Don Khong, Siphandon, South Laos - It took me awhile to decide on my accommodation in Don Khong. It was one of the few non-reserved nor pre-booked rooms during this whole travel. Agoda doesn't seem to book hotels in Siphandon's biggest island so i had to depend on wikitravel and LP for information. After perusing through a dozen accommodations, I came upon Pon's River Guest House, just north of the bridge - three buildings to be exact.
The main come-on for me was its owner, Mr. Pon who's a veritable wealth of information and can arrange for transport anywhere in South Laos. That sounded good to me. After all, this was going to be my last stop in Siphandon before heading back north to Pakse (the capital of Champasak Province). But I never saw the "legendary" Mr. Pon.
I basically sauntered off and walked into the guesthouse at close to noontime. No one was around, like Champasak except for a guy who welcomed me with a "hello". He must be Mr. Pon's son because I would see him drive his SUV every so often. There were three choices on the price range: a 50,000 kip non-AC room ($6.25 fan room) which is hard to beat; 80,000 kip ($10 AC double room, i.e. with 2 single beds); 160,000 kip ($20 AC room with cable TV). It's really a no-brainer. I booked and paid for the $10 which was more than what I expected.
|Pon's River's Guest Logbook: The list goes French, Spanish, Filipino, French.|
The guest house has 2-stories and 18 rooms situated adjacent to the hotel lobby (to its left). From a staircase, Room 9 greets me with its comfortable, homely ambiance. Fronting the place is a veranda with wooden, rattan and rocking chairs. There are worn out books on a shelf as well. Most times, this veranda is unoccupied, the guests keep to themselves inside their rooms; myself included.
The room has a hanging mosquito nets that go unused. The sheets smell fresh; the floors squeaky clean. The bathroom is sizable, dry, and has fixtures that work, with no molds seen. On a printed "hotel principles", article 3 states, and I quote, "Do not use the hotel to be like bars. Do not have a man and a woman sleep together in the same room that break the Lao culture." Article 9 states: "Report impolite clerks to the manager." There are similar "rules" found in other hotels all over Lao PDR.
Just across the small riverside road is Pon's River's Restaurant. Several other restaurants line this lane, most of them have relatively higher prices compared to other places in Laos. In fact, food is in its most expensive here. Bicycles could be hired anywhere. There's an internet shop just 2 buildings south (to the right) of Pon's River Guest House. A newer branch of this lodging is "Pon's Arena Hotel" just a minute's walk north from here.
At night, there's nothing much to do after dinner so it's usually an early bed. I'd usually go through my next day's itinerary first before dozing off to lala land.
I booked my "bus" back to Pakse from Pon's River.
This is the Eye in the Sky!
|A tree beside the bridge, then the row of guesthouses.|
|Pon's River Guest House|
|No frills lobby|
|Stairs, second floor. Room no. 9 was to its right.|
|The veranda at the second floor.|
|Room 9 and my two single beds. there's a mosquito net hanging from the ceiling (which I never used).|
|Entrance to the second floor. The lobby is to its right.|
|Pon's river Guest House at night.|
|Sunrise at the Pon's River Restaurant|
|Bikes for rent|
|Ratana Riverside Restaurant|
|A Lao boy|