If you are planning to visit North Thailand, do ensure you visit the farthest province of Thailand, Mae Hong Son. And if you do visit Mae Hong Son, do stay around Wat Chong Kham and the lake around it. I stayed opposite the lake in Johnny Guest House for 5 nights and 6 days and this is my review of this budget place based on my recent experience.
1) Johnny Guest House is truly about budget accommodation. They have rooms for 100, 200 and 300 baht for single, shared bathroom double and private bathroom respectively.
2) The property is just opposite Wat Chong Kham and thus offers great proximity to the Buddhist monasteries, the various markets, restaurants and the beautiful night market.
3) The place has a great aura since it is situated close to the lake. During night times, one can enjoy the lights on the temple and during the early mornings, you can enjoy the fog surrounding the lake.
4) The best attribute about Johnny' Guesthouse is Johnny himself. He is a son of this soil having grown up in a village in the mountains and now settled with his family at Mae Hong Son. He is one of those persons who knows every single trail in the mountains and is an excellent guide to go with on trekking tours. The guest house does arrange various trekking tours and all these tours are led by Johnny himself. These small group trips are really appreciated by the tourists. Personally, I have not gone on any of these tours, but have heard a lot of raves from the folks who took it.
5) The place comes with important amenities like free wi-fi, hot shower and laundry services. It doesn’t have an in-house restaurant, but all the eating and drinking joints are just a short walk away.
6) In case you need any help, Johnny and his wife are more than happy to help you out with advice or in-person help.
7) Since Mae Hong Son has a very limited tourist population, it is very easy for you to bond with other tourists and you will invariably end up exploring the surroundings together and/or end up having dinner together.
I would definitely recommend this place to all budget travelers and trekkers. It’s location and great people give it a one-two punch. If I return to Mae Hong Son, I will always stay with Johnny Guest House.