Thailand is a nature lover’s paradise. Known for its emerald green waters, rugged jungles and majestic waterfalls, the country attracts tourists who enjoy activities embracing the beauty of nature.
Close to its capital of Bangkok, you’ll find an assortment of resorts, beaches and rainforests that could cater to whatever you may fancy. This myriad of choices, with its serene skies and breathtaking landscapes, makes Thailand a fitting and easy choice for your next tropical getaway.
In this article, we’re bringing you a few hours outside Bangkok, to the city of Ayutthaya.
Ayutthaya, in full Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, is north of Bangkok, and often referred to as the “Venice of the East”. It’s one of the oldest cities in Thailand and a favorite destination of travelers for its unique and incredible views that feel like a world away from the bustle of the city streets.
The city flourished as the capital of the Kingdom of Siam from the 14th to 18 centuries. Today, it is filled with ancient ruins, monasteries, temples, and other cultural sites. In 1991, the old town or the central location of Ayutthaya – the Ayutthaya Historical Park – was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Uniquely located in the convergence of three rivers – Chao Phraya, Lop Buri, and Pa sak – this ancient city gives the city of Ayutthaya its fair share of scenic natural views that have captivated many.
Photo source: My Thailand Tours
Being so close to blue spaces and nature, the architecture is often made with natural materials, colors, and shapes. Homes promote airflow, natural light, and connectivity using greenery in its interiors and exterior design. Seeming to merge with the outdoors, you get a view of the plant life all abound, appreciating the breeze, sounds, and scents surrounding these places. These are all elements of biophilic design, where architecture serves as a bridge to help us connect with the many aspects of nature to improve our wellbeing.
You’ll find that these accommodations also reflect the nuances of traditional Thai architecture. Having been developed as an agricultural society, these homes are usually located on low land, and near waterways. As such, they mostly rise above the ground, on high posts, and are made with local materials easily sourced in the area.
Now, without further ado, checkout the five Airbnbs we’ve compiled that can give you a taste of Thai architecture and take you up close and personal with the natural beauty of this ancient city.
1. Chomnok Couple (Baan Koh, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya)
Photo source: Chomnok Couple Airbnb Page
Details: 2 Guests, 1 Bedroom, 1 Bed, 1 Private Bath, totaling to 2,183 Thai Baht/night, Rating : 4.97 Stars (33 Reviews), ranking highest in cleanliness, check-in process, and accuracy
If you’ve ever wanted to live in a treehouse, here’s your chance.
This private room is located on top of the host’s wooden house. Seamlessly blending with its surroundings, you might think this simple structure hiding behind a towering tree, doesn’t show much. But, it will be the view that captivates you. As it rests securely on a sturdy wooden home situated by the river, it gives you a beautiful panoramic view of trees, lush greenery, and the Lop Buri river.
This rustic treehouse also features some elements of traditional Thai architecture that’s common in the North. Looking closely, you’ll see that the Chomnok bears some resemblance to traditional houses built alongside rivers and canals – generous amounts of natural materials and elevated on stilts.
You won’t be craving for open spaces and fresh air as the home welcomes you with a walkway that leads to a spacious veranda. Aside from this, turn an angle and you’ll find ample space for relaxation with a dining terrace and a balcony overlooking the river. In these spaces, you can also find a hammock and a reclining bamboo chair to sit back and enjoy the tranquility all around.
Just like Thai architecture which responds to the topography and climate like sunlight, wind, rain, and humidity, so does the Chomnok. Its open space adapts to these natural elements by utilizing natural sunlight and promoting airflow through stairways, walkways, and verandas.
To add to this, all these windows throughout the house allow for better airflow during warmer, more humid days. At the same time, the wooden flooring lets hot air escape and be replaced by cooler air drawn through the gaps. These energy-saving techniques create a structure that is conducive to your well-being and relaxation.
One guest describes the treehouse as “magical”, as well as a “peaceful and comfortable place to experience life by the river”. Showing yet again, how the spectacular view and the experience of staying close to nature enhances your sense of peace. The simplicity of this structure, and its use of biophilic design enhances the sights and sounds that surround this home.
2. Baan Canalee (Phai Ling, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya)
Photo source: Baan Canalee Airbnb Page
Details: 4 Guests, 2 Bedroom, 2 Beds, 2 Baths, totaling to P2,806 Thai Baht/night, Rating : 4.86 Stars (22 Reviews), ranking highest in communication and check-in Process
Looking for a bigger space that the entire family will enjoy?
Look no further than Baan Canalee, a stylish and modern home filled with beautiful garden views and greenery. Located in the middle of local attractions in the area, this home is a great place to rest up before heading onto your next adventure.
Baan Canalee has a modern, minimalist design which integrates industrial aesthetics. Beautifully textured concrete walls give the space a raw and rustic feel, while the steel pipe accent on the shelf adds another visual element. These industrial elements make its interiors feel wider, more chic and elegant and, when used alongside plenty of natural wood, adds the right amount of warmth to soften the space too.
While the home is clean and organized, it has some quirks. Teddy bears rest on top of a floating shelf and funky black and white tiles decorate the bathroom. With its personal touches and bright decor, it’s no wonder why guests describe this home as one “decorated with love”. Additionally, the home also welcomes spots of greenery that echoes the beauty of nature outside. Houseplants decorate the entrance and the bathroom to breathe life into the space.
This home also features ample outdoor space. It has a private veranda with a comfortable seating area where you can enjoy a warm cup of coffee by the river. This extends to a small, yet beautiful garden filled with flowers, and trees. At the same time, Baan Canalee has a huge front lawn filled with an abundance of plants, and even a playground for the little ones.
3. Cozy Teak Cabin on the River
Photo source: Cozy Teak Cabin’s Airbnb Page
Details: 2 Guests, 1 Bedroom, 1 Bed, 1 Bath, totaling to 2,874 Thai Baht/night, Rating : 4.83 Stars (35 Reviews), ranking highest in communication and check-in process
Definitely a teak cabin that’s one for the books!
This gem of a home sits by the river bank where you can enjoy the breeze and watch the boats go by. It has a lovely high terrace where you would be greeted by a lush skyline, tropical trees, and a broad expanse of the river.
Having been built with teak, a highly resilient and durable wood, the home is able to withstand harsh weather conditions, making it an excellent choice for Thailand’s rainy season. Teak wood also makes for a temperature-regulating home, allowing it to stay cool in the summer and warm on cooler days.
The tall transparent doors create an enchanting look. Light curtains add a romantic vibe and open the space up towards the terrace where you can appreciate the rattan tables, chairs, and sun lounges that draw from Thailand’s rich tradition of artisanal handiwork. Additionally, the low fence surrounding the space is decorated with intricate carvings and exquisite craftsmanship that is oftentimes found in traditional Thai teak homes.
Interiors are kept simple. The bright sheen of the wood’s natural brown color and the subtle indentations on the wall serve as the main decor. Instead of wall hangings and bright accents, the home makes use of ambient lighting that resembles the glow of a fireplace. Alas, the result is a cozy cabin with an intimate atmosphere and a calming view.
As a guest aptly summarized: “the location stunning, the river soothing, the cabin charming and clean”. If that’s not a triple threat, we don’t know what is.
4. Phuttal Residence (Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya)
Photo source: Phuttal Residence’s Airbnb Page
Details: 2 Guests, 1 Bedroom, 3 Beds, 1 Private Bath, totaling to 2,406 Thai Baht/night
A room with a view, a private garden, and a river nearby.
A picturesque and peaceful home so close to the wonders of Ayutthaya. Despite its proximity to iconic attractions, this home still feels tucked away, like a secluded oasis, hidden from the busy town and historical park.
The Phuttal Residence gives you a taste of a modern Thai home that incorporates traditional elements into its contemporary design. Its second storey resembles a traditional home on stilts, while the lower floor acts as a veranda, a sheltered area with natural light where the family can spend leisure time together. Having this open area also promotes good airflow and facilitates ventilation, making it a perfect place to enjoy a summer’s day.
Inside, natural materials are used when possible. You can see this in the doors, bed frames, and furniture. Interior decor is kept simple and wonderfully minimalist. To keep things elegant, marbled tiles are used for the rooms, while those in the outdoor open areas are made of fast drying terracotta tiles to complement the rustic space.
Outside, you can find a small pavilion beside the house. Similar to its traditional counterpart, this is a free-standing roofed structure that can be used as a resting point for guests and travelers passing by.
Similar to the homes above, the Phuttal Residence also has its fair share of greenery. A variety of perennial trees and potted plants surround the house to insulate heat, provide shade, and protect the house against rain and wind. As you can probably tell by now, this is a common characteristic of Thai architecture.
5. Cattani’s Riverside Home (Ho Rattanachai, Chang Wat Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya)
Photo source: Cattani’s Riverside Home Airbnb Page
Details: 2 Guests, 1 Bedroom, 1 Bed, 1 Private Bath, totaling to P9,422/night
A respite away from the city.
Cattani’s Riverside Home is a family-run boutique homestay located next to the Chao Phraya river. Here, you can enjoy the views of the sunset, lounge around in the spacious villa, and get a much-deserved and much-awaited break.
Each room is designed to promote calming relaxation and tranquility. The terrace provides private space for guests to enjoy a romantic dinner with a river view. Around this area, you’ll find plenty of seating where you can simply unwind.
Interestingly, the villa also has Japanese influences evident in the artifact collection, plants, and the private Japanese garden. Aside from that, multi-cultural influences are reflected in the food, as authentic Thai and a variety of Western dishes are served.
Inside is incredibly spacious, complete with a king sized bed, living area, bathroom with an outdoor shower, and a Japanese garden. These elements all come together to create an open floor space with plenty of natural light. The minimalist interiors also beautifully complement the wood finishes and natural decor all around.
With floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding panels, you can welcome in the fresh air and enjoy a grand view of the outdoors. They resemble traditional houses where single-panel use a hinge or sliding board on the inside to open and close.
Thai roofs are another distinct part of Thai architecture. Their high angle is designed to allow heavy rains to run off the roof and protect the house. You see this in Cattani’s Villa – one big roof with long eaves promotes airflow for a cool and pleasant atmosphere.
Not only do these places provide a relaxing space to unwind but these hidden gems also provide an insight to the Thai architecture! So, if you’re looking for your next travel destination, check out this ancient city outside Bangkok and stay in these homes to get a true local experience.