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Published: December 22nd 2009
the lovely family that gave us a lift...
So, we are heading off to Ayutthaya, this is the old capital of Siam, has lots of temples scattered all around the city, so looks like lots of walking ahead.
Our trip up there is a little bit different than planned, we had bought ourselves a return ticket to Bangkok by local bus and then change buses there and go on from there to Ayutthaya but as I told you in the previous blog we had met up with a really nice family who offered us a seat in their pre booked minibus, oh I have their names now, its Steve, Tina, Lindsey and Neil. Anyway, they were coming back from Koh Samet the day after us so we arranged to meet them at the harbour, luckily we got there early as they also did even better the mini bus was there as well so we were all able to set off straight away. The journey up was really nice, we've not done much travel overland in Thailand before and it was nice to see a bit of countryside, also we had great company and had a good laugh with them all. Made a few loo stops on way, and as
the big bug that took a liking to Stan's bag...
we got closer to Ayutthaya and made the last stop which was also a food stop it was interesting to see a change in the food here, its more Chinese style food especially Dim Sum which we love, at this stop we ended up buying 10 of these for 2 Euro, obviously they weren't all for us, but to share but only Steve tried one so they ended up lasting us for the rest of the day, no complaints there. Took us about 3.5 hrs to get to Ayutthaya, went to where they were staying and realised we were within walking distance of our place, so stayed and got a drink for us all before saying our goodbyes and heading off to find our place, and yes it wasn't a long walk took us about 15 mins....
We are booked in at the Youth Hostel here called Ayutthaya Place, its located on a very busy main road, in fact the one that leads to Bangkok, its also very noisy from the traffic noise, anyway, we check in get shown to our room which is basic as expected but also very noisy, its late afternoon by the time we get to
our first of many Wats...
our room so we decide to have a lazy and early night, finish off the dim sum have a shower and sleep. Before we did though we did venture out to see whats about after dark and there was nothing, not a bar, eating place nothing, and to get across the road, well unless you want to take your life in your hands forget it..so we go back for that early night.. Did I say sleep, this road is so noisy, and on top of that we have a window facing onto the main stairway that doesn't have a shutter and the light stays on till well after 2am, manage to get some sleep though, thank God for ear plugs...
Breakfast is included at the hostel, but very low key, its a case of, there's the coffee and toaster, make it yourself, oh and there are some bananas there, help yourself.. this is fine though..
Our plan for the day is to have a good look around the many temples that they have here, we have been given a good map from the hostel showing location of them all, so off we set. First battle is to get across the
studying the book of many Wats,, how many are there....
road, it really was a case of running the gauntlet. The first temple we went to was Wat Ratchaurana, this one only costs 20 Baht to get in about 40 cents Euro, so cheap. We spent a good hour having a look around and then when we came out we got approached by a tuk tuk driver offering us a tour to some of the Wats on the outskirts of the city, he gave us a price of 3 Euro an hour and it would take us 3 hrs, we don't think this is too bad and we love sightseeing in a tuk tuk, you really do get to see so much more of what your passing, but we are starving as breakfast was fairly light hearted, so we tell him we must eat first and then decide, never make decisions on an empty tummy, so off we head in search of food and we come across a dim sum place, so we order some and some water, we had 2 dim sum each and a bottle of water and it only cost us 1.20 Euro. We had decided with a fuller tummy that we would bargain on the price
Stan down in the depths of one of them..
of the tuk tuk and we end up getting it for 1.5 Euro and hour, so off we set and manage to get in 4 Wats in the time we had which we were happy about. The one thing that makes us laugh in the area is that they seem to worship Cock's, I mean the chicken kind, they have statues of them everywhere around here, black ones, yellow ones, shinny ones all sorts...We end our tour back at the temple which we started and this is good as we want to visit Wat Maha That, this is the Wat with the buddha's face in the tree. Entrance fee of just 50 Baht here, again cheap... This is one of the main Wats in this area and its all very nice, and the Buddha's face is really nice to see. As I said earlier we had been told about a festival going on here, well it fact was a World Heritage Site Celebrations, this included a sound and light show, plus lots and lots of market stalls selling food (of course) clothing and trinkets, well everything really...We had wanted to see the show so we decided instead of going back
off his head...
to the Hostel we would just stay in town (easier than trying to get back across that road) and go to the early show as there were several throughout the evening. Once again food was calling so found ourselves some street food stalls where we could sit down, had ourselves some rice and noodles dishes, only 3 in total, we were being good and a beer and it only cost us just under 3 Euro and it was all very nice. We then headed off to find the entrance to the show, went to the main entrance of the Wat and got told it was right round the other side, this took us about 15 mins to get there as there are 1000's of people around. Now we have been told the entrance is 200 Baht each, so we head to get our tickets and a girl stops us and tells us there are only 500 Baht tickets left, yeah right, so we just say no, we don't have money for that and in fact we don't as we had also been hunting for an exchange place all day but being a Saturday we did not find one open only
the reclining Buddha...
ATM and we didn't have cards with us. Anyway, we turn around to walk away when we are approached by another young girl asking did we have tickets and say No, and next things she ask do we want her tickets, immediately thinking she was a tout and selling dodgy tickets I hesitated, but next thing she say, here take them we don't want them, and I say no money, she just laughs puts them in my hand and say bye and walks away. I look at the tickets and see they are for the next show which is just about to start, so off we head for the entrance still at this time thinking we will be turned away and No, they are legit, they let us in. We take our seats, and the show begins, all the commentary is in Thai but basically you get the gist of it, as its all about the story of the temples and the various kings, its a really good and colourful show, and with lots of performers, elephants and horses and lots of fireworks. It went on for just over an hour and we really enjoyed it. At the end of
first of many Cocks...
the show you were allowed to wander around the performers and get your photo taken with them and the elephants which was a nice thing. For our return to the hotel we decide to take a tuk tuk rather than run the gauntlet of crossing the road. This was another little adventure as he drove straight past and up and over the river, heading away from where we were staying. With us banging on the side of the Tuk Tuk to get his attention he stopped, we then gave him the directions back and he smiled and took us right to the spot.
We slept really well that night as we had been out walking and exploring for 12 hours so the noise from the road didn't keep us awake at all.
Our last day in Ayutthaya is spent very leisurely walking around the city plus we also got a long tail boat to take us around the river that circles the city, we had been told that this is nice to do. As usual to barter the price and get a good deal, he promised us he wouldn't make any stops, and he kept his promise but whenever he
saw me pointing the camera he would slow down so that I got the best shot possible, we really enjoyed this and we were glad we did it. Once again we stayed in the centre till late, got something to eat before heading back, this time we walked back and yep, took us ages to cross the road, the traffic is never ending on this road honestly.
We have booked a minibus to take us to Kanchanaburi the following day, we had checked at the bus and train station and it wasn't easy to get there via this way and we would not of saved ourselves that much money, doing this way we would be there in 2.5 hrs which was great and we don't have to set off till 9am...So that's our next stop which will be another blog, think this is enough for now.....
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