On the weekend of December 9th-11th in 2016, I had a long weekend from my position as a Thai University teacher thanks to Constitution Day. Based on the first of 11 coups in Thailand during the 2oth century, this holiday has a fascinating history. I’m researching it and look forward to sharing what I found with you later.
I took advantage of the 3 day weekend to head to southern Thailand- one night in Trang, on the mainland, and two nights in Koh Lipe, an island famed for its crystal clear blue waters. Once my work day ended on Friday I took the bus to the Bangkok airport. I underestimated Bangkok traffic (which is sadly a recurring pattern in my Thailand travels) and missed my first flight, which was scheduled to depart shortly after the end of my work day. So I took the next flight available and arrived in Trang at midnight to stay before heading to Koh Lipe Island in the morning.
Green House at Trang Guesthouse
My accommodation for that night is undoubtedly my best lodging experience in Thailand. I chose to stay at Green House at Trang Guesthouse (Facebook, Instagram, Trip Advisor), which is family-owned and managed. The brains of the operation is a brilliant and sweet Thai lady, Dear, who has studied in Germany. She’s completely fluent in English, which is rare for hospitality employees and especially
family-owned businesses in Thailand. Dear also has her Master’s degree in Tourism Management, and the guesthouse’s pristine condition and attention to detail is presumably thanks to her. After 8 PM she texted me asking if I was alright and giving me her number and directions to the guesthouse. Of course, my cell phone was dead, so I didn’t see it (another undesirable habit of mine is running my phone’s battery to the ground).
The guesthouse is above a coffee shop and café, also run by the family. When I arrived shortly after midnight, the café was closed and the gate pulled down. Stupefied, I gawked at the fortified building. The owner of the bar next door noticed me and kindly called his neighbor. Dear immediately opened the gate and warmly welcomed me. She offered me an apple and some water, and we sat in the coffee shop together for at least an hour. We had quite a bit in common, and we shared our long distance relationship
stories (I am in an LDR, and she seemed to be entering one with a European man who came to Trang a few months earlier), our experiences traveling in Europe, and our affinity for German men. We could have talked much longer, but at about 1 AM I was tired and we went to bed.
There are at least three bedrooms in the guesthouse, two of which are private and one which is shared. I also spotted a tent set up in the guesthouse quarters, but I’m not sure if it served the owners’ relatives and friends or guesthouse guests. I slept in the shared room, but I was the only one in there for the night. The bedroom has a fan, an air conditioning unit, a towel for each bed, and house slippers. The floor was perfectly clean, which I immensely enjoyed. I hate staying in a hostel or
hotel where the floor feels dirty. My bed was perfectly comfortable. The standard bed in Thailand is hard bus seat material, so Dear and her family must have made a significant investment in comfortable beds or mattress pads. I appreciate that; one of my best sleeps in Thailand definitely took place in this guesthouse.
As Dear told me, her family remodeled their house then decided it was too much space for them to use. They jointly resolved to start a guesthouse together and stay on the top floor of the building. The facilities are excellent. The bathroom is clean and modern. The shower is even separated from the sink with a tile divider, which is a rare feature in Thailand- 99% of the time water is all over the bathroom after a shower. Shampoo and soap are provided.
Elsewhere in the building, and all conveniently located together, there is a living room area with a complete kitchen. The kitchen has stools lined up against the wall, which face a huge glass window that opens to let in fresh air. There’s a television and different kinds of seating.
There’s also a sunroom of sorts, with lounge furniture facing big windows. This allows for an excellent view of Trang’s trademark clock tower, which is well within view of the guesthouse. The clock tower is the “heart” of downtown Trang, so its proximity indicates the guesthouse’s prime location.
I cannot recommend this guesthouse enough! It’s $24 for a night in a private bedroom and $12 a night in the shared bedroom. It’s a great value for the amenities and service. I intended to return to Trang and stay here again before leaving for the United States, but my plans simply didn’t allow for it.
While I wasn’t blown away by the food at this “jeh” (vegan) eatery in Trang, I’d be remiss not to point it out- it’s just two blocks away from the guesthouse. I didn’t see any non-vegan food there, so I think their English restaurant name is just a translation mistake. It’s a typical Thai vegan buffet establishment with plenty of cooked vegetables in sauce and different kinds of mock meat. The ladies who work there don’t speak much English but are very kind. I got a plateful of food for 35 baht, or $1.04. It’s a great deal at a good location. Here’s their Happy Cow page; the restaurant is open 7 days a week, from 7 am to 2 pm.