Yesterday, after arriving in Bangkok, I was sitting in my hostel trying to make friends. I made a friend at my hostel and we decided to visit Ayutthaya today, which is the old ancient capital of the Kingdom of Siam!
You can book this day trip through a tour but it is very expensive, we elected to do the fun way which involved taking the bus and train! The bus was a riot- we missed the first one we were supposed to take because we didn’t hop on fast enough. After we got on the second bus, we couldn’t figure out how to pay so we just rode the rest of the way for free! After arriving at the train station with a few minutes to spare for our 9:25 am train, we bought a ticket for 15 baht (~60 Canadian cents) and got on in third class. It was very sweaty in there (no air conditioning, only some fans) but we were truly amongst the locals! Luckily there were people roaming the aisles every few minutes selling food or drink – I definitely capitalized on the cold water. I followed a tip from a friend by bringing an insulated water bottle to pour cold water into and it was the smartest move I’ve made so far this trip!
We arrived in Ayutthaya around 11 and we set off to find a bike to rent. There was super kind lady working at the store that advertised bike rentals for 30 baht but she had run out; she told us how to find a good deal. We kept walking on the same street to the water and took a boat to the other side (5 baht each) where there were bike rentals waiting for us. The boat ride was literally a minute – just long enough to sit down!
After walking through part of the town near the water we settled for renting the first bikes we saw by the boat station for 50 baht each. Then, we biked! It involved biking around to different ruins mostly, but it was nice to be doing some exercise. It was about 40 degrees outside so I was sweating like no one’s business (hot yoga prepared me for Thailand in May, let me tell you!!!!). Each ruins site cost us 50 baht (it was only a charge for foreigners; classic Thailand) but you can buy a pass for all 6 ruins for 220 baht. We only ended up going to 3 sites so it was worth it for us to pay as we went; honestly biking in the heat and making it back at a decent hour 3 is all you can really do. First we visited Wat Ratchaburana:
After the second set of ruins, we saw lots of elephants walking by from the elephant riding area. As excited I was to see elephants, I really can’t support the elephant riding as it is so bad for them. We biked to where the elephants were hanging out and looked from the outside, and it was pretty depressing. Please tell people you know NOT to go on rides in Thailand, it is so bad for them!
The last stop on our bike tour was the famous tree with the face in it (Wat Mathathat) which I saw on an episode of departures! Hard to find within the ruins, but we saw it!
Overall, it was a fabulous day trip. The biking was a great and cheap way to see the area and we got to bike through real neighbourhoods which was super cool! After we returned the bikes we went back to our nice lady by the ferry to get some Pad Thai. We paid 75 baht each for second class tickets on the way back, but honestly it was just nicer seats with slightly more fans. You are better off just paying the 15 baht for 3rd class on the train.
I head out to Koh Samui now for 9 spectacular days on the eastern islands. I am excited for more sun and beautiful beaches!