Where to relax in Ratanakiri province

Banlung Guesthouse: Situated near the market. Very clean rooms with a share bath go for US$ 3. Banlung Guesthouse: Near the airport. This friendly place has fan rooms with a bathroom inside for US$ 5 and a/c rooms for US$ 10. They have a restaurant and can arrange guided trips to the local attractions and beyond. They also have guides who speak the various hill tribe dialects and can take you to some outlying villages.

They rent Honda Dreams for US$ 5 a day and also a pickup truck with a driver for US$ 50 a day, including the fuel. They are currently trying to reorganize their elephant trekking after the recent death of the elephant that was normally used. Mountain Guesthouse: (tel. 075/974047) Fairly decent simple rooms are available at US$ 5 a night for a room with a fan and bathroom. The walls are paper-thin so watch the hanky-panky; they have a small restaurant that serves breakfast. They also have Honda Dreams for rent at US$ 5 a day. The English-speaking owner of the place helps you to organize trekking tours if you?re interested. Mountain Guesthouse 2: This is run by the sister of the owner of the similarly named place mentioned above. They have Spartan accommodations that are not well cleaned for US$ 5. There is a funky share bath area.

The upside is a nice second-floor terrace and they also serve breakfast. Lebanese Hotel: With no staff anywhere to be found on the three occasions when we stopped by, it is not recommended. Belongings can easily disappear if nobody is minding the store. Rattan Hotel: (tel. 012/958322) It?s the highest building in town, but that isn’t saying much. They did some remodelling in the front outside area of the building, but the rooms are the same as before. Rooms in front have a terrace and window overlooking the street. They have and attached Western bath, double or twin beds with a/c for US$ 10 a night. It?s a clean place, but when we went through, not overly friendly. Terres Rouge Lodge: ( tel. 075/974051) It’s a quite traditional equipped hotel with 12 rooms, which show Khmer textiles and artefacts. The lake view gives the visitor an idea of having real holidays.

Only disadvantage is the 4km ride to the centre of Banlung. The room rates are: US$30 for a single room, US$35 double room, around US$40 for a room with two single beds and US$50 for the suite. You need to place a reservation in advance. Tribal Hotel: (tel. 075/974074) It’s near the centre of Banlung on the road, which lets out of the town in direction to the Yak Laom Lake. There are plenty of rooms on different rates: single room US$5-6, double room with two single beds US$7, bigger double rooms are available for around US$10. All rooms have a bathroom and TV; some have a little balcony and AC. You may ask the owner for Internet connection as well as for help organizing a tour in the area.