Wonky floorboards, low roof beams, and door hinges that squeaked just enough to make it charming rather than annoying. These were the first things I noticed when walking into the Luang Chumni Village Guesthouse in Ayutthaya.
It was the dark, teak wood of this impressive-looking traditional Thai-looking property that originally drew my attention, with its peaked roof and surrounding moat, it really did seem like the ideal place to stay whilst exploring the old capital of Thailand.
Knowing where to stay in Ayutthaya can be difficult simply because the historical park is so spread out, and whilst you may be close to one or two temples, many of the other temples you wish to visit may be a fair distance from wherever you are staying.
Why Did We Choose Luang Chumni Village Guesthouse?
The historical city of Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya is about 80km north of Bangkok and covers a total area of close to 15km so whilst, should you wish, you could take a day trip from the modern capital we decided to spend a few days there exploring.
As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is one of those places that we have always been intrigued by and wanted to see. How could you visit Thailand without delving into the former capital of Siam, a city that was, at one time, the largest in the world?
Having spent hours researching before our trip, I knew that we could either wander or hire bikes to get around the historical park so staying on the outskirts would not necessarily be an issue. However when I started to look for accommodation, whether a hotel, a bed and breakfast or a hostel they all seemed to either be miles away from the centre or very drab-looking.
I wanted to stay somewhere that screamed history; for me this was a total experience, not just a place to spend a few days. I didn’t just want to learn about the history of the city I wanted to stay somewhere that represented that history – hence, why we stayed at the Luang Chumni Village Guesthouse.
Ok, so I could get a hotel that dated back to the majestic reign of this city but I wanted something that stood out, something different and we definitely had that with this particular guesthouse.
What We Loved About Luang Chumni Village Guesthouse
Luang Chumni Village is a family run business with just 6 guestrooms meaning that the service we received was extremely personal. From the warm welcome to the clean and tidy rooms we really felt that this was a great place to stay, especially for the price.
For 1200 Baht (around £27) a night we received a lovely little room, with a comfortable, very thick mattress on the floor, plenty of storage, a fridge with daily complimentary water and even a TV. We also had a large, extremely clean mosquito net which stretched snugly over the bed meaning we were not bitten alive in our sleep. This was vital, as the house itself is surrounded by its own moat and has become a breeding place for the little flying menaces.
However, do not let this put you off. The team have created an amazing space and other than at night time when the temperature begins to drop a bit, we had no issues with mozzies at all, we even spent one lazy afternoon relaxing on the open space next to our room, reading, listening to the abundance of birds that have taken up home in the surrounding trees and watching the resident moggies chase after the local wildlife within the extended gardens.
What I loved most about this little guesthouse however, was its quirkiness. None of the floors were even, the walls all sat at slightly different angles, and to get in and out of our room we had to climb through the tininess of doorways into a narrow hallway that had not one but two different rooms inside. It did mean that each time we clambered through the door we would accidentally knock into the room opposite but no-one seemed to mind. I think it simply added to the friendly atmosphere; making it feel more like staying with friends that in a nondescript hotel room.
The Bathroom May Be A Problem For Some!
There seemed, when we read the reviews, to be just one niggle with this particular Bed and Breakfast, and that was the bathrooms.
For us, to read that we all had our own separate bathroom facility albeit not attached to the room itself was not much of an issue. After all I have been known to wander a campsite in my PJs in search on the toilet block in the pitch black, so to know that I still have a personal bathroom space was quite reassuring although until we arrived we didn’t quite understand how this would work out.
All the bedrooms are on the first floor of this traditional looking Thai home meaning that alongside each room they have added in a set of stairs which lead down to the private bathrooms below, all of which are fully equipped with a large shower, toilet, basin mirror and a full complement of bathroom goodies – including the always coveted hair conditioner.
I understand that it may be a nuisance for some, and yes I suppose at 3am to have to hop out of bed, remembering to put on something appropriate for wandering around outside, and head into the darkness may be a bit inconvenient but it’s a unique property and still couldn’t dampen my positivity for this charming and cheap guesthouse.
Location, Location, Location
Of course, it is not just about what the place looks like, the location also needs to be right and Luang Chumni Village Guesthouse couldn’t be better positioned. We were just a five minute wander from Wat Maha That, the iconic and definitely one of the most photographed temples of Ayutthaya thanks to the now-famous Buddha head entwined into a tree.
It is also extremely close to Bang Lan Night Market where you can get a wide variety of different dishes, some more appealing than others. There are also numerous restaurants and cafes within walking distance although to get some of the more lively bars you will need to stroll the main street for about 15 minutes. If you do decide that you would like a more up-tempo evening we suggest heading off to Nareasuan Road where you will find numerous watering holes, including Tony’s Place, a restaurant with an extensive menu featuring both Thai and Western-style dishes.
You can also wander close to the river where you will see shop after shop selling brightly coloured bags of what looks like candy floss, known as roti sai ma and if the various colours do not catch your attention the sweet smells will.
The Only Way to Travel Around Ayutthaya
We made the mistake on the first day of trying to see the historical park on foot. Hundreds of others had hired bikes and were flying around the temples, but we had decided that we wanted to amble around and take it all in at a slower pace.
However, Luang Chumni Village, like pretty much every other bed and breakfast and hotel in the area, did hire out bicycles and on day two, in order to see the sights further out we did in fact hop on a bike and tackle the extremely busy roads.
For me, the traffic was the biggest shock – I always imagined Ayutthaya to be a quiet location. I have seen hundreds of photos where people are cycling past lush green verges on their way to yet another temple and I just assumed that due to the fact that this is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that all the city’s treasured temples would be cut off from traffic.
Would We Recommend Luang Chumni Village Guesthouse?
If you are after a cheap place to stay when visiting Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Luang Chumni Village is undoubtedly somewhere you should be considering. Not only is it great value for money, it is centrally located and most importantly full of character, something which I know we all crave sometimes.
This is not only one of the cheapest guesthouses in Ayutthaya it is also one of the most charismatic. So next time you consider visiting Ayutthaya, make sure you consider the Luang Chumni Village Guesthouse, I guarantee you will not be disappointed. We consider it to be one of the best places to stay in the city for the price paid.
Have you visited Ayutthaya? Would you recommend a trip to this historical city?