May 21, 2007

Cheap Hotel Accommodations in Ranong
Ranong, Thailand

There's heaps of information out there for savvy backpackers looking to jump across the river from Ranong, Thailand, to Kawthoung, Myanmar, but hardly any mention of where to sleep on the Thai-side of the frontier.

This is a reference for shoestring travelers seeking solid information on housing options. Although it's by no means a comprehensive listing for the entire town of Ranong, it does describe most every viable hotel/guesthouse option I came across.

Sleep on the Cheap

The town of Ranong is sort of looks like a circular spider web. Most every housing option is in the center, on Ruangrad Road, and reachable within no more than 15 minutes worth of walking from the bus station.

I've highlighted the path you need to take on this simple city map. Your last turn will be onto Ruangrad—just look for the sign pointing to the town's main (food) market. This is another city map of Ranong, posted inside of a hotel.

The list below is ordered in proximity to the bus station, with the closest listed first. Unless otherwise indicated, the hotel is north of the food market—just keep walking on Ruangrad Road.

Arriving after midnight is not suggested, as hotels in the area don't staff in the early hours, locking their guests in until morning. Don't expect hot water, as you will get none. None of hotels were setup to lock the room with your own padlock.

  • Kiwi Orchid Guesthouse: It's so close you can hit the building with a tossed stone from the bus station (look NE, near the cluster of small shops). Lonely Planet's #1 pick, and at B$250/night for a double, outrageously expensive for what you get. The no-frills room I was shown above their restaurant was hot, uninviting, and windowless (as I don't count the glass looking into the door of the room across the hall as a window). Bathrooms are shared. If you're looking for information on transit to Myanmar, look elsewhere, as the staff spoke little English. The location is an option if you need some quick (overpriced) Internet access between buses. [photo of their business card]
  • Asia Hotel: A massive structure located just before the food market (although it doesn't look it from the outside). A double bed, large (screened) windows, and en suite bathroom make this a good option for B$160/night (B$50 for an additional person). Towel and soap provided. Upgrades include rooms with a television, extra bed, and A/C. The fan in room 102 sounds like the prop on a small aircraft. My problem with their basic room setup: No power outlets or light bulb sockets to tap into for my rechargeable electronics. [photo of room 102] [photo of their business card]
  • Sintavee Hotel: A well maintained hotel with large hallways and equally spacious rooms. Towel, soap, and a bottle of water is provided in each room. A basic double bed with en suite bathroom and (screened) windows runs an acceptable B$160/night. Upgrades include rooms with a television (B$200/night), extra bed (B$240/night), and A/C (B$280/night). Balcony rooms overlooking Ruangrad Road might be interesting, but probably too noisy in the early morning. No power outlets in the cheap rooms, but there's a light bulb socket that can be tapped into in room 305. The reception wants to retain the room key whenever you leave, but can tell you where to catch bus #3 to the Thai immigration office. [photo of room 305] [photo of their business card]
  • Bangsan (TV Bar): The suffocatingly hot, windowless rooms above the downstairs bar have nothing in them but a pair of stacked mattresses, laying on the laminate floor. The thin walls creating the row of rooms are made of some type of thatched weave—possibly instilling a bungalow effect (after at least 10 cocktails downstairs). Bathrooms are shared. For B$100/night, you're basically looking at a sweaty shag-pad above a bar. [photo of their business card]
  • Rattanasin Hotel: With the poor lighting and dark, dirty spider webs hanging from the concrete ceiling in every room and hallway, the place has got to be a shoe-in for a creepiest hotel during the daylight award. I was shown the spacious room #5, which had big, bight windows, a double bed, and bathroom en suite (except it had a squat-toilet instead of the western variety). The old man working the reception could absolutely care less. I would question the safety of my gear here (more than other places), but for B$100/night, it's a solid option for tight budgets. They have no business cards, but the address is #226 Ruangrad Road. [photo of the sign out front]

Cheap Internet Access

Keep walking up (north) on Ruangrad Road and you'll find the cheapest Internet access I've seen in Thailand—B$15/hour. The speed is good, but their connection is consistently questionable. The address is #293, next to the aging movie cinema.

Ranong Bus Departure Times / Prices

Two hotels I stopped by had bus schedules posted. [photo from the Hotel Asia] [photo from the Sintavee Hotel] [photo of a map with transport details]

FYI

A good source of information (in English) can be found at Pon's Place Travel Agency, located in between the 7-11 and Sintavee Hotel.

Some hotels are offering to take your passport across the river for you, typically for a B$400 fee (excluding the Myanmar immigration fee). You can do this on your own for less than B$100.

It should be noted that Myanmar has gotten smart to the growing number of travelers using this checkpoint to receive a fresh Thai entry stamp in their passports. They've recently bumped their immigration fee up to US$10 (payable with a crisp U.S. notes only) as a response to the demand.

Thoughts, or alternate housing suggestions? Feel free to note them in the comments section (below).

Comments:

Malaysia

Craig | travelvice.com

May 30th, 2007

My buddy Andy has stayed at two others: Ratawasin and Hot Spring Guesthouse, both B$100/night.

Photos here

Chiangmaima

May 31st, 2007

I stayed there a year ago at Wood House which was 100 Baht a night

Boomer43

May 31st, 2007

The KIWI is a total dump. The SPRINGS guesthouse (oddly enough on the road to the hotsprings) has nice big, clean rooms (shared facilities but again very clean), there is TV in the restaurant and free pool.

skuzzy6

June 7th, 2007

I recently stayed at Suta House…B390…a/con bungalow with cable TV ensuite (Hot water) quite small but larger rooms avail.(price?) Good restaurant (try the Korean BBQ special).
Have stayed at Casa Theresa near VIP bus Terminal various prices (Front part closed ….call around back)
Thanatwan Palace a bit out of the way…has a swimming pool rooms a bit noisy Big room B500 e/suite A/c Cable tv.
Woodhouse now closed. Apparently being pulled down and Supermarket being built(?)
Best Bar in town…Sophons Hideaway…approx 200 meters past Cinema…Closes @midnight…move to Live music at nightclub back towards Cinema…Closes approx 2am…move to Ninja Bar about 50 meters towards Cinema..open until whenever. Other drinking spots…Black Johns Bar (opposite the closed Woodhouse and the nearby "cocktail Bar". There is another recently opened Accom place at the top end of town in main drag near the road going to the Police Station/Post Office….680 a night….supposed to be very nice (French sounding name???)

Anonymous

June 8th, 2007

bumped into this page after a google search. many thanks to the author (and all) for sharing your extremely detailed descriptions, helpful advice and super images. this is what makes the net great. thanks guys!

Anonymous

October 2nd, 2008

Now immigration is at the dock, simplifying things. I took the big boat trip for 400B, which was fast and smooth.

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