Located right next to the Historical Park, Phimai Paradise House (214 Moo 14, Chomsuda Sadet Rd) is one of the cheapest and most charming options in town. Occupying one of the oldest wooden buildings in Phimai, it went through a massive renovation few years back, but the owners managed to keep all the main details of the original structure preserving the authenticity of the place.
According to the owners, their mission is to offer every customer the possibility to experience the life of a hundred year ago – at least for one night. To us it sounds a little bit pretentious since all the rooms come with free Wi-Fi, hot water (in a shared bathroom), air-con, and cable TV (the last two are not available in the dorms), all amenities that more than likely were not so common a century ago.
The rooms are well designed and all the furniture is made of wood. The dorms are nice and clean as well, and can host between 4 or 6 people only. Many times a solo traveller will be lucky enough to pay the THB200 rate for a bunk bed to find the whole room just for himself. The private rooms come for a price of THB500/THB800 depending on the size, but only the more expensive ones have a private bathroom. A free breakfast is included in the rate if you are staying in a private room (not the dorm). They used to offer bicycle for free to every guest, but it looks like they’re not doing it anymore, or at least not for the cheapest options.
Browse the area around to find a few other guesthouses offering rooms and dorms at a slightly cheaper price – though the majority of them do not offer the same standard as Paradise House and we would consider them only when we are on a super thigh budget with probably the only exception of Pornsilp Guesthouse tucked away in a small soi next to 7/Eleven. They offer a couple of rooms in a traditional Thai wooden house and are more like a homestay than a true guesthouse. Simple breakfast is included and the owners are really welcoming and accommodating (THB450).
The same people also run Phimai Paradise Hotel (100 Moo 2, Samairuji Rd). Located just 200 m away, the 4 story building is a bit characterless when compared to the Paradise House, but the rooms are definitely nice, big and well-furnished and have a very modern feeling to it which in fact doesn’t quite fit the atmosphere of this beautiful little town. All the rooms have Wi-Fi, an air-con, TV and private bathroom with hot shower and they come with breakfast included. Prices range between THB600 and THB1000 and honestly we would never consider to stay at Paradise Hotel if it weren’t for the amazing swimming pool, which is perfect to chill out at sunset before heading out for dinner.
If you don’t mind walking a little bit or if you’re planning to rent a bicycle, Moon River Resort (Phattana Soi 2) is a step up from the previous option. Located on the bank of the river, it offers various private bungalows of different sizes and style. The nicer ones are the older wooden units, but the new concrete ones are bigger. All of them have air-con, Wi-Fi and private toilettes with hot shower and they all come with a romantic porch overlooking the river; a perfect spot to enjoy a cold beer in the evening with your beloved one. Ask the owner to let you have a look at several different options first to decide according to your preferences. Prices start at THB600 and go up to THB1200 for a big bungalow that can accommodate up to 4 people.