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“This place is a hole”
Review of Eagle House

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Eagle House
Ranked #228 of 737 Chiang Mai B&B and Inns
Wellington, NZ
Level Contributor
68 reviews
66 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“This place is a hole”
Reviewed 30 June 2012

Well done, you get my first terrible rating on TA!
I shuold have listened to the other reviews who mentioned the grotty roomsbehind the dodgy door fraems.
The plus point the green courtyard. But what lies beyond is very disappointing. Rules. Rules. Rules. Fill in book for your every move. 30baht for safe deposit box. Opinionated owner and the uninterested staff . The room was grotty but the ensuite bathroom was pretty decent. The door and frame rotten, just about holding together. I agree with everything everyone else has said about safety and security.
Pay just a tad more and stay a couple of doors away in a much nicer place nearer the main street (can’t remember the name).

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Woodinio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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118 reviews from our community

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English first
London
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviewed 18 April 2012

I went there with a friend of mine, we booked a room via email and had it confirmed. I also called and confirmed type of room we required. Once we got there, we were told by a VERY uninterested receptionist that our room is not available (it was, last evening) and we need to stay in the most expensive they had available.. The place looked super quiet, to be honest. We really wanted to do trek with them as heard some good opinions but unfortunately, we did not manage to get any information buy being handed quite unclear book with description of treks.
We just had a walk around and popped into Libra Guesthouse where stuff was attentive, friendly and informative.
I heard that a couple running Eagle is very friendly. Perhaps it is a nice place, it looks quite ok, maybe they should just pay a bit more attention when hiring stuff. It is possible to have friendly stuff in Thailand - honestly, go and check Libra...

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Anna S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Chiang Mai hotels

Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 April 2012

Stayed there for 1 night and it was totally okay for that price. It was clean and the staff is friendly. If u complain about little color stains on the wall while paying 5 dollars a night, u should probably look for something more expensive!

  • Stayed April 2012
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Alexschwae2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jakarta, Indonesia
Level Contributor
22 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 March 2012

I agree 100% with the review "Trek Review - Rural Thailand with ALL the Trimmings". The rating is not quite accurate since the trek was exactly the way it was described - away from tourists in a really remote area. We walked through beautiful countryside and saw the local residents who were going about their every-day activities. Our presence there made very little difference to their lives. So the trek itself would get an “excellent” rating since it delivered exactly what it promised.

On the other hand, as the other reviewer said, the trek was exhausting. The second day, we walked the whole day in very difficult terrain. I was with a friend, an extremely fit 50 year old woman, and two 25 year olds. My friend was doing well. The other two did OK but said that if they had known how strenuous a trip this was going to be, they may not have signed up for it. I am an average fit 54 year old woman. At the end of the second day, I was totally dehydrated. Since we had to carry our own stuff (clothes, toiletries, rain gear - the minimum basics for 3 days) and water, I guess I did not take enough water (3 bottles). The second guide ended up carrying my backpack for the last hour. I could barely put one foot in front of the other towards the end of the afternoon and simply collapsed in the communal sleeping hut when we arrived. I felt too sick and exhausted to have dinner and went straight to sleep.

I still say that the trek was great, but what is inexcusable is that there was no warning as to how strenuous it was going to be or what obstacles to expect. Take the leeches (please...) So OK there are leeches, but there was no mention that you needed to take socks and possibly shoes (rather than sandals). I only had sandals and was so grateful for the smelly dirty socks my friend gave me (the ones she had worn the previous day with her tennis shoes) to help ward off the worst onslaught off the leeches on the second day. At the end of the trip, we had to throw out the socks and her tennis shoes were ruined from the mud and water and assorted other abuses.

Doh, the guide. We had exactly the same experience. Talking to him was like pulling teeth. I understand that when you do this job for over ten years as he has, that the questions from the tourists became tedious since they are monotonously repetitious. But if that's how you feel in this line of work then it's time to quit. I insisted on his translating questions that I had and I told him not to answer for the village people (without talking to them!) that I wanted to communicate with. It was an up-hill battle. That aspect of the trek would have been so much more rewarding if we had had a guide who was genuinely interested in sharing his culture. Both my friend and I are English language teachers and we wanted to learn some basic phrases in Karen, but Doh would not cooperate. That said – he was extremely skilled and a very competent field guide, hacking his way through forest, building rafts, and helping villagers repair bridges.

Which leads me to another issue - safety. The young woman in the tour slipped on a rock and fell into the water. She did not hurt herself very badly and recovered relatively quickly. My friend fell as she was climbing over a fence. The huge bruise on her leg was black and blue and lasted for weeks. In both instances – no major harm done, but it easily could have ended up differently. There was no cell phone connection, no people around, and the area was pretty remote. At Eagle House we saw a woman in a cast. Apparently, she had fallen and broken her foot on a trek.

So back to the rating issue - before signing up for this type of trek, you should be made aware of the possible dangers and difficulties. We were not. So the preparation for the trip was very poor and the guide – well the guide was simply too jaded to care. As the other reviewer said so aptly “The substance of the tour - the rainforest, villages, flora & fauna - is wonderful and memorable, as long as you know what you're getting into...”

Stayed July 2011, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank Uschi_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 24 November 2011

My husband and I went on a 3-day trek with this company 3 years ago, it was the highlight of our trip! I would never trek with another company. You felt like you were glimpsing the culture and being respectful of it instead of looking at it like the Karen hilltribes were some sort of tourist attraction... food was great, scenery was great, activities were great. Everything was just perfect. My parents went this year and it was also the highlight of thier trip... they also would never reccommend another trekking company. Don't comfuse the reviews of the hotel with the reviews of the trek. The hotel is a regular backpacking hotel... nothing to write home about, but thier treks are the MAIN thing you'll be writing home about. Garaunteed.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Sarah S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 September 2011

Where to start with Eagle House?
We booked in, having read recommendations in one of our guidebooks. We booked 2 rooms for the 4 of us, with air conditioning.

First things first, we did not get free pick up. We got a bus from Bangkok to Chiang Mai overnight and arrived at 6am. No transfer was offered.

The room was dirty, sheets were stained, there were hairs in the"shower", aircon was provided my a single, half broken fan.

Annette was rude, She obviously only caters for the older eco traveller. She made me and my party feel unwelcome and made comments about my dress. She was stuck on her high horse and had nothing polite or constructive to say to us.

Obviously, at this point, we were not planning on doing treks or cookery courses with annette, but even without my bias, there are a lot better courses out there. We went to a chiang main travel agency and booked a great trek and did our cookery with the cookery school, which I cant recommend enough. We stayed at eagle house for 2 nights, trekked for 3, then returned to a different, much nicer hostel, for less money.

DO NOT STAY HERE!

Room Tip: There are no good rooms here
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  • Stayed October 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank jenny f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 September 2011

I always hate to write the first bad review, so let's start with the positives:

My brother and I did a three-day private area trek with eagle house. We drove so far out from Chiang Mai that we really did escape the tourists and had the once-in-a-lifetime chance to trek through a beautiful, untouched rainforest. It was amazing to see how the Karen villagers survived purely off the land and how resourceful our guide Doh was - with cooking, building a bamboo shower and even a bamboo raft overnight that we used the next day. Eagle house's tourism style is definitely sustainable and they disperse the money to everyone in the villages, as well as funding projects like bridge-building. We were happy to come back with a lot of great photos and stories.

On the downside:
I think the guide you get can really make or break your trek, especially when you're travelling in a private group (2 people) like we were. Except when he met another villager and could chat in Karen, Doh was silent for almost the entire trek. Often when he would speak, he would accidentally start speaking in Karen and it would take him awhile to switch into English (he later told us most of his trekkers are from France and Germany and he doesn't speak with them at all). Worse than this though was his either inability or refusal to translate anything for us, so we couldn't converse with the villagers despite a lot of mutual curiosity. When we arrived at the first village, he disappeared for a few hours and so we walked around, said hi to the villagers (although none of them spoke much Thai). For dinner, our host family ate inside by candlelight while they brought dinner to us while we ate alone outside in the dark.

A typical conversation with Doh: "So, can you teach us how to say hello, or greet someone, in Karen?"
"In Karen we don't say hello."
"Well, what are a few good words to know in Karen?"
"There are no good words in Karen."

The only other important thing to mention from this trek is that - at least the route we took - was very strenuous. We are fit and in our early 20s and found the 4-hour walks (half of which were uphill) simply exhausting. Not for the faint of heart: we shook spiders out of our sleeping bags in the morning and bloodied through all our socks because of the leeches. On the eagle house website it misleadingly states, "people from 7 to 83 years old have taken our treks." It's 4,000 baht for a truck to come pick you up if for some reason you can't make it, and when I asked Doh how often this happens, he shook his head sadly and said, "very often."

My recommendation if you take this trek:
Don't ask "how much longer?", or if you do, double the time given
Take things to do/book to read
Be prepared for: long and extremely bumpy 4-hour car rides (ladies: sports bras) in back of pick-up truck, sleeping on hard bamboo floors
Wear tall socks and bring a lighter to burn the leeches off
Long sleeves and pants because mosquito repellent won't do the job

Oh, and one more thing: I hate to add insult to injury, but while I was extremely impressed with how hour guide put together meals from vegetables he came across on the trek, it's probably some of the worst food I've had in Thailand (after living here a year). The ingredients were very fresh but there was a strong sweet chemical taste that made me think of lighter fluid and permeated everything. After reading the other reviews I was hoping for something more palatable!

To summarize, there are probably certain inconveniences to doing a group trek (sharing mats in the huts, back of the car, etc.), but I'm sure it's a better value for your money. The substance of the tour - the rainforest, villages, flora & fauna - is wonderful and memorable, as long as you know what you're getting into and like who you're getting into it with.

Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank allyboe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Eagle House

Property: Eagle House
Address: 16 Chang Moi Gao Road | Soi (Lane) 3, Chiang Mai 50300, Thailand
Region: Thailand > Chiang Mai Province > Chiang Mai
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #228 of 737 B&Bs / Inns in Chiang Mai
Number of rooms: 3
Also Known As:
Eagle House Hotel Chiang Mai

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