Myanmar: Harry’s Trekking House [Kyaingtung]

It was time to leave Kengtung after 4 days of trekking. At time of writing, tourists cannot access other areas in Myanmar by road and so, other than returning to Tachiliek, flying is the only option. I bought a ticket to Heho, which is approximately 1 hour away and close to my next desintation, Inle Lake. The airport is just a short ride out of Kengtung and I caught a motorbike taxi there for K2000. It’s a very small airport. After showing your ticket and passport, you are directed to the departure area. I was surprised to see that bags are x-rayed and you have to walk through a metal-detector, although the latter was not working. Waiting for my flight, I thought I would write a little review of Harry’s Trekking Guesthouse, below.

flight to heho-0569

Harry’s Trekking House

I stayed my first night in Kyaingtung at at Sam Ywet. I was having trouble finding a guide and decided to visit Harry’s Trekking House to see if they could help. There is nothing special about Harry’s Guesthouse, but it’s a good place to stay if you want to go trekking, mainly due to lack of alternatives in the price range. During my five night stay I met a few other travellers (and guides) who were visiting the area.

Harrys Trekking House-9309

Location

Harry’s Trekking Guesthouse is located 3km out of town (Mon Yang Road: N21.30425, E099.59741). This is not really a problem as a motorbike taxi to/from town costs just K1000.

Rooms and Social Area

I stayed in a $13 room, which the owner discounted to $12 to help persuade me to move from Sam Ywet Hotel. There are cheaper rooms, but the owner does not make them available to westerners. The rooms are nothing special but are perfectly comfortable. There is a fan, hot water shower and western-style toilet. Another traveller staying next to me could not get hot water in his room, but the water in my room was piping hot.

Harrys Trekking House-9306

Harrys Trekking House-9305

The front of the guesthouse has a seating area, but little effort is made to make is comfortable. Most travellers are out trekking in the daytime, but it would be nice to have a better area to socialise in the evenings. The guesthouse also runs petrol business and so throughout the day, including during breakfast time, vehicles pull up to buy fuel. Sometimes these are trucks or other noisy vehicles, which often drive into the guesthouse area.

Harrys Trekking House-9308

Breakfast

A small breakfast and limited coffee is provided. I would eat this, and then go into the market to buy something a little more substantial.

Harrys Trekking House-9311

Electricity and Wifi

As elsewhere in Kengtung, government electricity is limited and therefore a generator is used for morning and evening electricity. Wifi is provided and reaches the seating area and rooms. The speed is reasonable but the signal can be very weak. The wifi is sometimes available even when electricity is off, so I’m guessing they have a UPS device to keep it for a while after the electricity shuts down.

Friendliness

Harry passed away some time ago and the guesthouse is run by his wife. She is a businesswoman who has numerous properties and businesses, and is not really suited to being a host. It was interesting to note how many issues arose with the owner and other people during my stay, and it appears she is disliked by locals and guests alike. She is not shy to have an argument or simply tell guests to go elsewhere if she feels like it. However, I personally did not have any issue with her. If you pay your rent money on time, don’t ask too many questions, and don’t cause problems then she will be polite to you.

Trekking Guides and Motorbikes

The owner can arrange trekking guides at ($25 per day) and also rents motorbikes ($12 per day including fuel). No information is given on the local area. I hired a motorbike for trekking with my guide. The owner discounted my trek guide fee slightly in her attempt to persuade me to stay at Harry’s. However, it appears she passed the discount to my guide rather than it from her commission, which my guide wasn’t happy about it. There is a cheaper way to do things (see bottom of this review). Please also see information on my guide here: LINK

Summary

At present time this is the best low/midrange option to stay if you want to go trekking. I don’t think it will be long before a similar guesthouse is established. If a new guesthouse has either a better location or, more importantly, friendly service, it will be preferable to staying at Harry’s.

Cheaper Alternatives

If you want cheaper accommodation, I recommend Crown Winning Guesthouse. This is located close the market in town, at No 14 Palo Road, North Central Market quarter, ☎ +95 9253 67 0059. The rooms are adequate if you just need the room for sleeping. There is no wifi, but you can go to nearby hotel (e.g. Princes) for a coffee and use theirs. I was going to move there, but unfortunately got sick so ended up staying at Harry’s to recover.

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