Sunday, October 14, 2012

Living in a Capsule: Xayana Guesthouse and X3 Capsule Hotel

One of the cheapest accommodations there is in Luang Prabang. I didn’t bother reserving any beds before arriving in the town. I just asked them once, through email, for the directions from the bus terminal. They advice me to take the tuk tuk, for 20,000 kip (regular fare), but since I was trying to save up, I walked.

After almost 20minute walk from the terminal, I had a gut feel of being lost. But Luang Prabang is too small to be lost in any translations. I was about to pull out my laptop and check the details of the guesthouse I was looking for, when I noticed one signage. It was the same as my desired guesthouse, though it's under a different name. Upon a closer look, it was one of their sister companies. So I went inside and asked for directions. The receptionist gave me a map and calling card of the guesthouse for additional reference. One famous landmark would be the Joma bakery.

Upon seeing the map, and knowing that Joma café is just around the corner, I hailed a tuktuk and bargained for a 5,000kip ride – and the driver agreed with a smile. (sa isip nya, sige na nga…haha!). And in less than five minutes, I was there.

I walked the alley adjacent to Joma bakery… and there it is – the Xayana Guesthouse and X3 Capsule Hotel.

with my three Indonesian friends (yan daw ang uso sa kanila)

Dorm bed was fully booked when I arrive. They suggested me to come back by noontime to check for availability. I cannot come back because I have nowhere to go. Besides, I can already smell my other self, I need to wash up right away. So I stayed in their hot, open lobby while waiting for an available bed. They were generous enough to give me the password of their wifi connection to keep me entertained. At that time, I really didn’t need wifi, but that dark-colored-liquid with cream powdered mate on it. I brought several sachets of my favorite 3-in-1 coffee, but I don’t know where to ask for hot water. As much as I wanted to buy one café latte at Joma’s, I was holding myself back. I cannot spend much, not yet.
Just before 10am, the lady receptionist asked me if I wanted to check in early – oh yes… So she led me to my room – X22 is my bed number.

 more beds upstairs

Almost all the beds in the room were occupied. I had mine on an upper bed, to my discomfort. It was my first time to stay in a dorm-type room. I was never comfortable sharing a room with others, I’ll make this one an exception because I’m on a tight budget.

 nakalimutan kong buksan ang ilaw.. haha

my capsule!

Beds are big, could actually fit for two...and comfortable. Bring your own towels, but if you don’t have one, you can rent theirs. They also provide complimentary water. Our room has two baths and two toilets. 

I was interested in this guesthouse not just because it’s cheap but because I thought I’d be able to experience sleeping in a capsule bed (imagining Japan’s famous capsule accommodations.) Apparently, it’s just the name or the photo in their website. Or maybe other rooms have it. I don’t know.  Other than this concern, it was a nice experience sleeping for a night in this guesthouse – my only room accommodation in my five night solo trip in Laos.

Xayana Guesthouse is very convenient in many ways. It’s in the town centre. Few steps away from the cheap bread and fruit shake stalls. Very near the night market and the morning alms ceremony. And if you can’t get a bed in their hotel, there are a lot of guesthouses near them that you can also check out, like Sengphet Guesthouse

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