plane from Chiang Mai on Lao Airlines and they picked us up at the hotel for $6 USD.

We paid $36 CAD a night for this accommodation and were rewarded with a river view bungalow. From our terrace you could only see the river, the farming banks on each side, and the children playing below.

The rooms are fairly simple. We had a huge room with a queen sized bed and a smaller single bed. The bathrooms have newly been tiled and offers as much hot water as you want. There is NO A/C in the room but they stay very cool. Being next to the river, there are alot of mosquitos on the veranda at night... not too great to sit outside, but mysteriously there are no bugs in the room itself. They offer a mosquito net, but we didn't need it.

The staff was amazing, the staff, and the owner would sit and talk to us for long time and answered all our questions about Lao culture, etc. When we checked out, they offered us a free dinner the night before, and they gave us bracelets that were apparently to wish safe travels. This really made us feel special.

There is no internet at the hotel, a little surprising, but also refreshing. There are plenty of wifi cafes in town, and internet cafes if you need to use it.

The food is very good at the hotel, yellow curry was especially good. We ended up having a couple of meals to avoid needing to head into town. We organized a driver to go to the waterfalls through the hotel. While a little pricier than we could get in town, it was a private trip on our schedule, and much more comfortable.

As a couple of the other reviewers have mentioned, it is a big trip into town. We didn't even try on foot as it was way too hot. It doesn't take too long, but the prices do start to add up. We spent $3-$6 a day to get into the town. It would be nice if they offered a free shuttle a few times a day to at least give you the option of saving some money. That is the only thing I think they can improve though.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank losttravelling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2009

My wife and I stayed at Thongbay Guesthouse in April 2009. We had originally planned to stay 3 nights but ended up staying 5. The family and staff who run the guesthouse are lovely people who made a real effort to make our stay enjoyable.

We stayed in a river view bungalow which we both agreed was one of the nicest bungalows that we have stayed in our extensive trips throughout Asia. Very clean with plenty of space, nice bed, mozzie net, hot water, fridge and lovely large balcony with seats overlooking the river. Quite private as well.

You can get free water everyday from the guesthouse who buy the clean water from the Red Cross Luang Prabang who in turn use the money to put into local projects. The owner Philip and his Laos wife are extremely nice and very friendly people. Nothing was a problem.

The food was good and you could either sit in the lovely well kept garden or eat at your balcony. They will also serve brekkie on your balcony in the morning which was a nice touch. We swam in the river with the locals and just generally relaxed there. When we wanted to go into the town (which is very close) we either cycled (they have quality bikes for rent), took a tuk tuk or got a free lift (they go in 4 times a day at set times). You could walk as well but it was 38 degrees so we couldnt be bothered....!

All in all a very pleasant stay and I would definitely recommend.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Jenko77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2009

This is not really a review, since I have recently posted one on Travel Fish ; its more to express my astonishment at the review from Aysha, who roundly attacks, not only Thong Bay, but Laos and all its people. A glance at my passport shows that I have visited Laos 11 times in the last 4 years and I simply dont recognise the description that Aysha provides. Far from being mean and grasping, Lao people are the most gentle and serene that I have met. And as for being too motivated my money. my fear for Laos is that it is not financially driven enough. Look at any sucessful business in Luang Prabang and the chances are that they will be owned by Euopeans, North Americans, Vietnamese or Thais. Lao people dont seem cut out for the aggressive world of business. I wont bore readers with an endless account of individual acts of kindness and generosity that I have received in Laos. Suffice it so say that I have never experienced this level of kindness anywhere else. I guess we all write as we find and I can only assume that Aysha had an uncharacteristically bad experience. (But seeing her reviews of other places, bad experiences seem to follow her around !)
So far as Thong Bay is concerned, just a few comments. Aysha is upset because they sell Red Cross Water! Is she not aware that charities across the world sell branded goods to raise money and that every time she bought a bottle in Thong Bay some of that money was going to help finance thhe work of that organisation. What logic or morality is it that is opposed to that????
Thong Bay makes no secret that it is out of town..indeed i think it rather trades upon it. So my advice is if you want to be central, you wont enjoy going to Thong Bay. But if you do go there you will find that it does not take you "at least 30 minutes" to walk into town. I am approaching my middle 60s and it takes me just over 20....unless, as often happens a local on a motor bike stops by with a smile and says "Where you want to go, Mr.? I take you"..with no reciprocation expected , except the posibiliy of practising their English for 2 minutes. The level of noise too, is exaggerated. You are not living under the flightpath at Heathrow with 747s landing 60 to the hour. The sound of the few planes using the aiport of akin to an angry bumble bee..and would affect almost any hotel in Luang Prabang in the same way
As for awarding 1/5 for rooms and service, I am totally perplexed. Its not a $250 a night establishment..but it has clean sheets and towels, fuctional toilets, wash basin, showers, fridge, comfortable beds and amazing views. The service is charming, and efficient. Oddly ,Aysha does not tell us the response of the management when she complained ( I assume that she did?)I have never had cause to complain (in about 7 or 8 visits) so I cant be sure...but I expect that that would be mortified and act at once to deal with any problems.
Overall I guess the balance of reviews here tell is own story..35 positive...1 negative !! I have not been put of by the negative one and I hope that no-one else with be either. I will be back at Thong Bay as soon as circumstances permit.
If you enjoy your visit to Laos and want to put something back, please take a moment to look at www.leot.org.uk
Alan

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank afsl0nd0n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2009

This guesthouse has stunning grounds and lovely bungalows right on the river. We enjoyed breakfast on our balcony while listening to the kids playing in the water and watching people tending their crops... really lovely.

In the afternoon you get to 'enjoy' the local karaoke that floats across the valley from a bar across the river.... worried me at first but don't even notice it too much after that.

It is a fair hike into town and this can get boring!!!! About a 20 min walk or 20,000 kip for two by tuk tuk. Breakfast (delivered each morning) and minibar a nice touch in the rooms but nothing is included in your room rate so all costs extra.

All in all pretty happy with our choice.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank goingplacesmelbourne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2009

We enjoyed out stay, really nice bungalow and very friendly owners. Unfortunately it was during a very hot period (36 degrees) and there was no a/c. It did cool off a little at night. Also every night there was loud music from across the river till about 3 am, which kind of spoiled the quiet setting of the guesthouse. Also the mattress was way too hard for me.
Having to get a tuk-tuk each time to back and to town got to be expensive at $3 a shot.

The gardens were beautiful and so was sitting on the front porch of the bungalow and watching the action on and around the river.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank paddlelong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2009

Located a little way from the town centre but overlooking the river, Thong Bay was the perfect place to relax, in the garden or on the veranda of one's cabin. Great views, from the riverside cabins, including the monks at play/bathing in the afternoon. The rooms and food (served in the garden or on your veranda) were good and the staff very helpful. It was easy to get the GH car or a tuk tuk to town (10,000 kip/person).

We had some trouble with the noise from a nearby bar on the first night (at least it sounded nearby, but was probably across the river) but this improved after a word with the staff.

The elephant trek ( All Lao Service Co - half day) was superb, including taking the elephants for a river bathe. LP itself was a delight.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank rosandjohn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Luang Prabang hotels
1 mi away
Mekong Riverview Hotel
Mekong Riverview Hotel
#3 of 71 in Luang Prabang
872 reviews
0.9 mi away
Le Sen Boutique Hotel
Le Sen Boutique Hotel
#2 of 71 in Luang Prabang
844 reviews
0.9 mi away
Lotus Villa Boutique Hotel
Lotus Villa Boutique Hotel
#14 of 71 in Luang Prabang
925 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
5.6 mi away
Zen Namkhan Boutique Resort
Zen Namkhan Boutique Resort
#1 of 1 in Ban Xieng Lom
258 reviews
0.6 mi away
Phone Praseuth Guesthouse
Phone Praseuth Guesthouse
#3 of 272 in Luang Prabang
698 reviews
0.9 mi away
Golden Lotus Place
Golden Lotus Place
#2 of 272 in Luang Prabang
438 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Thongbay Guesthouse? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Thongbay Guesthouse

Address: Ban Vieng May, Vat Sakem, Luang Prabang 0600, Laos
Location: Laos > Luang Prabang Province > Luang Prabang
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 272 B&Bs / Inns in Luang Prabang
Price Range: $52 - $74 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Thongbay Guesthouse 2.5*
Number of rooms: 16
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Agoda, Priceline, Hotels.com and Booking.com so you can book your Thongbay Guesthouse reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Thongbay Guesthouse Hotel Luang Prabang

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing