โรงแรม

Interesting and hard to decipher post-title, right?

It means ‘hotel’ and that’s what we sometimes try to look for to find a room. Unfortunately, most of the hotels and guesthouses seem to use different spellings/scriptures to promote their offer which makes it almost impossible for us.
In some cases it is easy and hints like ’24’ (24-hour hotel or something like this, no idea) or ‘WiFi’ very likely refer to a hotel or resort. Furthermore, it is still possible to find a room – even a quite cheap one for 250-500 BHT (approx. 6 – 12 €) provided one allows some time to find those places – sometimes it takes us an hour or more. Of course, there are many more expensive accommodations though pretty unhealthy for the travel budget.
Speaking of warmshowers-hosts, there are only very few and we haven’t had luck to stay with one, so far. We guess it is due to the lack of English skills.
Consequently, a hotel-room with a refreshing shower for a reasonable price is just too tempting after a long and hot day of cycling. That is the main reason that we don’t camp very often these days, especially in build-up areas where hotels are very likely to be available.

In small cities or towns off the tourist grid, however, things are different and turning out to be a bit more challenging.
Either there are no rooms at all or it is almost impossible for non-Thais to locate them.

One night, for instance, in a small town we couldn’t find any room and finally decided to ask at a temple/monastery. And were lucky. Without hesitation a monk showed us a place where we could roll out our mattresses, even with a fan serving to chase away the mosquitoes. The place was supposed to be the monastery’s kitchen and dining area. As expected, the next morning we were woken up at dawn since the monks were setting out very early to fetch plenty of food for their rich breakfast – monks are generally forbidden to eat after 12 am. The food is obviously provided by the people who in turn expect the monks to pray for them and their passed-away relatives, for instance. Amazingly, we were beneficiaries of the substantial food-supply, too: the monks gave to us apples, rice, fried eggs, lychees, sweet dates, cookies, simple cakes, sweets, juice, water, … . Of course, we were only able to have a fraction of it for breakfast and left the temple with well-stuffed panniers.

The following night, in another small city, again we tried to find a hotel. The city was actually too big to lack a hotel. After one or two hours, however, we were about to leave the city for no hotel in sight. At the outskirts, an English-speaking Thai (engineer from Bangkok, visiting his hometown) finally gave us a hint (well, he took his smartphone and searched for a hotel in google-maps, and indeed the result showed exactly a single one). We turned around and gave it a second try. And were lucky. There was a well-hidden, simple and cheap hotel, as we had longed for. However, we would have been never ever able to recognize it as a hotel from the street on our own, let alone find the street itself …

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