20 Dec 2007
Trang Hotel, Trang, Thailand
A$16/£7.60 night
7°33'5.96"N 99°36'4.39"E
1 room


Getting back into Trang from Pak Meng, we decided to have a good look around and stay until Boxing day before starting to head south back into Malaysia to get a new 30 day visa for Thailand. We'd already stayed at what is billed as the best hotel in town (see here) so we knew where we weren't staying. We knew the town centre was fairly compact and we arrived well before lunch time, so we checked out a few hotels. The first was a flea pit, the second was the sister hotel of the Thumrin Thana - half the price but very yucky with that mouldy smell and staff with even more attitude than at the "best" hotel in Town. The Trang Hotel looked OK, was in a good spot and as cheap as chips.

The Trang hotel is old and like almost all older hotels in Asia it's showing its age, but it's clean with comfy beds and pillows. An extra couple of dollars got you an upgraded room, but the only difference was a fridge, which we really don't need. The hundred odd rooms have very effective air conditioning and fly screens and a TV with all the local channels and one cable channel. Most of the time it was tuned to Star Movies or HBO, but switched to the Sports channel every time there an English Premier League football game started - middle of the movie or not. Like all older hotels, the rooms were big, with a huge balcony (no chairs, but there were a couple in the room you could drag outside) and ridiculously wide corridors. All guests apart from us seemed to be Chinese-Thai. There was a restaurant which looked reasonable, but so many opportunities outside we didn't bother. Peter managed to pick up a signal on the first day we were there, but it didn't last. There was a travel agent in the lobby which had a sign for Hi Speed Internet, but when I enquired they told me it was very slow, and the price they were charging was double the going rate. I kind of got the feeling they were happy browsing and didn't want interrupting, but maybe I'm just being cynical.

Although I'd never use it, the hotel laundry service was quite reasonably priced - very unusual anywhere in the world. I found a laundry around the corner which charged BT20 (68c/32p) for a full load in the machine, so threw everything into a carrier bag and picked it up a few hours later, all nice and clean. Washing by hand, I could have spent that much on soap powder, never mind the sweat and problems getting it dried.

The location of the Trang Hotel is great - right on the corner of the Clock Tower, which seems to be the reference point everybody uses. There is a 24 hour convenience store downstairs and a massage parlour (where Peter highly recommends the Thai massage). Out of the hotel doors, turn left and about a 10 minute walk gets you to the railway station, main shopping area and the market. It's also where all of the backpacker/travelers cafe's and travel agents are. Out of the hotel and walking in a straight line past the Clock Tower is much more interesting. No concessions to tourists, the internet access is BT20/hour rather than BT30/hour where the tourists are, and the food is magnificent and cheap as long as you can make them understand what you want. Sometimes you can't, and get a lucky dip meal. Usually it's good, sometimes it's horrible, always it's so cheap you can lucky dip something else if you can't eat what they gave you.

Luxurious it certainly isn't, but for the money you'd be hard pressed to do better in Trang.