Published: April 9th 2012April 7th 2012
We decided on a day trip to the ruins of the central plains north of Bangkok today, and thought the best deal was to take a bus tour up there (about 70km) and take a river cruise back. We went with the Grand Pearl company, very organized! From Bangkok to the Royal palace, Bang Pa-in, super peaceful and calm, then on to the ruins at Mahathat and then Ayutthaya. The huge gilded Budda in the temple there was very impressive, and we were able to feed and pet the "royal" elephants. the guide then took us back to the river where we boarded a boat, and had lunch cruising back to Bangkok. It was a very hot, tiring day, but after a swim, we headed out to find a restaurant that was in the fodor's guide: Ban Chiang. First, we nearly got mangled trying to cross the road, couldn't find the sky train station and finally hailed a cab. Since the map in the book is pretty bad, we got dropped off near the nearest landmark, and tried to find it on foot....bad plan! Tons of traffic, no street signs, hungry and lost...we turned a corner and there it was! The food was great and we didn't mess around with the return trip....Katie had fallen asleep at the table, so we grabbed the first taxi back.
Up bright and early to catch our 1 hour flight north to Chiang Mai and check in at the Raming Lodge hotel.....beautiful adjoining rooms, weird, but pretty little pool across the back alley from the parking lot, and a mitt-ful of coupons for free barbecue, breakfast and massages at the spa.found went looking for late lunch, and found the Lemongrass, no view but best food so far! Night market and elephants to follow.....