It's been nice to get back on the road again and travelling to new places. We finally left Bangkok a couple of days ago and headed North around 50 miles to Ayutthaya. We travelled by train from Bangkoks main station Hua Lamphong. I love rail travel as it's a great way to take in the journey to somewhere new. In Thailand it's the cheapest way to travel although the network isn't massively extensive so it does limit where you can get to. It's annoyingly cheap as well. I say annoyingly in the sense that it makes everything else feel massively over priced in comparison. We only spent 20 Baht each travelling the 50 miles North which is around 44p, great value for that kind of distance. However it cost us 200 Baht to go the few kilometers from where our hostel was in Bangkok to the train station and then 80 Baht for the Tuk Tuk from Ayutthaya station to our digs here, crazy really.
The trip up itself was fairly uneventful
Ayutthaya is the old capital of ancient Siam dating back to the 14th century. It was a massive centre of trade back in it's heyday and due it's friendliness with foreign traders from the likes of Vietnam, China, Japan and even as far as Europe with the Dutch, French and Portuguese it had the reputation of being the biggest and wealthiest city in the East. Looking around town it is easy to imagine that it was an impressive city back in the day
We hired a couple of push bikes on the first day to get out and about which is a really nice thing to do here. The city is flat a bit like Holland so it's easy to pedal around in a few hours and take in a lot of the sights. That said it doesn't take long to be suddenly 'Templed' out again in Asia. I love visiting old historic sites, some more impressive than others but once you've seen a dozen Buddhist temples you've pretty much seen them all. Which makes me wonder how we will feel once in Cambodia or Myanmar, but I think those two sites will be on a completely different jaw dropping level to what we have experienced so far.
We took a ride round the busier top end of town towards the train station where we found a small interesting local market then headed off down to the night market to grab some cheap food
With a few take away tit bits bagged up we headed back to knock in a few Thai rum's and wait for the Wales match to kick off....and wait...and wait. There are no late bars in Ayutthaya. If your looking for night life it's not the place to come to unless you head across the river to the red light district and a small selection of girly bars, but even these close at 2am whch is no good for watching the Euros which don't kick off until that time out here
Our second full day was a similar tale. Yet more temples and ruins visited in the historic park near to where we are staying. I think I've just about had enough of them. We tried to head out earlier and get some night shots of the temples lit up but as happens most nights now in Thailand during rainy season the heaven's opened and put a dampener on our efforts.
So we are sat here now trying to decide where to head tomorrow. I hate feeling in limbo when traveling. It's great that you have a myriad of options available but at times when you kind of hit a traveling block it can become annoying. That's where we are at right now. Originally the plan was to head East from here on the train to Khao Yai national park and spend some time there before moving on to Cambodia after that but it's starting to look unachievable now as much as we would love to do it
Thursday, July 07, 2016