Ayutthaya was Thailand’s capital for more than 400 years. It is a popular tourist attraction, home to many ancient ruins, temples and art works. I had the pleasure of exploring about six temples in four hours until I could no longer go farther. Unfortunately, I was alone so I couldn’t share the experience with anyone at that time. I had a wonderful experience which I recommend for tourists. It can get really hot and humid so comfortable attire is advised.
Ayutthaya can be accessed from Bangkok through three modes of transportation.
- Train via Hua Lamphong Station
- Mini Van – Alight at Victory Monument Station. Go to the elevated walkway which should cross the large road. It will descend to where the mini vans are located. When in doubt, just ask.
Because I wanted to challenge myself to have the full cultural experience, I took the daring route of riding a 3rd class train via Hua Lamphong Station, as many bloggers suggested. It was also the cheapest route but took the longest. If you want comfort and speed, I suggest you take the Mini Van which I took going home.
I headed out early at 6am that day. I took the MRT and alighted at Hua Lamphong Station. I walked about 130m to the railway station through MRT Exit B. I was very clear that I wanted the 3rd class ticket (20 baht) as the ticket admin would surely offer something else. There were so many trains in the station which made it overwhelming so I just went directly to an officer who pointed the right direction. As expected, the car did not have air condition.
The train to Ayutthaya leaves every hour so I found myself very fortunate when the train I rode left after 2 minutes. If I recall correctly, it took about 2 hours to get to Ayutthaya where many locals sat beside me. I was worried that I wouldn’t hear my stop as I couldn’t understand the announcement so I asked for a local’s help to tell me when it was my stop.
When I arrived at Ayutthaya proper, I crossed the road and looked for food. There were many people offering tours to Ayutthaya via tuktuk but I was on a mission to do the tour on my own. Maybe if I were with a group, taking the tuktuk would pay out. My other plan was to join other tourists to make the ride pay out but I couldn’t find anyone at that time as I may have been too early.
After eating heavy pad thai brunch (100 baht), I walked to the river where a ferry (5 baht) took me across to Naresuan Road. I rented a bike in December House and headed to Ayutthaya to explore and discover ancient ruins. Just a tip, rent a bike after crossing the river just so you don’t have to carry the bike to the ferry.
This was my first time to explore a place by riding a bike with complete gear and tripod. My usual self would just take a tuktuk. This time was different. I wanted to know my limits and challenge myself to try something new and it was memorable. I didn’t regret any moment despite the many dangerous encounters on the road and my very sticky self after four hours. The roads weren’t exactly bike-rider friendly but I survived the trip in one piece! Here’s my happy self after the trip.
I visited six temples and passed by an Elephant Camp which I wrote about on separate entries.
- Wat Mahathat
- Wat Thammikarat
- Wat Na Phra Men
- Wat Worapho
- Wat Worachettharam
- Wat Lokayasutha
- Elephant Camp
Check out my route below.
I rested in December House where I bought a drink and rented a towel to clean off the temple dust on my skin which was red. I had December House call a mini van to pick me up which brought me to Victory Monument in Bangkok.
It was a wonderful experience worth trying!
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