Chiang Rai Accommodation (and the Dangers of Expectations!)

(I seem to have a lot to say about Chiang Rai so I’m going to break this report up over a few posts. First up, accommodation! Markets, elephant village and cycling tour to come!)

Our final stop on our Northern Thailand adventure was Chiang Rai. We spent six nights there and I admit it took a while to grow on me. If we hadn’t already booked flights from there back to Bangkok we may have left sooner, but in the end I’m glad we stayed that long.

Chez Moi handicraft and Homestay

Chez Moi Handicraft and Homestay

I was looking forward to our accommodation in Chiang Rai, Chez Moi Handicraft and Homestay. I first read about this place back in February when Living Outside of the Box stayed there. Their posts about their experiences with the homestay hosts and especially how good they were with their kids sounded great. Anywhere that offers crafts and attention for the kids sounds good to me! However, things seem to have changed at Chez Moi since February.

Chez Moi Homestay Chiang Rai

Triple fan room at Chez Moi

There were only two staff members: the guy who took our booking over email and checked us in, and a Thai lady (and her 3yo daughter) who seemed to be the cook/housekeeper. The guy who checked us in spoke to us at check-in and then we didn’t really speak to him again until check-out. He spent most of his time hidden behind the computer in the shopfront (and later told us he’s a computer programmer.) The Thai lady and her daughter were lovely but spoke absolutely no English.

So we didn’t quite get the interactive homestay experience that Living Outside of the Box got. The website also says there is a cafe but it is not running any longer. Those expectations aside, this was still a good place to stay and I wouldn’t have been at all disappointed if I hadn’t been expecting something different. Expectations – dangerous things!

Chez Moi triple room

Our room at Chez Moi

At Chez Moi we paid 650 baht ($AUD22) for a fan room with a double and single bed. The room was quite comfortable, clean and decorated with cushions from the handicraft shop. The bathroom was shared (there were two) and off the kitchen which we also had use of. The rate included a cooked Thai breakfast which was usually an egg dish (omelet, scrambled eggs with tomatoes) and a noodle or rice and curry dish. There was also fruit, toast, tea and coffee available.

Chez Moi downstairs corridor

Chez Moi downstairs corridor

It was a very quiet and relaxing place to stay. For most of the week we were the only guests and pretty much had the run of the house including the upstairs library and living room.

Chez Moi balcony

Chez Moi balcony – where the cafe used to be

The location of the homestay is a bit away from the town centre and not in a touristy area. We ate at a few places nearby that only had Thai names. Our favourite being a sticky rice, papaya salad and grilled chicken place where we could feed all of us with two bottles of water and pay only 120 baht ($4.) We also ate at Vivien House Restaurant which was nearby, and though on the pricier side had really yummy pasta which was a nice change. They also had good Thai food.

The street the homestay is on closes to traffic on Sunday evenings for a night market which I’ll write more about later. A tuk tuk or songthaew to the city centre cost 60-80 baht each way.

I would recommend Chez Moi to people who want a bit more space than just a hotel room (ie. use of kitchen and living room), don’t mind being out of the centre, and don’t mind being left to themselves!


4 Responses to “Chiang Rai Accommodation (and the Dangers of Expectations!)”

  1. 1 Lorena November 9, 2013 at 12:18 am

    Thanks for the review of Chez Moi Homestay. It’s good to know about the changes since “Living outside the box” were there.

  2. 2 SugarShack November 10, 2013 at 8:42 am

    Good for you for travelling with kids! Also, if you have a moment I’d appreciate it if you could please “like” me on Facebook!

  3. 3 livingoutsideofthebox November 14, 2013 at 2:02 am

    Hi There! Thanks for notifying me about your experience. It seems as if you must have visited when the family was on vacation–because they all LIVE there and certainly would have been friendly and more accommodating! What a bummer!

    And yes, I hesitated to write about it as I did…because of circumstances like this. They were so great to us, and I would imagine it’s something that they wouldn’t always have the resources or time for, depending on their life situation at the time. Then again, my blog is a record for me of our travels, so I had to be honest about how spectacular our experience was! I’m glad you still found the situation to be comfortable and not bad–but I’m sorry it wasn’t the same overall experience as us!

    I hope you had a great trip, overall!

    • 4 Madeline November 14, 2013 at 2:13 am

      Hi Alisa, I totally understand that things change and different people have different experiences. I’m still glad you wrote about your experience and that we stayed there even though our experience was different to yours. From instagram it appears the others have been away for months so I’m not sure what has happened.

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