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Thongbay Guest House
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3 - 6 of 6 reviews
Reviewed 6 March 2008

There were so many red flags about this place, that we should never have stayed here. I booked a superior room for my boyfriend and I for $16, so a mid-range room, via email, which took some time since they don't answer email quickly. I asked for an airport pickup and never heard back from them.

When we got to the Vientiane airport and noticed there was no one there waiting for us, we called Thongbay and they said they didn't have any record of our stay and that we could come if we wanted to. Huh? Thankfully, I had printed out a copy of the email confirmation.

We also met a fellow traveler who was also staying there, who was also expecting an airport pickup, but it never showed up. So we all shared a cab over to the guesthouse, which is located about a mile from the center of town and close to the airport. It's also down a back alley past some ramshackle homes. When we got there, they found our reservation, but told the single woman we had met that they didn't have her reservation even though she had made it the night before.

We mentioned there was no one waiting for us at the airport, and the surly Australian desk told us that these things happen. Did I mention they hung up on us when we called to see where the pickup was? After a long round, we finally convinced them to give this girl a room.

The room was incredibly basic, with mattresses set on these very shoddy wooden platforms on top of gym floors. It was clean, but very clearly rundown. There was a fan set in the wall, but it let in mosquitoes. Speaking of which, bring plenty of repellant if you want to sit outside there because it's swarming with mosquitoes. They have a stagnant pond in the middle which is full of them.

We signed up for their much touted cooking class, which wasn't nearly as good as we liked. The instructor, who turned out to be the receptionist, took us to the market, but never explained what she was buying or why. It was only after some prodding that she explained anything. We ended up answering other people's questions because we were familiar with Asian produce. When we got back to the guesthouse, a table was laid next to the stagnant pond and we were rushed through a list of foods. There were six of us and many of us had to ask again and again what was going on and the amounts. There were no recipes or handouts and when we asked about them, we were told they would be emailed. That was over a week ago.

The best part? We both got terribly sick from the cooking class--you sit down with your classmates afterwards to your dinner---with terrible diarrhea that lasted for days. It was only after we took a 3-day regimen of antibiotics prescribed by a doctor that we were finally able to kick the bug.

We were so fed up with the place that we checked out and stayed at Villa Manoli, which was fantastic! We only wished we had been there our entire time in Vientiane!

FYI: This guesthouse is the Vientiane branch of a popular and well-thought of guesthouse in Luang Prabang, which convinced me to stay here. They don't seem to know what they're doing in Vientiane.

  • Stayed: February 2008
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2  Thank BeerLao
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 February 2017 via mobile
Google Translation

Stayed: December 2016, travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 August 2012
Google Translation

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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