Posted by: James Shannon | March 21, 2012

Guesthouse Review: Ban Bua Guesthouse @ U-Thong Road, Ayutthaya, Thailand

 The exterior of the Ban Bua Guesthouse @ U-Thong Road … there are two guesthouses by this name in town, but it eludes me whether it is I or II … in any event, this Ban Bua is on U-Thong Road on the island (surrounded by rivers) of Auytthaya.

Chugging north on the State Railway of Thailand, leaving the big city behind once more, I once again struck out to confront the great unknown … after a few rustic experiences on Koh Chang, I was … apprehensive to say the least about what conditions I was going to encounter in guesthouses/hostels/bungalows in the North of Thailand. I had just gotten over my first case of heat rash, induced by my lack of acclimation to the intense heat and humidity of the tropics, and I was in no rush to experience the intense itching brought on by the lack of effective cooling in my accomodations in the islands of Eastern Thailand.

Shortly after getting dropped off by my new tuk-tuk friend at Ban Bua Guesthouse on U-Thong Road, just outside of the main downtown of Auytthaya, any and all concerns were laid to rest. Ban Bua has about 8-10 rooms, with *comfortable* beds (no springs you can feel through the mattress, or tabletop-hard thin mattresses), cable TV (all in Thai though!), tile floors, and an ensuite bathroom. Spotlessly clean throughout! There is outdoor frontage on the Chao Phraya River, with a huge wat on the other side, and karoake and dinner boats slipping past every so often.

 The private rooms at Ban Bua Guesthouse … note the comfy mattress and the AC unit … cost me 400 baht a night, or about $13 CDN

 I think I’m one of the only travel bloggers out there that posts pictures of toilets, but hey, I care about you, my fellow travellers, I do it for you! 😛  Shown it is the typical Thai arrangement of the shower and the toilet being in the same room, often right next to each other. You can now check Take A Number #2 While Taking A Shower off your bucket list! Score!

The outdoor picnic table in the deck area, conveniently located underneath the main house to provide shelter in rainy season. There is no meal service at the guesthouse, but there is a BBQ chicken franchise street cart (the one with the crazy chicken with the chef hat on, you see them all over Thailand) by the Tesco Lotus Express just up the street, and there is an excellent Thai restaurant even closer … I don’t know if they do takeaway, but it’s worth it to ask!

 The view across the Chao Phraya River from Ban Bua … great for sundowner beers!

 …and literally right across the street from the guesthouse are some of the ruins of the city of Auytthaya … but the biggest or the most audacious to be certain, but they are RUINS, on your DOORSTEP nonetheless, aching to be explored. By far the coolest aspect of Ban Bua’s location!

Pros:

  • Soft, plush mattresses … felt amazing after some less than perfect accommodations in previous weeks on the road.

  • Location on the Chao Phraya River, on the doorstep of ruins, and far from the young backpacker scene (if you’re not into that)!

  • Spotlessly clean and tile floors go very well together … I can’t emphasize enough how happy I was with the room, especially getting that and an A/C room for 400 baht!

Cons:

  • Internet connection was slow to non-existent in the farther rooms … I was in just such a room!

  • Some of the family that owns the place speak no English whatsoever, making communication a challenge at times.

  • Location … if you like being in the centre of town with all the amenities, bars, and young backpackers to throw down with, this isn’t the place for you, unless you don’t mind tuk-tuking it back and forth late at night.

Overall: Ban Bua = A

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