You’ll find Rom Po not too far from Thapae Gate. I found it wandering through the streets, willing to take the first thing that came my way. The very first thing that came my way was an imposing (but not in the good way) hotel called Thapae Place. I walked in and asked if there were rooms available. I was hot, dirty, and tired, and I desperately needed to pee so I didn’t much care what my room looked like; I just wanted to get in there, set down my heavy bags, and use the toilet. Well. The ladyboy who checked me in was not concerned at all about getting me into my room. He/she took his/her time in every step of the process checking me in. Another guest called down to reception with a request and he/she actually put the process of checking me in on hold so he/she could attend to this other guest instead. I tried. I tried so hard to be patient, but when it felt like my bladder was about to explode and I might pee my pants, I asked as politely as I could muster whether it might be possible to speed up the process because I desperately needed to pee. For some reason, the ladyboy took this as a huge insult and started being even ruder to me, but he/she did hurry up and give me the key to my room. Well. When I got up there, the room hadn’t been cleaned and it was ugly. Looking through the open door across the hall, I saw that that room was clean and was slightly nicer. So I went back downstairs and told the ladyboy that I’d like to change rooms because the one across the hall was nicer. He/she said the reason he/she had checked me into a dirty ugly room was because I’d been tapping my foot impatiently (I hadn’t) and had demanded to get into a room immediately (that was slightly true, but only after watching the ladyboy putt around for fifteen minutes doing his/her best to prolong the check-in process). You should have heard the sneer in his/her voice. At that, I said, “I think I’d like my money back” and the ladyboy called me a bitch and said he/she didn’t want me staying there, anyway. So I went up to the room to retrieve my things. As I was just zipping up my backpack and fitting it onto my shoulders, the ladyboy burst into the room. He/she couldn’t leave well enough alone and felt the need to come upstairs and threaten me. In the end, I was able to leave the hotel, if a little shaken up.
So. I still had to find a place to sleep. Literally the very next guesthouse after Thapae Place was Rom Po. It was a peaceful, beautiful oasis, made all the more peaceful and beautiful after the horrible ordeal I’d just been through at Thapae Place. I was greeted by two very friendly, very happy, very bubbly Thai girls. They’re the type of girls who are effortlessly ridiculously cute, a cuteness so cute it could be nauseating except it’s, well, cute. A room at Rom Po was only 1000 baht per night, which is a pretty good price considering their rooms are quite nice. At Rom Po, there was no official welcome drink like there had been at Navalai, but I got something better: when the girl at reception flipped through my passport to check me in, she noticed it was almost completely full of stamps, and she showed a keen interest in all my travels. No one ever asks me about my travels in real life, and usually even if someone does ask, they make it clear pretty quick that they were just asking out of politeness. This girl was sincerely interested in my stories about the three years I lived in Burma. It was nice to finally share those stories with someone.
Anyway, the rooms. The rooms at Rom Po are nothing short of classy. They’re all dark wood and polished concrete. Super beautiful. The doors are a kind of French door that close with a padlock and somehow just adds to the charm. The place, itself, is a calm, quiet maze of dark wood stairs and corridors.
There is a restaurant attached which serves up the standard Thai food for tourists, such as green curry. What’s more exciting at this restaurant, though, is their ice cream served with a shot of Bailey’s or khalua. I had never thought to top my ice cream with a liqueur and it was simply divine.