Finally, after several times in Bangkok, I made it to Ayutthaya. I’ve planned to go there at least 3 times and it never worked out. And to be honest, most people I met asked me: „Ayutthaya? What’s that?“. I am not really sure how I heard about it but I remember how much I’ve felt like I definitely wanna see this place. And it was so worth the wait. In the 18th century Ayutthaya used to be one of the most important metropolis in Southeast Asia. Now it is a nice place to visit the old ruins and temples. Especially while staying in Bangkok a day away from the city and the rush is a nice variation. Of course there are a lot of tourists over there as well but compared to the crowds of tourists in Bangkok it is still calm.
First train ride in Thailand
Many people told me it’s definitely a thing to do in Thailand so I insisted on taking the train at least once. The timetable for the trains is easy to get and so we decided to take the 8:20 AM train to get to Ayutthaya and catching one of the last trains back to Bangkok. All right. Sounded like a plan. Until it took us forever to get to the train station during the morning traffic. We missed the 8:20 AM train but as there was another train at 8:30 AM we didn’t bother about it too much. Until we were told that this train costs 345 Baht- compared to the other one which was 15 Baht. To be fair, it’s still not even 10€… but still, if you know you could have get the ride for 0,40€ it IS a bit annoying. As we didn’t want to wait for the later train we just took that one.
A piece of advice from my side: don’t care about 1 hour to wait for the cheap train or the title ‚express‘, ‚rapid‘ or even ’super express‘. When your ’super express‘ train is delayed for 30 minutes there is not much left of the ’super express‘ aspect. After 1,5 hours drive with the company of a hand full of little, cute cockroaches EVERYWHERE (I mean, it’s overvalued to lean on your seat) we finally arrived in Ayutthaya.
I want to ride my bicycle…
Ayutthaya is a quite small city so if you don’t wanna go on a Tuk Tuk Tour it is easy to do the sightseeing spots by bike. It only costs 50 Baht per person (without insurance of course, because you don’t need any service for the bike…) and it’s refreshing to discover the area on your own.
Honestly we spent a lot of time sitting in the shades of the temples, drinking Thai Milk Tea trying to escape the heat for some moments. But we managed to see the most important spots – okay, except from one which is way outside the city centre and somehow got forgotten… There is always a reason to come back!
Eventually when we made it to the completely opposite side of the city centre it happened. A flat. Sure, why not?! Luckily we spotted the so called ‚Bike Police‘ (which I actually haven’t seen until this moment during the whole day…) standing in front of the Reclining Buddha. We were just asking for a bike repair shop when the three police officers started their ‚we-can-fix-this-on-our-own‘-operation. The five of us were just standing there staring at them. After 15 minutes they had to admit this wasn’t working and we got escorted to the repair shop. A Thai conversation and a ride to the other repair shop to get the inner tube later the police officers continued their project. The guys from the shop didn’t show any effort to help fixing the bike so the police officers turned out to be the heroes of the day.
Their helpfulness is still hard to believe and it’s for sure that they will keep telling this story to family and friends for weeks now. A picture as a souvenir included!
Back to the city
On our way back to Bangkok we finally had the pleasure to discover the cheap train. No cockroaches but no free seat neither. No air-con but a functioning fan. No soft drinks and sweet snack but fresh mango. So, would I agree to a train ride as a Must-do? Actually: Yes – as long as you choose the cheap trains!