I took a local train to the ancient capital of Ayuthaya today. The ride was supposed to take 2 hours but took much longer. I’ve learned that trains are not on time here.
The train journey was somewhat comfortable but more can you expect for 30 cents!?
Ayuthaya (named for the homeland of Rama) is an island about 60km north of Bangkok. It’s a sleepy town with nothing more to do than see the sights and chill out by the river bank.
I’m staying at an exceptional guesthouse right on the river for 10 bucks a night. It sleeps 3 but I get it all to myself hence I’m paying more. This is one of the reasons why travelling solo can bite you in your ass!
I rented a bike today and rode around the city using my Lonely Planet map as my guide. I’m proud of how much conquered. Being the suburb Torontonian I am, I began by riding on the sidewalk then quickly realized that a bicycle is equivalent to any other vehicle in this land so I jumped to the main road. It was quite liberating to be weaving in out of traffic with SUV’s, tuk tuks and motorbikes. I also always double checked before crossing the road. There are no traffic laws or working signal lights in the town.
Ayuthaya is a city of ruins. Many of the wats (Buddhist temples) were burnt or destroyed during the war between Burma a lot of years ago. They decided to leave the ruins as is which is what makes it beautiful and full of character. The wats are also more in Khmer style so I had a glimpse of what Angkor Wat is going to be like.
The best part of Ayuthaya is sitting on the riverside terrace having a few beers. It’s quite refreshing with the evening breeze (minus the mosquitos). I finally had some fried rice which was delish! Tomorrow I’ll head back to Bangkok for more sightseeing before I head south on Sunday.