This is part of the Trip Report So Long Mongolia, Hello SE Asia (December-January 2015) which covers:
- Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
- Bangkok, Thailand
- Chiang Rai, Thailand
- Yangon, Myanmar
- Ngwe Saung, Myanmar
- Mandalay, Myanmar
- Bagan, Myanmar
- Hong Kong
- Orlando, Florida
Catch up by reading the preview, The Banana Pancake Trail to Myanmar Starts This Monday, then the overview, Thailand, Myanmar, Hong Kong, Disney, Home, where the game time decision was made to leave Mongolia for good.
Getting There: Take a tuk-tuk from the bus station for $4.
Last December I made the choice to stay local in Chiang Rai instead of opting with the comfortable option of going with the chain brand. After my stay at the Hyatt Kyoto, I thought I should switch it up.
I stayed at Nak Nakara which is the #8 hotel on TripAdvisor in Chiang Rai. The hotel was $50 for one night which is steep for SE Asia. It did have a nice pool, decent room, and an all right breakfast but for that price it wasn’t worth it. I’ve concluded that if you are going to stay local, then go cheap. I’m talking $8/night, questionable bedding, no separation from shower or toilet cheap. After staying at the best, splurging for fake luxury is a waste of money. Also, part of the experience of quasi-backpacking is the stories of God awful, abysmal hotels which make a trip memorable. At the same time, make sure the hotel has some standard of cleanliness so you don’t die.
According to locals, Nak Nakara is where Thai celebrities stay when they are in Northern Thailand. They’d be better served to go up the street to the Le Méridien, the #4 best hotel on TripAdvisor.