Your budget and how much you want to charge for the room will determine what type of wall construction to use. If you have a small budget and will sell your rooms cheaply, you can use a single layer of woven bamboo. For higher quality rooms, wooden clapboard on the outside and woven bamboo or another layer of clapboard on the inside will allow you to hide all wiring and install plugs and switches flush in the wall. If you are building in bamboo, be sure to soak the freshly cut and split bamboo in water for a couple of weeks before weaving it into wall panels or else it will become quickly infested with termites.

When installing electric wiring, try to hide wires behind the wall or on top of the ceiling frames. Make sure there are enough (2-3) electric sockets in the room that are no higher than 50 cm above the floor. Do not put electric sockets where they can get wet! Next to the bed, you should place reading lamps that can be turned off by the guest without getting up. The other light switches, fan and air conditioner controls should be centralized into 2 places; one at the entrance to the room, one at the entrance to the bathroom. Switches should be installed no higher than 80 cm from the floor.

Many tourists appreciate the use of solar energy in ecolodges. It has a higher start up cost, but in the long run can be inexpensive to operate and a good marketing tool. Solar hot water heaters are cheaply available from China and are a good option for making hot water with no electricity costs.


The bathroom should get special attention. Most Lao people do not consider a well-designed bathroom essential, but international tourists do. Tourists will sometimes select accommodation based on the bathroom design, and if you do not consider this fact, you will lose business. Clean bathrooms are also very important for the restaurant – restaurants with clean bathrooms will attract more customers.

Properly installed switches

Solar powered hot water heaters

Tel: 021 313 874

Sunlabob is a Vientiane based solar energy company (see logo ). Telephone or go to their website for more information

The absolute minimum

Well designed sinks

Attractive wood, glass and tile bathroom


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