Ayutthaya, Ayuthaya, Ayuttthaya??

Trip Start Nov 06, 2012
1
6
30
Trip End Feb 01, 2013


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Flag of Thailand  ,
Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Moving on from Bangkok, we elected to use the world renowned Thai railway network for a trip out to Ayutthaya or Ayuthaya (the Thai people are particularly helpful regards the spelling of this place - inserting any number of “t”s without explanation!) the ancient capital of Thailand or Siam.  This trip proved to be perfectly timed as we avoided the disturbances in Bangkok for which we later discovered the aforementioned police were preparing - stop worrying parents (on a separate note the lack of concerned text messages is indeed touching!!).


Anyway, the clerk at the train station offered us either first class tickets in air conditioned carriages with comfy reserved seats for 315THB each (which really isn’t that much at all!) or a third class ticket on unreserved hard seats for 15THB each.  Now, offering this choice to a yorkshireman and a woman of Scottish heritage led to the inevitable and we therefore opted for the 15THB tickets, which are purchased and then we settled down for a coffee.  The coffees cost twice as much as the train tickets and we started to wonder just what we had let ourselves in for.......we briefly considered running back to the clerk and purchasing the first class tickets but, not ones turn down an opportunity for adventure/ another interesting experience to add to the rich tapestry that is our lives, we decided against this.


As it turns out, what we experienced was a very punctual service and a terrific journey through the countryside, numb bottoms aside, the service was great!  Hanging out of the windows like true train spotters all the way to our destination (well, A was).


First impressions of Ayuthaya (let’s stick with a single “t” for now) were ok, it is an island at the junction of a number of rivers and formed the perfect location for trade and defence of a very powerful city state which grew to dominate south east Asia.  Until the Burmese showed up, sacked the place, nicked all the gold and burnt it to the ground that is.  The UNESCO World Heritage Site is packed with chedis, wats and phrangs which we explored on bicycles during a full day of touring.  A took the lead with navigation, not normally a thing trusted to him due to his spectacular ability to get lost in a room with only one door, and a successful tour of the sights was made.  The various temple ruins were very impressive (including the largest Buddha in Thailand) but the modern part of the town is best described as “not very nice” and at worst as “a complete toilet”.  We were glad to leave and start our trip to Cambodia, which unbelievably required a return journey, by minibus to Bangkok......


Thailand “Part I” was fantastic, the people were friendly and the food was delicious, we enjoyed it enormously and are looking forward to returning to the north of the country later in the trip. Sad to report there is an enormous amount of litter everywhere we have been and a very high of number of stray dogs. Hopefully, that won’t be the case for the rest of the trip.
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