Give this place a miss when in Chiang Khong

Discussion in 'Northern Thailand - Road Trip Reports' started by Pikey, Aug 1, 2008.

  1. Pikey

    Pikey Ol'Timer

    RUAN THAI SOPAPHUN

    Which entering from the north of town is just south of the Easy Corner down a small soi on the riverside of the road. The soi has a sign for another guesthouse - Tamilla I think.

    Anyway, why not stay there, after all it looks nice, is made of teak and is on the river all for 300B/night - every weary motorcyclists dream right? That's what we thought too. The reality was somewhat different.

    This was a couple of weeks back when we rode via Doi Mae Salong to CK then on to Pua e.t.c bu the saga only concluded yesterday, hence the lateness of this post.

    So, after all checking in and paying for the rooms, I gave my Thai bike licence as assurance that we wouldn't do a runner for the beers we were just about to drink before showering and eating. Seated overlooking the MaeKhong, beers were flowing and happy riders were recounting their experiences of the day. After showering we reconvened at the table where we'd been sure to keep all the empties so as we could tally up. A couple more beers and then we go out for dinner, but not before the old bird that runs the place tried to get us to eat there but without a menu or idea of prices - thanks but no thanks. A quick count of the empties showed 15 empty large Leos.

    After a very satisfactory nosh at the Easy Corner and a few more beers it was back to the RTS and another beer before bed. In the morning the trouble starts - the old bird presents a total of 24 Leos and we have to account for what we each drunk. There were 7 of us and not all drinkers so I took the hit for 7 because I went to bed before some of the other guys and didn't know the total but do like Leo and drink a bit so thought that was about right for me. Off to Easy Corner for brekkie. When everyone regrouped, Simon being the last told that the lady had insisted that we'd had 24 but that the actual total was less than 20 but being gracious he paid to make up to 20 bottles. She was happy with that.

    OK we carried on with our trip and later I realised that I hadn't picked up my licence. Too far to turn back so I thought no worries, Bungy has a card and I'll get my missus to phone when we are back in CNX.

    Back in CNX, my wife called on the saturday, explained the situation and was assured no problems, it would be posted to the address on the licence - my house. After waiting until monday of this week and no licence, my wife called again, only to be told (not very pleasantly) "no give licence, 2 farang no pay room!" This was BS because we all checked in and paid together and after checking in, we were drinking beer 15 feet from the desk and the guy never raised it amongst the 7 of us then.

    One of the guys on the trip (Shadi) had reason to visit CK again yesterday and went on my behalf to the guest house. Again he was told that he could not havbe my licence unless he paid the (supposed) outstanding 600B. However, the old bird then went on to say that if he stayed there the night, she would waive the o/s 600B. Ah-ha, confirmation from the old bats mouth that it was a scam. Shadi, being the fine gentleman that he is, promised that he would be back after consulting with his friend outside, whipped my licence off the desk and legged it to somewhere a lot nicer. Thanks mate - I owe you! :)

    So, in summary, the RUAN THAI SOPAPHUN

    1) tried to charge us for drinks we didn't have
    2) tried to scam 600B for unpaid rooms when we all paid at the same time and witnessed each other paying
    3) wants you to eat there without a menu or pricelist (OK, maybe this is not so unusual, but in a place like RTS is a licence to print money!)
    4) is bloody noisy first thing in the morning as the floors creak when they bounce and voices carry with absolute clarity.

    Others may have different/better experiences and I may even sound like a newbie having a whinge but people who know me know that this is not the case and am normally easy going - apart from when people blatantly try to rip me off. :x

    Cheers,

    Pikey.
     
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  3. siinthai

    siinthai Ol'Timer

    Yes mate, i paid for 7 too...and i went to bed sober????
     
  4. BignTall

    BignTall Ol'Timer

    You don't have to tell me twice. Thanks for the heads up on this place Pikey. Nothing puts a dampner on a trip quicker than the above experiences. Sad to see.
     
  5. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer

    I've stayed there a few times, and although the lady is sometimes a bit strange I never had the experience of you guys. The good thing is that it is a pretty secure place for the bikes. Opposite is Davidfl's favorite, The Tamilla. Nice people and great view but in my opinion it is getting pretty run down.

    Just so you know there is a newly remodeled place on the main street and the same soi as where you stayed which is owned by the same lady. Had a really bad breakfast in the restaurant there. I guess it is best to avoid those venues.
     
  6. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Sopaphan was the only place in CK I had trouble getting map money from, although that was supposedly her son handling it; but I would no longer recommend the place either.

    For upmarket & clean comfortable rooms in CK, the Nam Khong Riverside is best.
    If the NK Riveside is full, there's my fave the Tam Mi La (bungalow # 7) run by Watchara & Gung (but Silverhawk is right it would appear to be verging on being a bit run down at times), plus some nice places on the river downstream from the Customs office.

    On another note I crossed the 'Khong yesterday & the river is way way up. I didnt want to take yet another long tail boat, becuse the current was so fast & decided to wait for the Bug car ferry, although they said no more for the day. After waiting 1 1/2 hrs I reached my deadline of 3.15 PM to cross & clear customs on the Lao side.
    The waters right up to the customs office at the ferry landing & you just ride your bike into the river. Drop a 100 baht for labour & the boys manhandle the bike into the boat. The boat was a relief - a nice steel hulled one with a canopy & light steel guard rails to help prevent the bike falling into the 'Khong should things go wrong. That's my greatest fear - watching your bike fall into the Mekong midstream & trying to claim compensation from the Chiang Khong Boatmen's Union / Association. Photos to follow.
     

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